Coronavirus fears spur drop in childhood vaccinations and could lead to new measles outbreaks

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Researchers have documented a drop in child vaccination rates in Michigan since restrictions were imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, raising concern about outbreaks of other diseases such as measles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report on Monday [May 18].

The findings by the CDC researchers indicated that stay-at-home orders during the pandemic like those imposed in Michigan and other U.S. states may be reducing accessibility to routine immunization services and exposing children to risks from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Data from Michigan’s state immunization information system showed that just under half of 5-month-old infants were up to date for all recommended vaccines this month, compared to approximately two thirds of infants in May of the previous four years, the CDC researchers said in their report.

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“The observed declines in vaccination coverage might leave young children and communities vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles,” the CDC scientists wrote in the report.

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