Do not skip routine vaccinations for kids, doctors warn

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Medical professionals say kids are missing routine vaccinations that are crucial for their health — like the flu shot.

It’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic and it still persists.

It’s happening despite programs that are in place to support families who can’t afford the vaccines.

Serese Marotta’s 5-year-old son, Joseph, came home from kindergarten in the fall of 2009 not feeling well.

“He was a healthy happy kid, and he got sick,” Marotta said.

They rushed him to urgent care,

He was then transported to the hospital – where doctors diagnosed him with the flu. 

“On the ninth day of hospital stay, unfortunately, his blood pressure plummeted. Went back into to ICU and suffered complications that ultimately ended up, taking his life,” Marotta said.

Zsakeba Henderson, senior VP for March Of Dimes, said, “Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean these other infections are going away.”

The March Of Dimes launched a national campaign to address disparities in routine childhood immunizations that vary based on race, ethnicity, poverty and insurance coverage.

According to data from the CDC, since November of 2020, 40% of kids have missed their routine vaccinations due to the pandemic.

And as of May 2021, overall orders for children’s vaccines to the uninsured and underinsured were down by 11.7 million doses as compared to 2019.

Medical professionals say missing routine vaccinations puts families at risk for preventable infections like measles, mumps, rubella and complications from the flu, that can lead to death.

Since her son’s passing, Marotta has spent 12 years working to raise awareness about vaccines with the national nonprofit “Vaccinate Your Family.”

“We encourage other parents to seek out credible information on vaccines,” Marotta said.

She wants to save other families from the loss that her family suffered.

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