Child vaccine opt-outs at record level

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A vaccination trends report put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week estimated only about 4 percent of children have received the updated COVID-19 vaccines in the two months that they’ve been available. 


In comparison, about 10 percent of adults have gotten the shot so far. A little more than 1 in 5 seniors have gotten immunized.  


The adult numbers have increased slowly in recent weeks but are being outpaced by the flu vaccine. CDC found about 28 percent of adults and children have received a flu shot this year. 


“Vaccine intentions vary by vaccine and age group with more adults and parents reporting they definitely or probably will not get the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine compared to other vaccines,” the CDC noted. 


The numbers are not exact and are based on surveys, rather than vaccine records or administrations. Once the COVID-19 public health emergency ended in May, the CDC could no longer track national vaccination rates. 


Additional federal data released this week found that the percentage of parents opting their children out of school-required vaccinations has reached the highest level it’s ever been — 3 percent


While the exemption rate is relatively low on average, some states have significantly higher rates of exemptions, with Idaho reporting the highest percentage at 12 percent. These required MMR vaccines — mumps, measles and rubella — are crucial for reducing the risk of an outbreak.

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