Potential impact of COVID-19 pandemic on vaccination coverage in children: A case study of measles-containing vaccine administration in the United States (US)


Background The COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders have caused an unprecedented decrease in the administration of routinely recommended vaccines. However, the impact of this decrease on overall vaccination coverage in a specific birth cohort is not known. Methods We projected measles vaccination coverage for the cohort of children becoming one year old in 2020 in the United States, for different durations of stay-at-home orders, along with varying catch-up vaccination efforts. Results A 15% sustained catch-up rate outside stay-at-home orders (compared to what would be expected via natality information) may be necessary to achieve projected vaccination coverage similar to previous years. Permanent decreases in vaccine administration could lead to projected vaccination coverage levels below 80%. Conclusion Modeling measles vaccination coverage under a range of scenarios provides useful information about the potential magnitude and impact of under-immunization. Sustained catch-up efforts are needed to assure that measles vaccination coverage remains high.