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Drop in child vaccinations another serious harm related to COVID-19 pandemic | READER COMMENTARY

A vial containing the MMR vaccine is loaded into a syringe before being given to a baby at the Medical Arts Pediatric Med Group in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2015. File.
A vial containing the MMR vaccine is loaded into a syringe before being given to a baby at the Medical Arts Pediatric Med Group in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2015. File. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The staggering reduction in the proportion of children vaccinated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is only going to hurt our health care system further (”Measles, chickenpox and other diseases could make a comeback because fewer kids are getting vaccinated,” June 1). In Maryland alone, there has been a 32% reduction in all vaccines given to children from birth to 11 months of age and a 47% decline in 12-to-23-month old toddlers. The rates are even more alarming in pre-kindergartners — a whopping 76% decline in vaccine rates.

According to the article, 15,950 fewer children in Maryland received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine alone this year when compared to the same time last year. It would be a disaster if we have to add measles, chickenpox and all these other diseases that have been to a large extent eradicated to the list of problems we are currently dealing with as a nation. Unfortunately, our children would be the ones directly facing the consequences.

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Children must get vaccinated. The fear of COVID-19 is valid. However, a bigger fear awaits us if we do not ensure that our children are getting vaccinated against these potentially deadly diseases. Pediatricians need to make feasible arrangements with parents to ensure that vaccination guidelines are being followed. If the COVID-19 vaccination is approved today, some parents will go and stand in line with their children to get vaccinated, so why should we neglect the vaccinations that have long been proven to be effective in preventing those other diseases?

Adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination guidelines may take extra effort, especially due to social distancing practices, but in the long run, we’ll be better for it and healthier as a nation.

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Adetola Daramola, Frederick

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