Highest-Ever Childhood Vaccine Exemption Rate in History, Doctors Explain
The United States now faces its highest-ever childhood vaccine exemption rate in history, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published on Nov. 10.
Before the pandemic, the United States had maintained nearly 95 percent nationwide vaccination coverage for 10 years.
Yet between 2020 and 2021, vaccine coverage in kindergarten-aged children fell to 94 percent; between 2021 and 2022, it dropped to 93 percent.
Vaccine exemption rates have also increased to 3 percent.
“It is not clear whether this reflects a true increase in opposition to vaccination, or if parents are opting for nonmedical [vaccine] exemptions because of barriers to vaccination or out of convenience,” the report authors concluded.
“Whether because of an increase in hesitancy or barriers to vaccination, the COVID-19 pandemic affected childhood routine vaccination,” they continued.