(WHNT) – The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AL-AAP) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) encourages parents to keep children’s vaccinations up to date.
ADPH says that over the past decade they have rigorously ensured that babies, children, and adolescents aged 0-18 maintained competitive rates for age-appropriate vaccinations.
They say due to the national and statewide COVID-19 pandemic, many Alabama pediatric and family providers have experienced a drastic decrease in scheduled vaccination visits.
Infants, toddlers, and teens across the state have experienced an over 50 percent decline in the number of vaccines administered from March 1 to May 1 compared to 2019 rates, according to the ADPH.
They say this has disproportionately impacted immunization coverage rates among individuals ages 0-18 placing them at an increased risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases including pertussis, measles, mumps, and others.
To avoid prolonged gaps in vaccination, ADPH and AL-AAP say they are encouraging parents/guardians to work with their providers to catch up on all childhood vaccines missed during the time of the pandemic.
The ADPH says keeping children vaccinated is an important step toward ensuring their long-term health.
ADPH reminds parents to consult the catch-up immunization scheduler and check with their physician about getting back on track.