Make Sure Your Child Is up to Date on Routine Vaccinations, Health Department Reminds Parents and Caregivers

There has been a 16% decrease in routine vaccinations in children as of August 14 compared to the same period in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage has dropped below 90% for first time in recent history

August 20, 2021 — The Health Department today urged parents and caregivers to make sure their children are up to date on routine vaccinations like MMR and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) as well as Hepatitis B, Hib, Polio, PCV, Varicella, Tdap, MenACWY and HPV. As of August 14, the number of routine vaccines administered to children 0-18 years of age in New York City has decreased by 16% compared to the same period in 2019. There have been 270,000 fewer pediatric vaccine doses administered (1.4 million doses so far in 2021 compared to 1.7 million doses in 2019 for the same period). The decrease in routine childhood vaccinations was greater in children 2 to 18 years of age (17% or 121,000 doses) compared to children under 24 months of age (15% or 149,000 doses). Fewer people sought non-emergency health care services during the emergency stay at home order, resulting in fewer routine pediatric visits during the pandemic, however, ensuring children are up to date on their routine vaccinations is essential.

“While we are all focused on the COVID-19 vaccines, it’s crucial that we take the time to remember the many other lifesaving vaccines we need to maintain to ensure a healthy city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “As a father, I know just how important it is to maintain your child’s annual well visit to make sure they are up to date on their routine vaccinations. Don’t wait, call your child’s doctor and make an appointment as soon as you can.”

Children should be vaccinated in accordance with the ACIP routine immunization schedule to ensure protection against preventable illness such as measles and pertussis (whooping cough). Further, with in-school learning returning in the Fall, parents should take steps now to make sure their children will be in compliance with all child care and school immunization requirements for attendance.

The City will continue reminding families and the school community through public service announcements and communications to parents. The Department has issued guidance to the pediatric-care provider community, held webinars and has been distributing vaccine for providers enrolled in the CDC’s Vaccine for Children (VFC) program.

Check with your child’s health care provider about what immunizations are due and to make an appointment. If you are unable to make an appointment with your child’s provider or need to find a provider, New Yorkers can get low- or no-cost immunizations at the Health Department's Fort Greene Health Center immunization clinic, regardless of immigration status. The clinic serves anyone 4 years or older; appointments can be scheduled here.

In addition to the Fort Greene Health Center, uninsured and underinsured children can also get immunization services at other locations for a sliding scale fee. Appointments can also be made at NYC Health & Hospital facilities here, or by calling 1-844-NYC-4NYC. New Yorkers can also find a list of Community Health Centers here.

To find a health care provider or for other locations throughout NYC that provide vaccination services for children and adults, call 311.



MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue / Michael Lanza,