Routine childhood vaccination: Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Routine childhood vaccination: Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

28 August, 2020

Recent data from the Royal Children’s Hospital Poll Report: Routine childhood vaccination: Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic indicates a significant portion of parents/carers are forgoing or delaying National Immunisation Program Schedule vaccines for their child because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report highlights that one in five children aged less than five years have had a routine childhood vaccine delayed since the onset of the pandemic. Reasons include:

  • Concern about catching COVID-19 at a health care service
  • The child’s usual general practice not offering vaccination due to COVID-19
  • Parents/carers avoiding using public transport
  • Parents/carers feeling child does not need vaccination as they were isolating at home

Continue vaccinating and encouraging vaccination and follow the DHHS advice provided about adapting service delivery. Consider the messaging in immunisation recalls promoting the importance of timely vaccinations and that it is safe to visit the general practice. Consider if phoning parents/carers may be better than SMS reminders at this time. If your clinic is unable to offer an immunisation service at this time, please refer to another service such as the local council immunisation team.

View the latest health.vic immunisation newsletter.

EMPHNs call your doctor campaign seeks to remind people not to delay seeking medical advice, screenings and check ups including immunisations during COVID-19. Visit the website to download a toolkit that GPs can share with their community.