Many children have missed their recommended vaccines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a substantial immunization gap persists. Children need catch-up vaccination now to ensure they are protected as they return to in-person schooling and summer programs. Bring in your pediatric patients NOW before school starts in the fall.
Based on analysis of data from the California Immunization Registry (CAIR2), during 2020 as compared with 2019, an estimated
- 12% fewer children under the age of 3 years received their first MMR vaccine,
- 19% fewer children ages 4-6 years received their second MMR vaccine, and
- 20% fewer adolescents ages 11-13 years old received their Tdap booster.
Consider the following strategies:
- Use the immunization registry and your electronic health record system to identify children who missed well-child visits and/or recommended vaccinations and contact them to schedule in-person appointments.
Consider prioritizing adolescent patients who may be eligible soon for COVID-19 vaccination. Catching these patients up on routine immunizations now may help prevent scheduling challenges later on.
Let families know what extra precautions you are taking to keep them safe during their appointments.
- Assess and administer needed vaccines when children come in for sick visits.
- Plan socially distanced, dedicated “immunization catch-up” clinics, especially to meet the back-to-school demand.
- Implement novel immunization strategies such as walk-up and drive-through clinics.
- Expand clinic hours, including evenings and weekends, to help accommodate increased in-person visits and scheduling challenges.
- Carry out quality improvement strategies such as those supported by the Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers (IQIP) Program.
- Ensure access for your most vulnerable patients. If you are a VFC provider, promote this program to (newly) eligible families.
Save the date to attend VFC’s next ‘Afternoon TEAch’ Webinar on May 26, 2021, from noon to 1:00pm to learn more about childhood immunization rates and additional strategies you can implement to help your pediatric patients get caught upon their immunizations.