It has started a media campaign.
Baltimore, Md (KM). With all of the attention on the COVID-19 pandemic, The Maryland Department of Health is reminding parents not to forget about their children’s vaccinations. The agency has launched a media campaign to encourage parents to make sure their children’s vaccinations are up to date. The media campaign consists of public service announcements being aired on radio, TV, cable and social media.
“And we’re also encouraging parents to view their child’s vaccination record on MD.MyIR.net. My IR.net is a free website service that allows consumers to view and print copies of their vaccination records,” says Dr. Cheryl De Pinto, the Director of Population Health Improvement for the Maryland Department of Health.
The campaign was developed after the Maryland Department of Health noticed recent data indicating a significant decrease in pediatric vaccination rates in Maryland and other states after a national emergency was declared on March 15th to fight the coronavirus. . Citing ImmuNEt, Maryland’s immunization information system, the agency says vaccines administered to children between the ages of 0 to 18 were down by 27% between March, 2019 and March, 2020. Comparing the time between April, 2019, and April, 2020, the numbers of doses was down by 56%.
She says parents are doing the right thing by protecting their children from COVID-19. “But parents now should know that vaccinations are a very important part of keeping their children well, and that pediatric offices are open and doing everything they possibly can by implementing different strategies and practice changes to make their offices as safe as possible during the pandemic,” say Dr. De Pinto.
It’s important for children to be vaccinated against such illnesses as measles, chicken pox, pertussis and polio. “If children are not appropriately evacuated, what we find is the potential for an outbreak of these diseases such as measles and pertussis,” says Dr. De Pinto.
She calls vaccinations “public health triumphs.”
If parents want information on vaccinations and where their children can receive them, Dr. De Pinto says they can ask their primary care physician or health care provider, their health insurance company or contact their local health department.
By Kevin McManus