Questions for ‘Millions of kids have missed routine vaccines thanks to COVID-19’

a baby is vaccinated against rota virus at a clinic in India

In June 2020, after a COVID-19 lockdown was lifted, a 4-month-old baby gets a routine vaccination against rota virus, here, at a clinic in the Indian state of Gujarat. Childhood vaccinations against measles, diphtheria, tuberculosis and pertussis also have dropped dramatically during the pandemic, new data show.

© UNICEF/UNI341113/Vinay Panjwani

To accompany “Millions of kids have missed routine vaccines thanks to COVID-19


Before Reading:

1.  How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected, if at all, how often you or your family members were able to see a doctor or a medical center for routine care?

During Reading:

1.  What are vaccines? How do they work?

2.  How many extra children missed out on their first measles vaccine in 2020, according to the story? What is measles and how serious is it?

3.  What is a DPT shot and how many kids missed a third shot during the pandemic?

4.  The story says there is some uncertainty in those numbers on how many kids missed a vaccination. What was the reason or reasons?  

5.  What is the WHO? Based on WHO data, in what country did the most kids miss a DPT shot during the pandemic?

6.  Overall, what part of the world showed the biggest decline in child vaccination rates? In that part of the world, what share of kids missed their DTP shots? How about their measles vaccinations? How do those numbers compare to kids in higher-income nations, such as the United States?

After Reading:

1.  Vaccinations help protect people from becoming infected with one or more particular diseases. Why might their getting a vaccination also provide some protection to unvaccinated people? (Hint: How do infections spread?)