Local doctors see decrease in vaccination among children

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico remains one of the top states for COVID vaccinations, according to the CDC. But now local doctors are seeing a troubling trend — hesitancy for other vaccines, ones that have been around for decades.

70% of the state is now fully vaccinated, but now doctors said they are seeing a troubling trend when it comes to parents not wanting to get their children vaccinated for diseases like, measles and mumps, illnesses that have been pretty much eradicated from the U.S. because of vaccines.

Local doctors say this is happening for the same reason that people not get vaccinated for COVID, it comes down to misinformation. People have seen it all over the internet and social media, now it’s spreading to other vaccines that have been around for decades and have been proven to save millions of lives since their creations decades ago.n

"We have been seeing a general decrease in vaccine uptake across the nation actually, it’s not unique to here,” said Dr. Alex Cvijanovich, president of New Mexico Pediatric Society.

Parents are refusing to get their children vaccinated for deadly and crippling diseases nearly non-existent in the U.S. because of vaccines.

"We know if people don’t vaccinate, the diseases come back even if we think we eradicated them," said Cvijanovich.

Part of the reason why, is the same issue people are seeing with the COVID-19 vaccine.

"These days, I feel like you can find a lot of misinformation on the internet about the vaccine causing problems,” Cvijanovich said.

Many vaccines are required by the State of New Mexico Department of Health for children before they can attend kindergarten. Some of those vaccinations include, polio, MMR, and hepatitis b.

"Vaccines are tried and true. They’ve been proving there haven’t been a lot of changes to the vaccine except that they have gotten better. The HPV vaccine only used to cover three strains of the virus now it covers nine strains,” Cvijanovich said.

While she understands concerns people have with long term effects of the COVID vaccine, UNM Professor Melissa Martinez with Internal Medicine, said it’s completely different for the others that have been around for a long time.

"Mumps measles and rubella vaccine was developed in the 1950s, and it’s been used in millions of people across the world and we know it is very safe and effective,” said Martinez.

Martinez and Cvijanovich both said if this trend continues, those deadly diseases that killed millions of people before their vaccine could lead to a detrimental problem.

"The last thing we need is to be able to improve COVID cases and then get a measles outbreak, so it’s really important to get those vaccines as well as the COVID vaccine.”