COVID-19 vaccine could be bundled with routine childhood vaccinations, says AAP

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is acceptable for children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine along with their routine childhood vaccinations, such as for the flu or chickenpox or measles.

U.S. health officials gave final approval on Nov. 2 to Pfizer’s pediatric-sized COVID-19 injection, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the country’s vaccination campaign to children as young as 5 years old.

“Given the importance of routine vaccination and the need for rapid uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, the AAP supports the co-administration of routine immunizations in children and adolescents with COVID-19 vaccines (or vaccination in the days before or after) for children and adolescents who are behind or because of vaccinations and/or are at increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases,” the statement said MONKEY.

In addition to the annual flu vaccine, children between the ages of 5 and 11 are advised to get their next dose of the DTaP, which protects them against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At this point, children should be getting their fifth dose of the DTaP.

Another vaccine that children in this age range should receive is (usually) a fourth dose of the polio vaccine and second doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and chickenpox vaccines, according to the CDC.

FILE – A child receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in an elementary school for children aged 5 to 11 years old. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Children ages 11 to 12 are recommended to schedule their Tdap vaccine, which is a booster dose of the DTaP vaccine regimen. And children in this age range are also advised by health care professionals to get their HPV shot and the first of two doses of the meningococcal vaccine, the CDC’s website says.

Besides, due to the ongoing pandemic, children around the world were lagging behind their routine childhood vaccination schedules and parents are trying to catch up, according to data collected by the World Health Organisation.

According to official data published today by WHO and UNICEF, “23 million children missed basic vaccinations in 2020 due to routine vaccination services – 3.7 million more than in 2019” The WHO reported this in a July press release.

“Even as countries clamor for COVID-19 vaccines, we have fallen back on other vaccines, putting children at risk for devastating but preventable diseases such as measles, polio or meningitis,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General. “Multiple disease outbreaks would be catastrophic for communities and health systems already battling COVID-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in childhood vaccination and ensure that every child is reached.”

In the United States, nearly 1 in 10 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 said they were delaying routine health care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, and nearly the same number of parents postponed caring for their children for the same reason.

RELATED: What you need to know about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11?

The AAFP’s report was based on data from the Urban Institute’s April 2021 Health Reform Monitoring Survey.

“For the past year and a half, we’ve focused on the people who have gotten sick and died from COVID-19 (and rightly so), said primary care physician Lisa Doggett, MD, MPH, senior medical director for HGS-AxisPoint Health and a 2021-year-old. 2022 AAFP Vaccine Science Fellow. “But at the same time, many people of all ages have put their health at risk by delaying or forgoing other types of medical care, including screening and diagnostic testing, pit care, routine immunizations and follow-up for chronic conditions. Now remember to make up for missed care and ensure they can receive that care safely.”

Based on an updated vaccine claims analysis published by health care consulting firm Avalere for September-November 2020 found continued declines in the number of vaccines administered among adolescents and adults in the U.S., a drop of up to 35% in non-flu vaccines given to adolescents, and up to a 40% drop in the number of vaccines administered to adolescents and adults. number of injections administered among adults in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, with an estimated 26 million missed doses in both age groups from January to November 2020.

“There’s a long list of reasons why a lot of people just don’t make it to doctor’s office and we’re seeing this now in kids when they go back to school and its effects,” Dr. Tanya Altmann, LA-based pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Fox News in June. “For some it’s just missed vaccinations, but for others there are conditions that we didn’t pick up on, whether it was talking to the parents about weight issues, scoliosis, anxiety or asthma.”

By November 2020, Blue Cross Blue Shield, which insures 1 in 3 Americans, will noted a drop to 26% in vaccinations for MMR, DTaP and polio between January-September 2020, adding that millions of missed vaccinations lower community protection against those diseases and increase the risk of measles and whooping cough outbreaks.

RELATED: Covid-19 vaccines for children help prevent new variants, experts say

Altmann said most pediatric practices in the LA area are busier than ever given the unusual summer surge in certain respiratory illnesses and parents seeking medical attention for children with suspected COVID-like symptoms.

Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report.

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