Coronavirus situation reduces visits to maternity and child health clinics – exceptional circumstances affecting vaccination coverage

The coronavirus situation has reduced visits to maternity and child health clinics. When the coronavirus-related restrictions came into force, staff in many municipalities were transferred from preventive services for children and families to other tasks. The provision of maternity and child health clinic services was limited to pregnant women and infants.

At the beginning of April, maternity clinic visits had fallen by 27 per cent and child health clinic visits had fallen by 45 per cent from the corresponding period of the previous year.

As a result of the reduction in child health clinic visits, there is a significant decrease in vaccination coverage for 1.5-year-olds. Vaccine coverage of the first dose of the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) has decreased by 7.8 per cent nationwide compared to the previous year. In a few provinces, the decrease is as high as 10 per cent. 

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