STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Rates of unvaccinated and exempted children on the rise, says CDC

The percentage of young kids in the US who received no vaccine doses has continued to rise, as have vaccine ...

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 4:27 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 4:27 PM

The percentage of young kids in the US who received no vaccine doses has continued to rise, as have vaccine exemption rates, according to two reports published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While coverage for a number of vaccines "remained high and stable overall," the segment of unvaccinated kids under age 2 rose from 0.9% for those born in 2011 to 1.3% for those born in 2015, according to one report. In 2001, only 0.3% of kids between 19 and 35 months had received no vaccine doses.

Children

Children's health

Communicable disease control

Demographic groups

Diseases and disorders

Families and children

Family members and relatives

Health and health care (by demographic group)

Health and medical

Infectious diseases

Maternal and child health

Pediatric vaccinations

Population and demographics

Public health

Society

Vaccination and immunization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Government organizations - US

US Department of Health and Human Services

US federal departments and agencies

"Although the number of children who have received no vaccinations by age 24 months has been gradually increasing, most children are still routinely vaccinated," wrote authors from the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Continued evaluation of prevalence and reasons for nonvaccination is needed, as are improvements in access to and delivery of age-appropriate vaccinations to all children."

Still, coverage in this age group surpassed 90% for a number of vaccines, including poliovirus, Hepatitis B, varicella, and measles, mumps and rubella.

Those who were least likely to be fully vaccinated: uninsured children and those on Medicaid, compared to privately insured kids, despite being eligible for a federally funded program that administers free vaccines. Kids outside of metropolitan areas were also less likely to be covered when compared to those in major cities.

"These disparities were larger for vaccines that require a booster dose in the second year of life," the report said, citing the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine as an example.

While the report does not identify the reasons behind the trend, the authors say that it could have something to do with lack of knowledge about how to access free vaccines; transportation; how close clinics are and when they operate; child care; and a shortage of pediatricians and other health care providers in rural areas.

Vaccination rates varied across states, with rotavirus (a common cause of stomach flu in children) coverage highest in Rhode Island (85.1%) and lowest in California (64.7%). Coverage for measles, mumps and rubella was highest in Massachusettes (98.3%) but lowest in Missouri (85.8%).

The second report focused partly on vaccine exemption rates among kindergarteners. This past school year was the third consecutive one that saw a "slight increase" in the overall proportion of kids with an exemption, the report says.

"The median percentage of kindergartners with an exemption from at least one vaccine was 2.2%," the report said, and nonmedical vaccine exemption rates ranged from 0.1% in California to 7.5% in Oregon.

Reasons for the exemptions weren't included but may involve "parental vaccine hesitancy" and how easy it is to get an exemption in any given state.

Of the states included in the kindergartener analysis (41 or 49 states depending on the vaccine, plus Washington DC), the nation's capital reported the lowest median rates of vaccine coverage for varicella; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; and measles, mumps and rubella. Mississippi had the highest rates.

"During the 2017-18 school year, median kindergarten vaccination coverage was close to 95% for MMR, DTaP, and varicella vaccine," the authors wrote.

Previous research showed that certain "hot spot" metropolitan regions also show a high proportion of nonmedical exemptions and so may be especially susceptible to outbreaks, including Seattle, Portland and Phoenix. High numbers of unimmunized children living in large cities with busy international airports may contribute to the risk of a swift spread of disease, according to researchers.

Other research has shown that states with philosophical exemptions had both higher rates of refusal and higher rates of disease.

"Clusters of refusal overlap clusters of outbreaks," Saad B. Omer, a professor of global health and epidemiology and pediatrics at Emory University, previously told CNN.

However, "if it's difficult to obtain an exemption, then you have lower rates of refusal and lower rates of disease," he said.

West Lafayette
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Fowler
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Williamsport
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Monticello
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events