NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announces new rules for restaurants, bars, cafes to serve only take-out & delivery, movie theaters, gyms to close because of COVID-19 epidemic at City Hall.
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Children’s vaccinations in New York City have seen a “striking” decline in recent weeks as families stay home and most doctors’ offices remain closed for routine visits because of Covid-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
De Blasio said the number of administered vaccine doses has declined 63% for all children in the city from a year ago. For children over age 2, the number of doses is down a “shocking” 91%, he added.
For children under 2 years old, the number of vaccine doses administered across the city declined by 42% from last year, de Blasio said. City doctors have administered fewer than 150,000 vaccine doses over the last six weeks, he said, far fewer than the almost 400,000 doses administered last year.
“This is striking,” de Blasio said at his daily press briefing. “The sheer magnitude of it has become clear to us in the last few days.”
The reasons for the decline have been obvious since doctors’ offices have been shuttered in many cases, families are staying home and health professionals have focused on the most urgent needs in health care, he said.
“Now is the time to get your child vaccinated,” de Blasio said. “This is essential work, getting your child vaccinated is essential work. Getting your child vaccinated is a reason to leave your home.”
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that said routine vaccinations for children across the country has fallen for the first half of the year, warning that there could be a measles outbreak if widespread vaccinations don’t resume.
“The observed declines in vaccination coverage might leave young children and communities vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles,” the CDC said. “If measles vaccination coverage of 90%–95% (the level needed to establish herd immunity) is not achieved, measles outbreaks can occur.”
The World Health Organization also warned last month that children across the globe could die as the coronavirus pandemic forces some countries to temporarily halt vaccinations for deadly diseases, such as polio.
At least 21 countries are reporting vaccine shortages as a result of travel restrictions meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference at the agency’s Geneva headquarters in April.
“The tragic reality is children will die as a result,” he said.
– CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.