Routine vaccinations have declined dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, as parents avoid medical services to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus.
While Arizona Complete Health recognizes the health concerns of Arizonans across the state, it encourages parents to continue to schedule checkup appointments and get early vaccinations for young children to protect against preventable diseases.
Among children aged five months, vaccination rates have declined from approximately two-thirds (66.3%) of children during 2016-2019 to fewer than half (49.7%) in May 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reports similar trends among older children as well, with non-influenza vaccination rates decreasing by 21.5% for children under 18 years old.
“With lower than normal vaccination coverage among all age groups, children may be at higher risk for vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, and more,” said ACH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Scott Van Valkenburg.
“Even during these uncertain times, it’s important that we continue to encourage everyone to protect themselves, including getting immunizations to protect children from preventable health complications.”
--- Dr. Scott Van Valkenburg
Arizona Complete Health members can conveniently schedule a virtual appointment with their primary care physicians via telehealth services. Using telehealth services, a physician will be able to deliver healthcare services such as well-child care exams.
In-person visits are still an option, as hospitals and health clinics across Arizona have been regularly updating safety procedures to help avoid coronavirus transmission.
Throughout the pandemic, healthcare workers have continued to support communities with their health needs using personal protective equipment to safeguard themselves and patients, so parents can feel comfortable in scheduling necessary doctor appointments for their children.