Fewer young children are getting vaccination against many diseases than in years past, opening the door for preventable disease outbreaks, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The threat is especially acute in uninsured and Medicaid-insured children. The CDC report, Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19–35 Months—United States, 2018, notes that children under 2 years of age, in particular, are less likely to receive all the recommended vaccinations than in years past. Even the youngest children are being immunized in shrinking numbers; between 2001 and 2015, the percentage of babies and toddlers who were unvaccinated rose from 0.3% to 1.3%. The CDC notes that failing to provide children with recommended vaccinations makes the threat of reemergence for diseases that were on the wane very real. As regular readers of JUCM News know, outbreaks of mumps and chickenpox—both of which can often be prevented by immunizations—occurred among children in various parts of the country in recent months. Last year, 185 children died from influenza in the United States; the CDC says roughly 80% of them did not receive a flu shot. The print version of JUCM is in the midst of a two-part series on protecting patients from the flu in the urgent care setting. The first article is available on our website right now; the second will be the cover story in the December issue.
Ranks of Unvaccinated Children Are Growing, Putting Others at Risk