News Release

Routine vaccination rates must recover to reduce secondary health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

Editor’s note: The authors of this paper are employed by or are contract employed by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, Inc, Kenilworth, New Jersey.


Authors of this special report note that, although ending the COVID-19 pandemic is of utmost importance, it is critical to recover from what they describe as a “severe” disruption to routine vaccination services, which has resulted in “considerable deficits'' of vaccination rates across all age groups. Vaccinations that have seen drops include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP) and polio, as well as HPV vaccination rates for children 9-12. This drop in routine vaccinations may have dire consequences to future population health and a potential to strain an already overtaxed health system. The authors conclude, “Recovering from the decline in routine vaccination rates caused by the pandemic will take years. This recovery requires all stakeholders to drive awareness of the importance of routinely recommended vaccines; facilitate access to vaccination; and build vaccine confidence.”  


Silent Consequences of COVID-19: Why It’s Critical to Recover Routine Vaccination Rates Through Equitable Vaccine Policies and Practices

Ava Skolnik, MPH et al

Merck, North Wales, Pennsylvania

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