disease

Childhood vaccinations in the U.S. fall again, leaving kids at risk for preventable disease

HEALTH
Childhood vaccinations across the United States have declined for the second year in a row. Putting millions of children at risk of otherwise preventable illnesses.InaDecemberinterview,CDCdirector Dr. Rochelle Walensky said vaccine. Misinformation is the biggest threat to public health.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control. And Prevention reported that 93% of children entering kindergarten. In the 2021-22 school year were fully vaccinated.

That’s a 1 percentage-point drop from the previous school year. When 94% of children received all the shots needed to enroll in public school and protect. Against diseases like measles, polio, tetanus and chickenpox.

Before the pandemic, in the fall of 2019, 95% of kindergartners were fully vaccinated.

The CDC report comes weeks after a survey by KFF (formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation) found. That 28% of adults were against vaccinating children  entering kindergarten, up from 16% in 2019.

The downward trend in vaccine coverage is “alarming,” Dr. Sean O’Leary. A pediatrician and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. Said Thursday at a media briefing led by the CDC.

Missed doctors’ appointments during the Covid pandemic certainly played a role in missed routine shots. But fear fueled by vaccine misinformation is also a growing problem, O’Leary said.

“We are still trying to understand if misinformation surrounding the Covid vaccine. Has spread misinformation disease about other childhood vaccines,” he said.

Dr. Georgina Peacock, director of the CDC’s Division of Immunization Services. Said during the briefing that misinformation is something the agency is monitoring closely.

In a December interview, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said vaccine. Misinformation is the biggest threat to public health.

Declining vaccination rates for measles, mumps and rubella — given with the MMR vaccine — contributed. To the decline in coverage. The CDC said the drop meant disease nearly two-quarters of. Amillion kindergartners were unprotected against the world’s most contagious virus: measles.

“Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine coverage for kindergartners is the lowest it has been in a decade,” Peacock said.

A measles outbreak in Ohio that began in November is still spreading. Almost entirely among unvaccinated young children.

As of Thursday, Columbus Public Health has reported 83 cases, with 33 children hospitalized. Sixty-six percent of the patients were age 5 or younger, and at least 78 of the 83 children had never received the MMR vaccine.

“These outbreaks harm children and create significant barriers to their opportunities to learn. Grow and thrive,” O’Leary said.

Vaccination of children with Covid is also low. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, among children aged 6 months to 4 years, 11% have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.

About a third of children aged 5 to 11 have had two doses of the Covid vaccine.

A second CDC report released Thursday found a slight. Increase in routine immunizations among infants and young children. About 70% of children born in 2018 and 2019 are up to date on recommended vaccines, the CDC said.

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