Policy Issue

Policy Watch: Routine Vaccination Rates of Kindergartners Fell Last Year Due to the Pandemic

May 10, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that kindergartners in the United States fell behind on routine childhood vaccinations during the pandemic. During the 2020-21 school year, about 94 percent of kindergartners had the required vaccines, a drop of roughly one percentage point from the previous school year. That one percent decline was significant in that it brought the percentage of those vaccinated below the CDC's target of 95 percent.

This drop raised concerns among public health officials that childhood illnesses, like measles, could become more prevalent. It also raises concern that anti-vaccination sentiment related to COVID vaccinations may now extend to other types of preventative vaccines.

According to the CDC, the percentage drop during this timeframe translates into 35,000 more children in the United States without documentation of complete vaccination against common diseases. Dr. Georgina Peacock, the acting director of the C.D.C.’s immunization services division said, “This is further evidence of how pandemic-related disruptions to education and health care could have lingering consequences for children.”

Massachusetts remains a highly vaccinated state with rates at or above the 95% mark.

Click here
to access the full CDC report.

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