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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Child vaccinations are plummeting amid the Wuhan virus pandemic.
On May 8, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a study using data from the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The VFC is a national program that provides federally purchased vaccines to approximately 50% of U.S. children aged 0–18 years. The CDC found:
There was a 2.5 million-dose decline in orders of regular childhood vaccines — not counting influenza vaccines — and a 250,000-dose decline in vaccines containing measles protection in that period, the authors reported.
Doctors and public health experts have worried that a vast number of regular health care needs — including preventive care interventions like vaccinations — have gone unmet in the past few months as people shy away from interacting with a health system that has, at least in some places, been overwhelmed by caring for COVID-19 patients. Pediatricians in particular have been concerned that children may be missing critical vaccinations, which the new data confirm has happened.
The study revealed childhood vaccination efforts nearly stopped entirely between March 13, when the national emergency officially began, and April 19, leaving pediatricians concerned.
Kathryn Edwards, a pediatrician and scientific director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville, said, "Routine immunizations in young children are critical to maintain during the pandemic. The usual childhood diseases are still around and we need to protect our children from them."
The CDC has its own argument encouraging childhood vaccines on its website:
Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children, and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases that can be very serious, may require hospitalization or even be deadly. And immunizations are not just for children. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Adults may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable disease due to age, job, lifestyle, travel or health conditions.
Paul Offit, a pediatrician and vaccines expert at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, when asked about doctors holding more pediatric appointments amid the crisis, said, "I think that didn't happen," and, "I think there were a number of practices that didn't do that because they were too scared. And so this is the result. You have this dramatic decline."
With a Wuhan virus vaccine expected by the end of the year, some mainstream media sites are justifying the idea of mandatory vaccinations. But this poses a problem for faithful Catholics who are against getting vaccines developed from aborted fetal cell lines.
On April 17, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement telling the U.S. Food and Drug Administration it cannot create a vaccine using aborted fetal cell lines, requesting that work on vaccines follow "the principle that human life is sacred and should never be exploited." The letter was also sent to President Donald Trump and lists Janssen Pharmaceuticals as one company using these "old cell lines."
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas also weighed in on the issue by pledging against receiving any Wuhan virus vaccine derived from these aborted fetal cell lines:
So sad ... even with COVID-19 we are still debating the use of aborted fetal tissue for medical research ... let me go on record ... if a vaccine for this virus is only attainable if we use body parts of aborted children then I will refuse the vaccine ... I will not kill children to live.
So sad ... even with COVID-19 we are still debating the use of aborted fetal tissue for medical research ... let me go on record ... if a vaccine for this virus is only attainable if we use body parts of aborted children then I will refuse the vaccine ... I will not kill children to live.— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) April 8, 2020
Strickland also wrote a letter on April 27 saying, "Scientists I've spoken with assure me that there is no medical necessity for using aborted children in order to develop the much-needed vaccine to protect us from this particular strain of coronavirus."
The questionable future for ethical vaccinations has faithful Catholics concerned. Despite this, many parents still wishing to vaccinate their kids to avoid Wuhan infection are trapped in a moral vortex, forcing them to be a contributing factor in the profound drop in child vaccinations.