The number of vaccinated infants plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to “vaccination hesitancy,” according to a new report from Mayor Eric Adams’ office.
Vaccinations among children aged 19 to 35 months dropped to 59.2% last summer and fall, compared to 64.5% during the same period in 2021, the city Health Department said in the quarterly management report published Tuesday.
“Routine pediatric vaccination has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic among other factors,” the Health Department said.
“The Department is confronting rising vaccination hesitancy through media campaigns, providing educational forums to providers and community-based organizations, and providing tools to talk about vaccine confidence with patients and parents.”
Routine vaccines for kids cover the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) and chickenpox, among other illnesses.
The Department of Health also noted, “the decrease in coverage may also be attributed to the declining number of births in New York City and the lagging census estimates of children living in the City.”
Asked for comment, the agency referred The Post to statements made last year by the health commissioner and Adams.
“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 … I encourage all parents to get their kids updated on all routine immunizations, to ensure their bright and healthy futures.”
The city suffered a measles outbreak — a year before the COVID-19 outbreak — because parents refused to vaccinate their kids.