Well visits for school aged-children, including for vaccinations required to attend public school, are one of the casualties of COVID-19 disruptions in US health care delivery.
According to the CDC, the vaccination rate for the school year 2021-2022 declined to 93% from the previous year's 94% and that was down 1% from the 2019-2020 rate of 95% for this population. American Academy of Family Physicians president Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, MPH, MBA, told Patient Care that 7% of kindergarteners without routine MMR, Varicella, and DTaP vaccination translates into a quarter of a million children at risk.
Iroku-Malize in the video below discusses the impact of COVID-19 and of negative messaging on social media on mandatory childhood vaccinations and urges family physicians to gently but consistently help get these youngsters back on track.
Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, MPH, a family physician in Long Island, New York, is current president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Iroku-Malize serves as founding chair and professor of family medicine for the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Hempstead, New York, and is senior vice president and chair of the family medicine service line for Northwell Health. She oversees 4 family medicine residency programs and 3 fellowships spread across 23 hospitals. She was previously the director of the family medicine residency program at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York. She is currently a member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and is active in the Association of Departments of Family Medicine.