Regular Child Immunizes Fell Amid COVID-19 Concerns
Nearly a third of Allen County’s school-aged kids have fallen behind on their regular immunizations. About 33 percent of K-12 students haven’t gotten all of their required shots, according to the Allen County Department of Health.
Super Shot is an Allen County organization that promotes vaccines and helps provide county-wide access to immunization. In March, their routine immunization visits were down 29 percent from the previous year.
Connie Heflin is the executive director of Super Shot. She said the main concern is students starting sixth grade this year, or who started sixth grade last year. The goal is to get students back on track.
“When children don’t get their immunizations on time, it’s like riding around in a car without their seatbelt. It’s just more opportunity, just putting them at risk for a longer period of time,” she said.
During the peak of the pandemic, a lot of services moved to tele-health and routine health visits fell behind.
Students entering sixth grade are required to have one dose of the Tdap and Meningococcal vaccines, and recommended to have the HPV vaccine.
Later this month, Super Shot is partnering with the Allen County Department of Health and MDwise to host a Back On Track event to encourage getting children caught up on missed vaccines.