The impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on routine vaccinations in Victoria
Brynley P Hull, Alexandra J Hendry, Aditi Dey, Kerin Bryant, Catherine Radkowski, Stephen Pellissier, Kristine Macartney and Frank H Beard
Medical Journal of Australia 215 (2): 83–84, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5694/mja2.51145
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic reduced routine vaccination activity in many countries. Strict physical distancing and movement restrictions (stage 3 lockdown measures) were implemented in Australia from 23 March 2020, with many health care providers moving to telehealth‐based models of care. Earlier analyses found the first pandemic wave did not affect childhood vaccination activity at the national or state/territory levels to July 2020. But vaccination activity has not been assessed during the more stringent stage 4 lockdowns during the second epidemic wave in Victoria (early August ‒ late October 2020). Further, the effects of the shift to remote learning on the vaccination of adolescents, usually delivered in schools, have not been assessed, nor the impact of the epidemic on vaccinations for older adults. We therefore compared vaccination activity in Victoria in 2019 and 2020 by analysing de‐identified Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) surveillance data (status: 28 February 2021).