Child vaccinations in the Balearic Islands plummeted by nearly 35% during the coronavirus lockdown and the Ministry of Health is advising parents to make sure all jabs are up to date before school begins in September.
Between January and May this year, injections for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, inactivated polio, hepatitis B and conjugated Hib for children aged 2-4 months dropped by up to 12%.
The number of 11-month-old children vaccinated for Hexavelent and pneumococcus between March and June is down 14%.
There’s also been a drop of 16% in the number of 12-month-old children vaccinated for triple viral disease; a 15% drop in chickenpox vaccinations in 15-months-olds a 37% drop in meningococcus C vaccinations in 12-month-olds; a 27% fall in chickenpox and a 35% fall in triple virus injections for children 3-months-old, according to the General Directorate of Public Health.
"Throughout the coronavirus crisis, we were very concerned about maintaining vaccination levels for children because there was a lot of fear about visiting Medical Centres,” said the General Directorate of Public Health.
Marga Cañellas, Pediatrics Coordinator at IB Salut, confirmed that urgent vaccination campaigns are being carried out to make sure that children up to 14-years-old are vaccinated, saying, “at no time have we stopped vaccinating, especially children under 15-months-old, but many parents were scared to go to Medical Centres.”
Cañellas pointed out that a list is being drawn up to capture children aged 0 to 7-months-old and 7 to 14-years-old and said "we are placing special emphasis on children under 12-months-old.”
Edelmiro Vergés, who’s a Primary Care Pediatrician and member of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, or AEP, ruled out the possibility of a diphtheria-haemophilus outbreak due to the drop in vaccinations, but said "cases of measles or highly contagious meningitis could re-emerge as soon as outsiders begin to arrive."
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