WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are concerned about the declining rate of child immunizations during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Rates are starting to go down in a way that is very, very troubling,” Kaine said.
“We’ve got a whole lot of parents that were afraid to go to the hospital or afraid to go to their doctors. And so you’ve got a whole cohort of kids who didn’t get vaccinated,” Warner said.
Kaine and Warner, along with 15 other senators, are asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a plan to reverse the trend.
“What is the plan to make sure that we continue the laudable focus that this nation has had on vaccinations to keep families safe?” Kaine said.
Both Kaine and Warner say the lack of immunizations against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases could lead to new problems in the future.
“It also creates a health care crisis if you’ve got kids who aren’t getting immunized,” Warner said.
They also want the CDC to ensure children are a priority when the coronavirus vaccine becomes available.
“When the vaccine for coronavirus is developed, children shouldn’t be at the end of the line,” Kaine said.
The CDC hasn’t responded to the senators yet or to our request for comment. But Kaine and Warner hope the organization focuses on more community efforts and public education campaigns to make sure children get the protection they need.