During the corona pandemic, fewer children and adolescents were vaccinated against diseases other than Covid than before. Last year there were eleven percent fewer vaccinations for children and young people than in 2019 and thus before the outbreak of the pandemic. This emerges from the child and youth report of the health insurance company DAK, which was available to the German Press Agency. According to projections by the insurer, around 680,000 fewer children were vaccinated last year than in 2019.
"We have been observing a decline in vaccination rates for children and adolescents for some time. This negative trend has intensified during the corona pandemic," said Andreas Storm, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit. In view of the number of vaccinations, there is an acute need for action. "Otherwise, the health of many young people will suddenly be threatened again by diseases that were thought to be almost eradicated."
According to the evaluation, the decline is particularly strong in the quadruple vaccination against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio. According to the information, 31 percent fewer children and adolescents received a first vaccination against these diseases in 2021 than in 2019. In the case of the so-called total vaccinations, i.e. all planned vaccinations and booster vaccinations against the four diseases, the decrease was 23 percent.
Vaccination numbers against the papilloma virus (HPV) also fell during the pandemic. The virus can cause cervical cancer, among other things. In 2021, the total number of HPV vaccinations fell by 13 percent compared to 2019. In the case of the first vaccinations, the decline was a good quarter.
The evaluation is based on data from the period from 2019 to 2021 on DAK insured persons aged up to 17 years. According to the DAK, Covid vaccinations played no role in the analysis because only incomplete data was available.