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Rates of required vaccinations in kindergarteners dropped last year

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 6:32pm
Updated: Friday, April 22, 2022 - 8:03am
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Vaccinations can shield students against certain preventable diseases.

But new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows rates of kindergartners receiving required shots have dropped since last year, likely due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The news isn’t all bad: Median vaccine coverage reached nearly 94%. That's one percentage point away from the target set by the federal Healthy People 2030 program.

But it’s also lower than last year, and rates of undervaccinated or exempt kindergartners rose, with coverage dropping as low as 78% in some states.

Exemptions, mainly non-medical, remained low at just over 2%, but an additional 4% of kids without exemptions lagged behind on their measles, mumps and rubella shots.

The decrease could arise partly from underreporting, under-vaccinated students enrolling during grace periods or parents having their kids delay or skip kindergarten.

Coronavirus Science