Concern both locally and internationally has been expressed about the impact of COVID-19 on routine vaccination coverage. The World Health Organization has made a plea for vaccination programmes to not be interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintenance of high coverage and timely delivery of national immunisation schedules is necessary to prevent outbreaks of illnesses such as measles and polio.
In America it has been shown that vaccine coverage of all age groups has dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in the week of April 6th this year (near the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States) compared with that week in 2019, vaccination rates were 56% lower for all ages. The decrease was greatest for adults aged 65 and older where vaccine coverage decreased by 83 %.
I urge you to catch up on missed vaccinations for infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women, those over 65 years and those for whom influenza vaccine is recommended. I also recommend that you make plans to see your GP for chronic disease visits and screening for other conditions if you have missed them.