People in Charlottesville miss non-COVID-19 related vaccinations

Vaccine rates dropped during the pandemic
Vaccine rates dropped during the pandemic
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - We’ve heard a lot about the coronavirus vaccine, but there are others that prevent what can be deadly health issues.

The pandemic has gotten in the way of many people staying up to date.

“While we were all shut in and social distancing, we started to practice medicine, using telemedicine through our computers,” National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Medical Director Dr. Bill Schaffner said.

The virtual nature of 2020, including doctor visits, kept many away from their primary care physicians.

Vaccination rates for things other than COVID-19 have plummeted as much as 95% in the Charlottesville area.

“One of the things we can’t do through the computer is inject you with a vaccine,” Schaffner said. “Vaccinations of children and adults went down.”

The concern now is that if we continue on a downward trend, we’ll see an uptick in certain diseases.

“The most important I think is to keep our eye on measles, because if we are going to have an outbreak of disease it’s probably going to be that one first because it is the most contagious virus,” NFID President-elect Patsy Stinchfield said.

Health researchers say it’s important to get back on track, ideally before students return to school in the fall.

Infographics on vaccine importance and the NFID’s “Keep Up The Rates” campaign can be found here.

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