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'Another pandemic' may come unless Michigan's children get their routine vaccinations

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Doctors are encouraging Michigan parents to get their children’s routine vaccines up to date.

During the COVID-19 pandemic there’s been a significant decline in the percentage of children getting their measles, mumps and other vaccines.

“These diseases that vaccines protect against still circulate. And they do so without regard for the fact that a pandemic is ongoing," says Veronica McNally of the I Vaccinate campaign.
 
Bob Swanson is the Director of the Division of Immunization at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He says routine childhood vaccination rates are down to 70% or less in roughly half of Michigan's counties.

“My fear is that we’re going to have another pandemic take the place of what we’re experiencing now with COVID,” says Swanson.

Officials concede that childhood vaccination rates should start rebounding when school reopen in the fall. 

But Swanson says getting children’s vaccinations up to date now will avoid a crush of demand later this summer. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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