Childhood vaccination rates in Los Angeles County are on the decline since the pandemic, but a local program funded, in part, by Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is turning the tide for its members.
Inland Valley News reports:
An innovative program offered by First 5 LA has helped keep vaccination rates up for babies and children of new mothers in Los Angeles County.
According to the independent public agency, more than 90% of mothers in Los Angeles County who are enrolled in First 5 LA’s Welcome Baby Home Visiting Program have babies and young children who are up to date on their childhood immunizations.
The program is supported by a $420,000 community investment from Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. This is the first time the agency has collaborated with a major health plan to engage managed health care in proven home visitation prevention efforts for families, according to a Blue Shield Promise.
Childhood vaccinations were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, when the entire nation, including medical facilities, was shut down. This is supported by a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.
“As of September 2020, childhood vaccination rates and the proportion who were UTD (up -to-date) remained lower than 2019 levels. Interventions are needed to promote catch-up vaccination, particularly in populations at risk for under immunization,” said the study.
However, immunization rates for the children enrolled in First 5 LA’s home visitation programs remained steady. First 5 LA adapted to the pandemic environment by continuing to support its enrolled families by making virtual home visits with its health educators.
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