Vaccinations skipped during COVID-19 shutdown may lead to outbreaks of other diseases

Source: Medical Xpress | Published on MSD Connect: October 2020 | HK‐NON0‐00190 Oct/2020

The World Health Organization estimates that 117 million people worldwide may have missed a vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Shutterstock

Although COVID-19 is a new illness caused by a new virus, the fallout from the COVID-19 shutdown may put the world at risk for outbreaks of old illnesses: ones that were practically eradicated through vaccination.

The World Health Organization estimates that 117 million people worldwide will miss out on vaccinations for preventable diseases due to COVID-19. Closer to home, the Canadian Paediatric Society is worried that Canadians will fall behind on their vaccination schedules. Vaccines are one of the most important public health tools at our disposal. Ignoring vaccinations can have dire consequences.

Lessons from 1918

I am a historian of medicine. I study the history of infectious diseases and vaccination. In recent months, I have focused my research on the understudied effects of the 1918 flu pandemic on public health in Canada.

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