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Childhood Immunizations Plunge In L.A. County

A nurse wears a protective visor while administering vaccines at St. Johns Medical Center in Altrincham, England during the coronavirus lockdown on April 16, 2020. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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L.A. County health care providers gave out less than half the number of childhood vaccinations this April compared to 2019, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The number of vaccines doses provided in January and Febrary was about the same as last year, but dropped to 55% in March and 39% in April.

Dr. Ken Saul, a pediatrician in Thousand Oaks, said that if enough kids miss their immunizations, California could see an outbreak of a preventable disease like measles or pertussis.

“Pediatricians are all about being proactive and preventing disaster rather than dealing retroactively with disaster,” he said.

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At Dr. Saul’s practice, families now wait in their cars to keep the waiting room empty, everyone wears a mask and sick children are scheduled in the afternoons.

AltaMed’s pediatric clinic at Children’s Hospital L.A. is offering drive-up services where kids can receive their vaccine shots in outdoor tents instead of going inside.


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