Physicians fear return of diseases as parents postpone vaccinations

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Physicians locally and across the nation worry that fear of coronavirus and school closures have parents postponing routine but critical childhood vaccinations, setting the stage for a return of debilitating diseases that had been all but eradicated.Ensuring children receive timely vaccinations is critical to preventing outbreaks and maintaining herd immunity against illnesses such as measles and chickenpox that modern medicine has significantly reduced, physicians said.Early in the pandemic, many people were nervous about visiting doctors’ offices and switched to televisits, but physicians can’t give shots over the internet, said Dr. Richard Rupp, medical director for the University of Texas Medical Branch Pediatric Clinic.
“All of those diseases that we vaccinate for are more or less all serious or they can be serious,” Rupp said. “You don’t want your children to have to go through that or suffer or die from those diseases.”A May study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found declining vaccination rates among all age groups younger than 2 years, except for 1-month-olds.For example, only about half of American children 5 months old had gotten age-appropriate vaccines, as opposed to about two-thirds of children from May of 2016 to 2019, according to …

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