Schools, pediatricians look to make up lost ground on non-COVID vaccinations

November 19, 2021

WESTMINSTER — Melissa Blatzer was determined to get her three children caught up on their routine immunizations on a recent Saturday morning at a walk-in clinic in this Denver suburb. It had been about a year since the kids’ last shots, a delay Blatzer chalked up to the pandemic.

Two-year-old Lincoln Blatzer, in his fleece dinosaur pajamas, waited anxiously in line for his hepatitis A vaccine. His siblings, 14-year-old Nyla Kusumah and 11-year-old Nevan Kusumah, were there for their TDAP, HPV and meningococcal vaccines, plus a COVID-19 shot for Nyla.

“You don’t have to make an appointment and you can take all three at once,” said Blatzer, who lives several miles away in Commerce City. That convenience outweighed the difficulty of getting everyone up early on a weekend.

Child health experts hope community clinics like this, along with the return to in-person classes, more well-child visits and the rollout of COVID shots for younger children, can help boost routine childhood immunizations, which dropped during the pandemic. Despite a rebound, immunization rates are still lower than in 2019, and disparities in rates between racial and economic groups, particularly for Black children, have been exacerbated.

Read more at the Denver Post.

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