GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Millions of children missed out on routine vaccinations during the pandemic, UNICEF says.
In a new report, UNICEF said between 2019 and 2021, 67 million children worldwide missed out entirely or partially on routine vaccinations. Those numbers set “back vaccination rates to levels not seen since 2008,” UNICEF said.
“We did see a sharp drop in vaccination coverage during the pandemic,” Dr. Angela Seabright, a care management physician at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, told News 8. “The rapid spread of misinformation during the pandemic has led to decreased confidence levels in vaccination. This can have devastating consequences.”
She said drops in vaccination rates among kids could lead to outbreaks in measles or polio. Vaccines can “save lives and prevent serious illness and hospitalizations,” she said.
Seabright encouraged parents who have concerns about vaccines to talk to their child’s doctor.
“It’s very important for parents to talk to their doctor about their particular concerns when it comes to these vaccines,” Seabright said. “We know that childhood vaccines have been extensively studied not only for effectiveness, but also for safety.”