Ensuring Children are Vaccinated During COVID-19
Immunization rates among children dropped significantly as families quarantined during COVD-19 and put off well-care visits. Health officials have warned that if rates drop too low there is a potential public health threat of another outbreak of measles or whooping cough.
To address this, a statewide immunization work group is developing strategies to increase vaccinations. The group is convened weekly by CHDI and includes: the Department of Public Health, American Academy of Pediatrics CT chapter, School Based Health Center Association, Yale School of Medicine, Early Childhood Network, United Ways, Child Development Infoline, Community Health Workers Association of Connecticut, and local health district staff. The work group obtained an emergency grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation to increase childhood immunization rates in Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven, communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Core activities and strategies include:
- Parent and community outreach: Messages to “Vaccinate Your Children – Do Not Wait” are being shared at mobile foodshare sites and through community and faith-based organizations. A flyer is available in multiple languages.
- Provider outreach: Training and promotion of CT WIZ, the state's immunization database for use by Connecticut pediatric primary care providers.
- System improvements: Reviewing system needs for better immunization data collection and to inform future flu and pandemic vaccine promotion.