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The Importance of Childhood and Adolescent Immunization During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted June 5, 2020

Data is showing a pattern that is concerning, but probably not surprising, to health care providers. According to Healthline, more than half of the children in the U.S. may be missing scheduled vaccinations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting, “declines in outpatient pediatric visits have resulted in fewer vaccine doses being administered, leaving children at-risk for vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles and whooping cough.”2

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is seeking your help. Our Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Derek J. Robinson, M.D., MBA, FACEP, CHCQM, focuses on this topic as the subject of his CMO Perspective in our July Blue Review: The reality is that we must consider the possibility of having to confront other epidemics in addition to the existing coronavirus pandemic. As a part of the health care team, physicians, nurses and other health care practitioners play a vital role in educating parents on vaccinating their children. Please join us in special outreach efforts to parents of children aged 0 to 2 years and adolescents aged 9 to 13 years regarding the importance of getting all scheduled childhood immunizations.

View Dr. Robinson’s June CMO Perspective for more information and some tips you may choose to apply, such as communicating with parents about preventive health benefits of age-appropriate childhood immunization and precautions your office is taking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1 McCarthy, Moira. COVID-19 Is Causing A Reduction in Child Vaccinations. Healthline, May 3, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2020, at https://www.healthline.com/health-news/covid19-causing-decrease-in-child-vaccinations.

2 CDC, Information for Pediatric Healthcare Providers. Updated May 15, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2020, at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/pediatric-hcp.html.

The above material is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician or other health care provider. Physicians and other health care providers are encouraged to use their own medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining the appropriate course of treatment. The fact that a service or treatment is described in this material is not a guarantee that the service or treatment is a covered benefit and members should refer to their certificate of coverage for more details, including benefits, limitations and exclusions. Regardless of benefits, the final decision about any service or treatment is between the member and their health care provider.