Health Department Reminds Parents To Maintain Routine Childhood Vaccinations For National Infant Immunization Week

April 28, 2022

In honor of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), the Health Department today reminded all New York City parents and caregivers to ensure their children are up to date on routine childhood vaccinations.

Vaccines like the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Polio, Pneumococcal (PCV), Varicella, Tdap, Quadrivalent Meningococcal (MenACWY) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in accordance with the ACIP routine immunization schedule.

Coverage rates among young children have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, however rates for children 13-17 years of age have been relatively stable.

Vaccination coverage for children 19-35 months of age decreased 8.6 percentage points from 71.6% at the end of 2019 to only 63.0% at the end of 2021.

The most impacted vaccines were MMR [10.1 percentage point decrease from 90.9% to 80.8%], DTaP [9.1 percentage point decrease from 77.6% to 68.5%], and Hib [8.9 percentage point decrease from 86.0% to 77.1%].

“Routine vaccinations, along with regular visits to a health care provider are critical to keeping our youngest New Yorkers safe and healthy,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “We know that routine vaccination coverage rates were impacted by the pandemic, which is why I encourage all parents and caretakers to check in with their child’s health care provider to ensure they are up to date on routine vaccinations and regularly scheduled wellness visits.”

“The benefit of routine childhood vaccinations is one of the largest public health success stories of the last century, saving millions of lives and preventing untold suffering,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Ensuring our city’s children are staying up to date on all routine vaccinations is essential to maintaining a healthy environment in which our children can grow and thrive. As a father, I know there are fewer things as important as making sure my children are protected against potentially life-threatening diseases. And that commitment to our children’s health and well-being shared by parents across New York City. I encourage all parents to get their kids updated on all routine immunizations, to ensure their bright and healthy futures.”

“We experienced the consequences of low vaccination coverage during the 2018-2019 measles outbreak and routine childhood vaccinations are crucial to keeping children safe and healthy,” said Dr. Jane R. Zucker, Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Immunization. “We urge all parents and caregivers to make sure they are keeping up on their child’s wellness visits and getting their recommended vaccinations on time for a happy and healthy childhood.”

Parents and caregivers should check with their child’s health care provider about what immunizations are due and to make an appointment.

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New Yorkers unable to make an appointment with their child’s provider or those who need to find a provider can get low- or no-cost immunizations at the Health Department’s Fort Greene Health Center immunization clinic, regardless of immigration status.

The clinic serves anyone 4 years or older; appointments can be scheduled here.

In addition to the Fort Greene Health Center, uninsured and underinsured children can also get immunization services at other locations for a sliding scale fee.

Appointments can also be made at NYC Health & Hospital facilities here, or by calling 1-844-NYC-4NYC. New Yorkers can also find a list of Community Health Centers here.

To find a health care provider or for other locations throughout NYC that provide vaccination services for children and adults, call 311.

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