Vaccinating Children & Adolescents
Routine well-child checkups are key to detecting and preventing disease and promoting healthy behaviors. These checkups are often where children receive routine vaccinations. However, as a result of COVID-19, fewer children received well-child checkups and routine vaccinations over the past year. Delayed/missed vaccinations puts children and adolescents (and potentially those around them) at risk for preventable diseases like measles and meningitis.
The CDC has reported a:
- 14% drop in public sector vaccine (Vaccines for Children) ordering in 2020-21 compared to 2019;
- 20% drop in ordering of measles vaccine.
On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met to determine whether the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be recommended for children 12 to 15 years of age. This followed a previous announcement that the FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for administration to this age group.
The ACIP recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years of age in the U.S. population under the FDA’s EUA. COVID-19 and other vaccines may now be administered to everyone ages 12 and up without regard to timing; this includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 and other vaccines on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days.
MCH professionals are well-poised to partner with pediatric primary care providers, state immunization programs, community-based organizations, and families to assure that all children receive all recommended vaccines, including routine and COVID-19 vaccines.
HHS: What Works and What Doesn’t in COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) provides an
overview of lessons learned from vaccine programs and gives several
examples of federal and state programs that could serve as models for
Vaccinating MCH Populations
Opportunities for State Title V Programs
What Can Jurisdictional (state/territory/local) Governments Do?
How States are Making Progress: Title V Bright Spots
- Monitoring: The Arizona Partnership for Immunization monitors monthly well-visits and childhood immunization coverage data to identify issues that need attention.
- Clinics: Schools, health plans, and state and local agencies host clinics in communities focused on COVID-19 vaccination to also catch kids up on critical routine immunizations.
- Arizona Speakers Bureau:
Addresses both COVID-19 and routine immunizations through formal and informal discussions with parent groups.
- Trainings: Quarterly trainings for social workers, home visitors and child care providers on talking to parents about the importance of on-time childhood immunizations.
- Medical Home: Creating a culture of immunizations within the medical home by including everyone in the practice, from the front desk to the exam room.
- Immunization Resources: Making immunization
s resources easy for parents/caregivers to find.
- Positive Vaccine Messaging: Providing positive and effective recommendations, and consistent messaging, from trusted healthcare professionals in the medical home.
- Drive-Thru: Tennessee Department of Health partnership with Nashville Diaper Connection provides free diapers, food boxes and TN Medicaid registration when families attend drive-thru school, COVID-19 or flu vaccination events.