The COVID-19 pandemic has decreased uptake of pediatric preventive care, including immunizations. We estimate the prevalence of missed pediatric routine medical visits and vaccinations over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional online survey of 2074 US parents of children ≤12 years in March 2021 to measure the proportion of children who missed pediatric care and vaccinations over the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Poisson regression models were fitted to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR). All analyses were weighted to represent the target population. Overall, 41.3% (95%CI 38.3–43.8) of parents reported their youngest child missed a routine medical visit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Missed care was more common among children ≥2 years compared to <2 years (aPR 1.82; 95%CI 1.47–2.26) and Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic Whites (aPR 1.31; 95%CI 1.14–1.51). A third of parents (33.1%; 95%CI 30.7–35.5) reported their child had missed a vaccination. Compared to the 2019-20 flu season, pediatric influenza vaccination decreased in 2020–21 (51.3% vs. 62.2%; p < 0.0001). A high proportion of US children ≤12 years missed routine pediatric care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Catch-up efforts are needed to ensure continuity of preventive care for all children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health