NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee has declared August has Immunization Awareness Month in Tennessee, ImmunizeTN announced Wednesday.
Due to COVID-19, the CDC says many children are not seeing their healthcare providers for annual checkups and routine immunizations. Immunization rates have fallen across the United States, including in Tennessee
Comparing immunization rates in April 2019 and April 2020, there was a 43 percent decrease for Tennessee children. This amounts to tens of thousands being vulnerable to preventable diseases.
“During this unprecedented time when everyone is focused on staying healthy, it is important to remember that immunizations are critical, not just for infants and children, but for everyone,” Dr. Dorothy Sinard, a pediatrician and co-chair of ImmunizeTN, said. “Healthcare providers across Tennessee are making it a priority to provide a safe environment to patients and their families. Now more than ever it is crucial to stay up to date on recommended vaccines, which includes a flu shot with fall and winter just around the corner.”
ImmunizeTN says that because of immunizations, babies, children, adolescents and adults - including pregnant women - are protected from 27 diseases.
Sinard recommends people talk to their doctor to ensure they are up to date on recommended vaccines.
To see Governor Lee's proclamation, head here.