Health

Concerns about the Covid vaccine are beginning to shift to routine immunizations

Because of this, pediatricians, school nurses, and public health experts are concerned that preventable and possibly fatal childhood illnesses that were once the subject of the past may become more prevalent.

“We want to prevent measles, polio and anything we vaccinate against from appearing in the political arena,” said Hugo Skornick, a pediatrician and president of the Georgian section of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He was alarmed last year by the introduction of several bills in the state legislature to restrict vaccination, including one that would meet school immunization requirements. Several states have enacted similar legislation that would either repeal or repeal school vaccination requirements, though none have gone ahead.

At the beginning of the pandemic, children’s immunization rates dropped. In 2020, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reduced vaccine orders for children in pre-pandemic states by 15 percent, a federal program that immunizes about half of children in the country. According to the CDC, order levels in 2021 were about 7 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.

In Florida, where the Surgeon General Announced last month To prevent healthy children from receiving Covid vaccines, 2-year routine rates for all immunizations In the institutions of the country It fell from 92.1 percent in 2019 to 79.3 percent in 2021.

In Tennessee, between 2020 and 2021, children under the age of 2 were given almost 14 percent fewer doses of the vaccine than before the pandemic.

In Idaho, the number of children who received the first dose of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at the age of 2 years was reduced from about 21,000 in 2018 and from 17,000 in 2021.

Immunization advocates say polarized attitudes toward hitting Covid-19 have made it difficult to conduct and promote school immunization measures as principals and school nurses navigate the bitter confidence-building area in their communities that facilitates vaccination. This makes it difficult for children to get vaccinated even when their parents want them vaccinated.

From 2010 to 2020, the last year for which national data are available, immunization rates in children under 3 years of age Hepatitis B, polio, chickenpox, and MMR were about 90 percent and were Remained largely unchanged, while pneumonia and rotavirus vaccine rates increased significantly. Meanwhile, the percentage of children who did not have a shot increased from 0.6 percent to 1 percent. The CDC is expected to release new data on national kindergarten immunization rates for 2020-2021 next week.

Parents who hesitated to vaccinate their children before the pandemic are now joined by people who think the government has misplaced the crisis, see Covid-19 vaccine mandates as federal oversupply, or are subject to misinformation about childhood vaccination, said Rupal Limae. International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“You will get a reduction in trust in your government and people who are looking for other sources to inform the decision-making process,” he said. So they go on social media, [where] “Misinformation goes beyond evidence-based information.”

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. But it is more difficult to withdraw an argument about personal freedom from government mandates.

“I will tell you in April 2020 that this will be our moment to change the tide of vaccine,” said Melissa Vervi Arnold, executive director of the Ohio Department of Pediatrics. Unfortunately, instead, the freedom movement took over.

Just about 45 percent According to the CDC, qualified children in the United States have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Parents start asking the same questions they had about the Covid-19 vaccine,” said Nola Jean Ernest, a pediatrician at Enterprise, Alla. And Alabama, President-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Is it worth it?” Do my children need this vaccine? ‘ It is hesitation that begins to bloom. “

So far, there have been no preventable childhood illnesses, but public health experts fear it is only a matter of time before they are able to substantially boost immunization rates. In 2019, the United States recorded the highest number of measles cases in 27 years, with outbreaks reported in New York and the Pacific Northwest with low rates of vaccination.

Part of the challenge for public health experts trying to anticipate another outbreak or find vulnerable communities is that access to updated vaccination data varies significantly across the state.

Heather Galliano, director of operations and education for the Idaho Immunization Coalition, said the data backlog makes it difficult to confirm the scale of the problem.

“Over the years of immunization, I have seen people who have always been concerned,” Galliano said. “But it was really very little. I’m concerned that it becomes more mainstream in conversations where misinformation and misinformation are somehow accepted as truth than before. ”

Exemption request data – another window on how many families choose to have their children vaccinated – is also slow. But available data shows that a small but growing number of families in some states refuse to be vaccinated.

Religious, moral, and philosophical exemption requirements in North Dakota increased from 3.6 percent for the 2019-2020 school year to 4.46 percent for the current school year.

In South Carolina, which grants only religious and not personal beliefs, with exceptions, the number of students fired has steadily increased over the past five years, from 1.2 percent in the 2017-2018 academic year to 2 percent this year.

A spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Health declined to comment specifically on the reasons for the change in vaccination patterns, but said “many factors and trends are involved.” But Amanda Santamaria, director of Dorchester School District’s Second Nursing Service in Somerville, president of the SC and South Carolina School Nurses Association, believes parents are now re-testing the vaccines.

“This has led people to look at vaccines for students and children in general under a more sophisticated microscope,” Santamaria said.

Pediatric providers believe that more information is being spread on how to avoid vaccination requirements through exceptions, contributing to lower than usual immunization rates.

“Religious exemptions have been very rare in the past,” said Kimberly Watch-etheridge, vice president of health equality and diversity initiatives at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and a pediatrician in Nashville. “Now it looks like this option is on the table.”

In places like Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New York, state health officials and pediatricians say they see no noticeable difference in parents’ attitudes toward immunization or in the data available to them.

There has always been a small group of parents who oppose childhood vaccinations, but if doctors can bring parents to the office and answer their questions, they can persuade them to immunize their children, said Eric France, a pediatrician and chief medical officer. Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

But in many parts of the country, the pandemic has affected parents’ views on vaccinations in a way that states should not ignore, warned Patsy Stincfield, a pediatric nurse who has worked on infectious diseases as a vaccine specialist at the Minnesota Children’s, a nonprofit organization. President-elect at the Pediatric Hospital and the National Infectious Diseases Fund. In Minnesota, no more than a third of 2-year-olds were vaccinated by 2021.

“It is worthwhile for all states, both in the private and public sectors, to pay special attention to it, as well as the extreme energy towards this problem, because it will not be corrected by itself,” he said.

As soon as it became clear that children were lagging behind in vaccines, the CDC, as well as other national organizations such as the AAP, launched campaigns to catch parents, said Georgina Pickock, acting director of the CDC Immunization Services Division.

During the pandemic, the CDC provided grants to community organizations across the country to improve American confidence in vaccines. The agency has also hired and trained vaccine demand strategists, health equity officers, and adult immunization coordinators to assist public health departments in promoting Covid-19 vaccines and, more importantly, routine immunizations.

But immunization advocates are concerned that without more work to combat the general hesitation of vaccination, the anti-vaccination movement will intensify.

Some proponents of the vaccine find it increasingly difficult to communicate. Santamaria, South Carolina, said its school district has promoted school vaccine clinics as a program offered by the district – and not individual schools – to protect principals and school nurses. Vaccine Response.

Erica Harp, a leading nurse at Montana Great Falls Public Schools, said she is wary of advocating for immunization these days.

“Vaccination used to be something that the school nurse always supported and talked about, and I hope we will continue to do that,” Harp said. “You always care about how you are perceived in society … Our schools are not required to have school nurses. “You always try to make sure you keep your job, almost.”

Concerns about the Covid vaccine are beginning to shift to routine immunizations

Source link Concerns about the Covid vaccine are beginning to shift to routine immunizations

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