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Adolescent Vaccinations Decreased During COVID-19 Pandemic

Decrease could offset increased coverage noted from 2018 to 2019 in HPV vaccination, MenACWY

FRIDAY, Aug. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The decrease in vaccination orders seen during the COVID-19 pandemic could offset increases in vaccinations for adolescents from 2018 to 2019, according to research published in the Aug. 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Laurie D. Elam-Evans, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2019 National Immunization Survey-Teen to estimate vaccination coverage among 13- to 17-year-olds in the United States.

The researchers found that from 2018 to 2019, there was an increase in coverage with at least one dose of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, from 68.1 to 71.5 percent; a corresponding increase was noted in the percentage of adolescents who were up to date with the HPV vaccination series (from 51.1 to 54.2 percent). There was also an increase in adolescent receipt of at least one dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY), from 86.6 to 88.9 percent. Lower coverage with at least one dose of MenACWY and at least one HPV vaccine dose was observed for those living outside a metropolitan statistical area among adolescents living at or above the poverty line. In mid-March 2020, there was a decrease in vaccine orders for the HPV vaccine; tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine; and MenACWY.

"Ensuring routine immunization services for adolescents, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, is essential to continuing progress in protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks," the authors write.

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