Valley doctor: Coronavirus outbreak causing missed child vaccinations
PHOENIX — With the coronavirus outbreak forcing lockdowns and restrictions across the country, numerous children have missed out on vaccines, leaving a Valley physician worried.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pediatric vaccines have declined greatly since President Donald Trump cleared a national state of emergency on March 13.
“Doctors are very worried because children have been missing crucial vaccines as a result of the lockdown and the fear of infection,” Danielle Sink, chief medical officer for Bayless Healthcare, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
“Children in the United States have missed millions of doses of vaccines in the last few months and I’m very worried because this puts children at risk for preventable, life-threatening disease.”
While the numbers can vary and are dependent on the vaccine and age group, Sink said there’s anywhere between 40-75% of vaccines being missed right now.
Children under the age of 2 who aren’t getting vaccines hold some of the highest risk of having problems. The age group generally has a very frequent vaccine schedule.
“Measles and mumps and whooping cough are vaccine-preventable illnesses, and they’re things that we have seen outbreaks of in the United States recently. Those illnesses can be fatal and have long-term complications,” Sink said. “If people are missing their vaccines, we could see much worse outbreaks in the United States.”
In addition, illnesses such as diphtheria and polio, which is in other parts of the world but not in the United State, could reach the country and spread due to under-vaccination, Sink said.
Sink advises parents to confirm with their doctors on how the office plans to keep their families safe as states ease restrictions.
She added that June, July and August, before school and the flu season, are the best times to get caught up on vaccines.