BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Health said it wants to encourage parents to review their children’s scheduled vaccination status, and bring them up-to-date on missed vaccinations.

The Maryland Department of Health said they’re raising awareness based on recent data showing a significant decrease in pediatric vaccination rates both in Maryland, and across the United States, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall issued the following statement in a press release:

“Parents have kept children home to keep them safe, which was the right thing to do. But now we need to bring children up-to-date with their vaccinations to protect them. There is no vaccine yet to prevent COVID-19, but there are vaccines to prevent other serious illnesses, like measles and pertussis. If children fall behind on necessary vaccinations, it leaves them vulnerable to these illnesses.”

Recent data from ImmuNet, Maryland’s immunization information system, shows that the overall number of vaccine doses administered to children ages 0-18 in March 2020 compared with March 2019 was down 27 percent; comparing April 2020 to April 2019, the number of doses was down by 56 percent.

To view Maryland’s new pediatric immunization PSA, you can click here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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