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Pharmacy News

Michelle Cathers
/ Categories: APhA News

CDC reports new drop in child vaccination rates

CDC said last week that disruptions in health care access during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to declining rates of routine immunizations among young children. In a new report, the agency said that uptake of state-mandated vaccines dropped somewhat in 2021–22 for kindergarteners.

People may still be trying to get back on schedule and vaccine hesitancy is likely playing a role as well—even as COVID-19 lockdowns have ceased.

The CDC study examined data from federally funded immunization programs that work with education departments and schools nationwide to estimate vaccination rates among kindergarteners. Overall, vaccination rates were 93% in the 2021–22 school year, down from 94% in the previous school year and 95% in the year before that.

The researchers noted that coverage for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine was 93.5%, below the approximately 95% rate needed for a community to avoid being prone to a measles outbreak. A recent measles outbreak in Ohio infected more than 80 children, all of whom were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated.

CDC found in a separate study that national vaccine coverage by age 2 years continued to be strong and rose for some vaccines; however, routine vaccination dropped by several percentage points for children living below the federal poverty line or in rural areas who were born in 2018 and 2019.

Also, according to the study, the percentage of uninsured children who were not vaccinated by age 2 years was 8 times higher than that of children who were covered by private insurance.

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