The number of child vaccination doses in New York City has declined by 63 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.
Amid nationwide shutdowns to quell virus transmission, many non-essential doctor’s services have paused and families are spending more time at home.
“We’ve had to focus on the most urgent needs in health care throughout. It makes sense that [families] who wanted to get a child vaccinated might not have known where to turn, or might have been hesitant to go out,” de Blasio said during a press conference.
Data from the city health department comparing numbers between March 23 and May 9, 2020 to the same period in 2019 determined that the number of administered vaccine doses for children 2 years and younger has declined by 42 percent. The doses for children older than 2 years dropped 91 percent.
New York state has been one of the worst hit U.S. regions in the pandemic, with more than 352,000 confirmed cases of the virus and nearly 23,000 deaths, according to the COVID tracking project.
The state has moved to slowly reopen some areas, though New York City must first meet several health indicators before entering Phase 1 of reopening.