This story appeared in WSJM. Read more here.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging parents to get their kids up to date on all of the routine vaccinations they’ll need for the start of school. Spokesperson Lynn Sutfin tells WSJM News kids have fallen behind.

“During the pandemic, perhaps some of those routine checkups or child visits may have gone by the wayside as individuals were trying to be cautious, but we want folks to get back to their healthcare provider,” Sutfin said. “Make sure they are up to date.”

The state urges parents to check that vaccination schedule and talk to their doctors. Sutfin says there are a variety of vaccines children should have.

“They include things like measles, chicken pox, hepatitis. Any of those things that can prevent a potentially health-threatening or even life-threatening disease for some of these children.”

According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, as of June 2021 only 54.7% of Michigan children 19 through 35 months of age were fully vaccinated with recommended shots. Sutfin says that’s much lower than usual. She recommends checking IVaccinate.org to learn all about the recommended vaccines.