Blog: COVID-19 pandemic is reducing Fort Wayne area immunization rates to critical lows

COVID-19 has severely limited movement outside the home. As a result, immunization rates are falling, particularly for children under the age of twoprecisely when vaccinations are needed most.

 

Community health officials are increasingly concerned that as parents avoid their well-child visits due to the COVID-19 lockdown, a dangerous decline in community health standards could result. In all, 137,000 fewer doses of vaccine were administered to Indiana children in May 2020 as compared to May 2019 - an almost 47% decrease. Super Shot saw a 54% decrease in doses administered to children this past May compared to May 2019. Dosage drops for the HPV vaccine were even more severe at 73%. This puts many children and our community at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

“The last thing Super Shot wants as the collateral damage of COVID-19 pandemic are outbreaks of such vaccine-preventable diseases as measles, mumps, and whooping cough,” noted Connie Heflin, Executive Director, Super Shot, Inc. “This will almost certainly happen if there continues to be a drop in vaccination appointments.” Additionally, as Indiana’s social distancing requirements are relaxed as of July 1, children who are not protected by immunizations will be even more vulnerable to succumbing from vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

Heflin notes that vaccinations and well-child visits are essential to avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and to keep children protected.

 

“We are engaged in an urgent battle to rapidly provide catch-up vaccinations,” said Heflin. “Super Shot will continue to coordinate with area healthcare providers and public health officials at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that every child receives the vaccinations they need, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.”

 

More information on Super Shot can be found at: www.supershot.org or by visiting the Super Shot Facebook page.

Gregory Perigo, now an Indiana Tech administrator, was a founding team member of Super Shot with the St. Joseph Medical Center.

Signup for Email Alerts