KS families neglecting child immunizations

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 77,200 fewer vaccination orders had been submitted to the Vaccines for Children program in 2020 compared to 2019.

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October 9, 2020 - 12:05 PM

Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, points out the relatively low number of deaths from the flu compared to COVID-19 during a news briefing Wednesday at the Statehouse. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — A coalition of health organizations responded to Kansas’ drop in child immunizations during the pandemic Thursday by urging families to maintain pediatric appointments and stay current on vaccinations for influenza and other preventable illnesses.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 77,200 fewer vaccination orders had been submitted to the Vaccines for Children program in 2020 compared to 2019. Through August, KDHE said, the program received 280,000 orders for vaccine. That represented a decline from 358,000 orders through the same period in 2019. Likewise, the number of Kansas vaccinations reported to KDHE was lower from March through August than in that period of 2019.

In response, the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians and the Kansas chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in collaboration with Kansas Action for Children urged families to adhere to vaccination and wellness-visit schedules for children. There is concern among health professionals about secondary outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses this winter.

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