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U.S. Kindergarten Child Vaccine Coverage Drops Again, Data Shows

NEW YORK (AP) — Vaccine coverage among U.S. kindergarteners fell again last year, prompting federal officials to launch a new campaign to bring up kindergarteners.

Typically, 94% to 95% of kindergarten children are vaccinated against measles, tetanus, and certain other diseases. Vaccine coverage fell below 94% in the 2020-2021 school year, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study The percentage dropped again in the 2021-2022 school year, to about 93%, according to a study released Thursday.

The pandemic has disrupted immunizations and other routine health care for children, and has also strained the ability of school administrators and nurses to track children who have not had the latest immunizations. CDC officials say growing loss of confidence in vaccines is another possible culprit.

Dr. Georgina Peacock, director of the CDC’s Immunization Division, said:

Health officials are focusing on kindergartens as this is the time when most children start school. Public schools usually require vaccinations as a condition of attendance, but some exemptions are allowed.

Such exemptions increased slightly last school year, but CDC’s Shannon Stokely said they weren’t the main reason for the decline. Rather, more schools are relaxing policies to allow admission while giving families a grace period to get vaccinated, she said.

New figures suggest that as many as 275,000 kindergarten children do not have full vaccine protection.

Falling vaccination coverage opens the door to disease outbreaks once thought to be in the rear-view mirror, experts say. They point to cases of paralytic polio reported in New York last year and recent surges in measles in Minnesota and Ohio.

These outbreaks are consistent with anecdotes and research that suggest that more parents are questioning the foundational pediatric vaccines that have long been hailed as public health success stories.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll last month found less parent support for the need for vaccines in schools compared to a 2019 survey.

“It’s crazy.

Other doctors told him that more parents are becoming selective about which vaccines they give their children.

This week, the CDC launched a campaign called “Let’s RISE.” This is an acronym for routine vaccination on schedule. It includes new educational materials to help doctors talk to families about immunizations and information for families with questions about immunizations.

Building trust in immunization “is something that has to be done at the local and community level,” Peacock said.

Thursday’s CDC investigation was based on public school kindergarten vaccination reports from 49 states and private school reports from 48 states. Montana does not report data.

Fees vary nationwide. CDC officials recorded significant increases in several states, including Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, and Wyoming. However, most states saw declines, with Mississippi, Georgia and Wisconsin seeing the biggest declines.

https://www.mystateline.com/news/vaccination-rate-for-us-kindergarteners-fell-again-data-shows/ U.S. Kindergarten Child Vaccine Coverage Drops Again, Data Shows

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