Childhood Vaccination Rates Are Still Declining & The CDC Finds It Alarming

The vaccination rate among kindergarteners in the United States has dropped for the second year in a row, leaving school-age children susceptible to a number of serious but entirely preventable illnesses.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 93 percent of children who entered kindergarten during the 2021–2022 school year were fully vaccinated against preventable diseases like measles, rubella, polio, tetanus, and chickenpox. That’s a decline of one percentage point over the previous school year. It also marks the second consecutive year-over-year decrease in vaccination coverage among kids, according to NBC News.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 95 percent of U.S. children were fully vaccinated upon attending kindergarten.

Despite the proliferation of myths surrounding childhood vaccines, these shots are safe, effective, and formally recommended by the CDC for all school-age children. In almost all cases, they are required for children to attend U.S. public schools.

In a press conference, CDC officials described this downward trend in vaccine coverage as “alarming.” They also offered possible theories as to why we’re seeing these dips. It could be a side effect of parents missing routine pediatrician appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic — or intentionally using the pandemic as an excuse to swerve the vaccination conversation altogether.

Vaccine misinformation campaigns are likely at play, too. These scare tactics soared after the COVID-19 vaccine became widely available.

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