COLORADO, Colo. (KRDO)-- As kids head back into the classrooms, The Colorado Department of Health and Environment is urging parents to get their kids routine vaccines.
CDPHE says kids 11 and younger should protect themselves from 16 other infectious diseases like measles, whooping cough, and mumps.
"I think that really one of the things we want to make sure during the pandemic, in particular, is that we aren’t faced with an outbreak within a pandemic. For instance, if there was a measles outbreak or chickenpox in the school, all of those things may inhibit kids being back in in-school learning," said Sara Saporta-Keating with Children's Hospital Colorado.
From mid-March 2020 through mid-April 2020, data from the Colorado Immunization Information System showed a 37.8% decline in childhood and adolescent vaccines administered per week compared to the same time the previous year.
During the 2020-2021 school year, with the exception of hepatitis B, immunization rates for school-required vaccines fell among kindergartners. Coverage for polio and chickenpox fell below 90%.
"Last year there was a lot of hesitancy," said Randall Seeman with Peak Vista Medical Center
"In all age groups, but even in the early age groups when we have a number of vaccines that are given relatively frequently during that first year of life," said Saporta-Keating.
Health officials in Colorado Springs say they're starting to see those numbers come back up, but now is not the time to let up.
"More people are getting out, so we’ve seen an uptick in wellness checks in general," said Seeman.
At the Falcon Peak Health Center kids in District 49 can get their back to school and sports physicals. They are also administering the Pfizer vaccine there.
Children's Colorado has vaccine resources here.
Colorado has tools to help parents and guardians make informed choices about vaccinating their children.
- COVax4Kids.org helps people find out if their children are eligible for low- or no-cost vaccines and helps them find a provider who gives them.
- COVaxRecords.org directs people on how to request vaccination records for their children.
- COVID19.colorado.gov/well-child provides more information about the safety of well-child checkups during the pandemic.
- COVaxRates.org makes it easy for people to look up vaccination and exemption rates for schools and child care facilities in Colorado so they can make the best decision for their children.