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COVID pandemic leads to drop in preventive care

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Americans vastly scaled back their preventive health care, and there is little sign that this deferred care will be made up (Source: “Missed Vaccines, Skipped Colonoscopies: Preventive Care Plummets,” New York Times, Sept. 11).

Vaccinations dropped by nearly 60% in April, and almost no one was getting a colonoscopy, according to new data from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.

The data, drawn from millions of health insurance claims, shows a consistent pattern, whether it was prostate screenings or contraceptives: Preventive care declined drastically this spring and, as of late June, had not yet recovered to normal levels. Many types of such care were still down by a third at the start of this summer, the most recent data available shows, as Americans remained wary of visiting hospitals and medical offices.