The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) was awarded $250,000 in grants by the Pfizer Foundation to address a steep drop in child vaccination rates.
The decline mirrors national trends and is attributed to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used for targeted communications, outreach, and vaccination clinics.
The largest decrease in the number of vaccinations given to children 0-18 was in April 2020 with a drop of 46 percent compared to April 2019, according to the MDH Immunization Information System.
For childhood vaccines, the largest decreases were seen in measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, with a decrease of 65 percent in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
From an MDH press release:
“We continue to coordinate with community and health partners to make vaccinations easily available, but also safe for families during this pandemic,” said Secretary of Health Robert R. Neall. “MDH has worked closely with pediatricians and primary care providers across the state to ensure safety measures, such as social distancing, are firmly in place.”
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