The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expressed concerns over the growing number of children who have not been vaccinated.
In an alarming report, public health officials found that thousands of children in kindergarten have not been administered shots to protect them from diseases such as measles and mumps. The report is based on a survey conducted last year and involved children born in 2015 and 2016.
Number Of Unvaccinated Children Increases
The report published on Friday, Oct. 12, reveals that 1.3 percent of children born in 2015 have not received their recommended vaccines. According to estimates, that is around 100,000 children who have no protection against the 14 potentially deadly but preventable diseases.
The number of unvaccinated children is also up from 0.9 percent in an earlier survey involving children born in 2011. In comparison, a 2001 survey (that used a different methodology) revealed that only 0.3 percent of children have not received shots.
Overall, 70 percent of young children have been administered all recommended vaccines.
Public health officials strongly recommend that young children received age-appropriate vaccines upon entry to school where they are at risk of contracting and spreading diseases to others. The CDC report does not offer a reason that explains the increase of the number of children who have not received a vaccine.
However, an expert interviewed by CBS News has given a few factors. One, some kids do not get vaccines because of medical reasons. Some, on the other hand, have parents who do not believe that vaccines are necessary or that vaccines have adverse side effects.
Some families do not have health insurance to cover the shots needed (children without insurance can receive vaccines for free under government immunization programs). Majority of surveyed families are insured.
An earlier report identified 15 metropolitan cities where more than 5 percent of children around kindergarten age are unvaccinated. The list includes Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Houston, Detroit, Kansas City, and Pittsburg.
Vaccine-preventable diseases are not common in the United States because of the herd immunity, meaning majority of the people are vaccinated. As more people avoid getting their recommended shots, the risk of an outbreak in the community also increases.