The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) supports the timely and complete immunization of all infants, children, adolescents, and adults to maximize the health and well-being of all people. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, routine immunizations have declined in the United States and worldwide. Countries have suspended national immunization programs as a result of current COVID-19 pandemic. Disruption of immunization services increases the risk for vaccine-preventable diseases to reach epidemic levels. It is imperative that children and adults are immunized as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the World Health Organization to protect people in the United States and around the world from vaccine-preventable diseases. As seen in 2019 with the measles outbreak, if a community is not at the targeted 90-95% immunity, it opens the door for vaccine-preventable disease to spread. During the COVID-19 pandemic, different strategies are required to maintain access to immunizations in order to protect people from vaccine related illnesses and disease.
NAPNAP recommends community clinics, private offices, hospital and school-based clinics remain open during the pandemic to allow patient access to immunizations. Using innovative solutions, offices can adapt to provide safe opportunities for the well population to receive in-person care and immunizations. Strategies may include: