Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visited a COVID-1
As Americans get vaccinated against coronavirus, a report released Wednesday showed that teens and adults may have missed millions of routine vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 2020.
The study, commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and conducted by Avalere Health, analyzed vaccine claims from January to November 2020 and compared them with the same time frame in 2019.
Researchers found that teens and adults may have missed more than 26 million doses of recommended vaccines by 2020, including 8.8 million missed juvenile vaccines and 17.2 million missed doses for adult vaccines.
“Millions of people have been immunized to protect against COVID, but many lack protection against other diseases,” he said. Dr. Leonard Friedland, Vice President and Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health at GSK Vaccines. “When life returns to normal, we must prioritize getting individuals caught by their missing vaccines.”
Vaccination requirements were up to 35% lower for teens in 2020 compared to 2019, and requirements for adults were up to 40% lower.
Despite public health warnings of a possible “twindemic”, a scenario in which hospitals could be overrun by both coronavirus and influenza infections, overall flu vaccination fell by 2020.
According to the study, flu vaccination requirements exceeded from August to September 2020 the same months in 2019. The waves rose in October, leaving the total damage from September to November 2020 up to 35% lower compared to 2019.
The study only analyzed vaccination claims across commercial, managed Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare fee-for-service Part B markets, so vaccinations at pharmacies and other types of insurance claims were not included. Neha Vyas said the dating results closely follow her experience at the Cleveland Clinic as a family physician.
“We made a push to say that this coronavirus was a respiratory virus, and then those who were afraid (the flu vaccine) ran out, got the vaccine early, but then it got kind of tough,” she said. “When the pandemic took effect and the second and third waves hit us, there were people who were not willing to venture out for routine preventative treatment.”
The GSK study is one of the first reports tracking unanswered adult vaccinations last year. A study conducted by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in November 2020 estimated that 9 million childhood vaccination doses may have been missed by the end of 2020 due to the pandemic.
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Said Vyas Young and adult vaccinations do not get as much visibility as childhood vaccinations, but they are just as important to keep up with.
“The reality is that vaccines do not stop with only the pediatric populations,” she said. “It is important to remember that vaccines are needed in young, young adults and older adult populations.”
The CDC recommends that adults be vaccinated against pneumonia, shingles, and hepatitis A, while teens should be vaccinated against certain types of meningitis and the human papillomavirus (HPV). Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) as well as an annual flu shot are recommended by the agency for teens and adults.
Other vaccines analyzed by the study included shots of haemophilus influenzae (Hib), hepatitis B, chickenpox and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
It is not too late to get these vaccinations, Vyas said. The CDC updated the guide on May 14, dropping an earlier recommendation that people wait at least 14 days between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine.
This means patients can ask their doctors to receive unanswered vaccines while receiving their COVID-19 shots, Vyas said.
“It’s time, it’s time for your preventative maintenance. Do not keep postponing it, ”she said. “We are here and we are ready to resume care.”
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
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