US sees decline in measles vax rates among kindergarteners

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Washington, Jan 13 (IANS) Nearly 250,000 US children who entered kindergarten in fall 2021 are potentially not protected against measles, one of the most infectious pathogens on the planet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During the 2021-2022 school year, vaccination coverage among kindergarten students decreased again to approximately 93 percent for all state-required vaccines, Xinhua news agency quoted the CDC as saying.

Besides measles vaccination, the rate also continued decline in immunization for three other childhood vaccines that prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP), polio and chickenpox among kindergartners in 2021.

Despite widespread return to in-person learning, Covid-19-related disruptions continued to affect vaccination coverage and assessment for the 2021-2022 school year, preventing a return to pre-pandemic coverage, according to the CDC.

Increasing follow-up with undervaccinated students to reduce the impact of disruptions on vaccination coverage can help protect students from vaccine-preventable diseases, said the CDC.

–IANS

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