Routine childhood vaccinations drop nearly 35% in Orange County in past year

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County saw a nearly 35% drop in routine vaccinations in children this past year.

Doctors said it’s a statistic that grows concerning as we move into the winter flu season.

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They said the pandemic played a huge role in the decrease, as many checkups lagged behind; but as the pandemic wanes, doctors are busy reminding parents why it’s a critical time to get caught up.

Pediatrician Candice Jones saw the trend firsthand and follows the vaccination numbers in Orange County.

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The county’s rate of routine shots for 2-year-olds dropped nearly 35%, its lowest mark in five years.

“It just stresses the importance of immunizations that they are safe and effective, and they do save lives, and that children do need to be vaccinated and be caught up when they’re behind,” Jones said.

READ: Coronavirus: Over 90% of federal workers received at least 1 vaccine dose by deadline

Jones reminds parents to stay current not just with well-child visits, but with all of their shots for preventable illnesses like whooping cough, pertussis and measles.

“We don’t need that on top of COVID and flu season and all the other respiratory viruses in the winter, so whatever we can prevent, we should,” she said.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.