CDC Report: Pediatric Vaccines Drop During COVID-19 Pandemic

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Published Online: Friday, May 15th, 2020
Staying up-to-date on immunizations is crucial to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a national emergency was declared on March 13, 2020.1 Shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19 were issued across the United States, which limited movement outside the home to essential activities. The CDC posted recommendations on March 24, 2020 emphasizing the importance of routine well-child visits and immunizations, especially for children 24 months of age and younger when most vaccines are recommended.1

Data was evaluated from the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program from the CDC’s Vaccine Tracking System for ordering information and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) for administration data to determine the impact of COVID-19 on pediatric immunizations in the U.S.1 

The report revealed that approximately 2.5 million fewer doses of all routine non-influenza vaccines, and 250,000 fewer doses of measles-containing immunizations were ordered compared to the same period in 2019.1,2 There also was a decline in measles-containing vaccine administrations starting the week of March 16, 2020, with the decrease being less evident in children age 24 months and younger than among older children.1 

A version of this article was originally published by Pharmacyt Times. Visit to read the full article. 

  1. Santoli JM, Lindley MC, DeSilva MB, et al. Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Routine Pediatric Vaccine Ordering and Administration — United States, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 8 May 2020. DOI:
  2. Jenco M. AAP News. AAP urges vaccination as rates drop due to COVID-19. Published May 8, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2020.

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