OMAHA- According to data from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, children in the state are missing critical vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising the risk of preventable disease outbreaks.
BCBSNE compared childhood immunization rates for members from January through September 2019 with the rates from January through September 2020, and found vaccinations decreased 10.6% for MMR, protecting against measles, mumps and rubella, 4.15% decrease for DTaP, protecting against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, and 2.43% decrease for polio. The findings align with a recently published Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Health of America study that estimates children across the U.S. will miss 9 million doses of these critical vaccinations by the end of 2020. The study, which also compared data from January through September of 2019 to 2020, indicates that vaccinations were down 26% for MMR, 26% for DTaP and 16% for polio nationwide.
BCBSNE and pediatric care providers encourage families to take their children to wellness visits and catch up on missed vaccinations.