A Comparison of Certain Pediatric Vaccination Rates in Fort Worth, TX Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
0000-0002-3116-074X (Asfoor, Naser)
0000-0002-2361-0181 (Fairchild, Ashlyn)
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Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of how a disease can fundamentally affect daily living on a global scale. Vaccines are one of the most important preventive methods healthcare providers use to combat disease. This study compares certain pediatric vaccination rates from before and after the COVID-19 pandemic in an outpatient clinic. Methods: Data was obtained from the Electronic Health Record of patients at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) Pediatrics and Women's Health Clinic in Fort Worth for a three-year period from 2019-2021. ICD-10 codes for immunization were used for analysis of data. Frequencies of vaccination were assessed in patients seen on or after March 18, 2020 and patients seen on or before March 17, 2020 as these dates correspond with the transition of patient interaction from in-person to virtual clinic visits. Bivariate analysis using t-test was used to assess for change in immunization rates for Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, and Influenza vaccines. Results: Among 9520 patients, 51.3% were White, 22.2% were Black or African American. 35.7% were Hispanic or Latino. Mean age was 8.03±5.75, while 49% of subjects were female. The vaccine counts Pre-Pandemic (March 2019 to October 2019) and Post-Pandemic (March 2020 to October 2020) were compared. Results were statistically non-significant in Hepatitis A, t = -0.71, p = 0.504; Diphtheria, t = 2.3, p = 0.054; and Influenza, t = 0.87, p = 0.413. Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, and Influenza were not statistically significant when comparing pre-pandemic versus post-pandemic vaccination counts. This could also be due to a quick re-opening after initial lockdown measures and increased administration of vaccines to compensate for delayed immunizations from clinic closures. By increasing use and training of telehealth, clinics can adjust to future pandemic measures more efficiently and prevent a lull in pediatric immunizations.