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Study Finds Many Kids Missed Routine Vaccinations

With kids returning to school, doctors fear a big backslide in immunity against vaccine-preventable illnesses

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the number of doses of routine childhood vaccinations, such as the measles vaccine, has dropped below pre-pandemic levels -- 6% to 8% depending upon the vaccine or age group. Babies and young children were somewhat more likely to stay on schedule with more of their recommended vaccinations during the pandemic, according to the foundation's data, in comparison with adolescents and teens. But every age groups is behind.

For instance, the number of boosters for the tDP vaccine--tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis--dropped 16.7% among kids ages 11 and up. And orders for shots containing the measles vaccine are down 18.2%.

"I've been trying to shout it from the rooftops," to get parents to take their kids in for routine vaccines, says Dr. Sean O'Leary, professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and vice chair of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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