Recent reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the number of unvaccinated children below the age of five is on the rise, as child vaccination rates have steadily decreased over the last 15 years.
According to the report, the percentage of two-year-olds who have received no vaccines has risen from 0.3 percent of those surveyed in 2001 to 1.3 percent of those born in 2015. According to the CDC, nearly 50,000 kids who were born in 2015 have not received any of the vaccinations recommended to help fight against 14 diseases.
The CDC found that vaccination rates tend to be lower among children who use Medicaid instead of having private insurance. However, there does not seem to be a strong link between a region’s wealth and vaccination rate, as Missippi, one of the poorest states in the country, was found to have the highest vaccination rate for children.
“While we know parental choice clearly plays a role, we also see in this report that access does seem to be an issue,” Amanda Cohn, vaccines advisor of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases told AAP News.
Fortunately, the numbers steadily increase by the time most kids reach kindergarten, with almost 95 percent of five-year-olds having received their primary vaccines. This is primarily due to the fact that many public school systems require children to be vaccinated in order to attend.
Vaccination remains one of the most divisive topics in parenting, despite the fact that experts are in near universal agreement that there are no major risks involved with vaccinating children. Still, some parents remain convinced that vaccines are filled with dangerous substances that can give children diseases; even President Trump has suggested vaccines may be linked to autism.
But unvaccinated children aren’t just in danger of exposing themselves to a plethora of diseases, they also pose a health risk to children around them. Diseases like measles, which was thought to have been eliminated in 2000, can sometimes see a resurgence due to children not being vaccinated.