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Vaccination numbers dropping for kindergarten-age children

Virus Outbreak Mississippi
Posted at 7:00 PM, Apr 25, 2022

A recent study by the CDC indicated that vaccination coverage among kindergartners nationwide was one percent lower than the previous school year.

The study was taken during the 2020-21 school year.

“It's not a surprise that vaccination rates declined over the last couple of years,” said Dr. Rene Bravo, a primary care pediatrician. “People were scared about returning to the office. They certainly were concerned about the coronavirus. We're starting to see a rebound for sure, at least on the Central Coast.”

While vaccination numbers have dropped for children, there is hope the numbers will rise again.

“People weren't coming into the office to get their well checkups. Usually, you do vaccination with that,” said Bravo.

San Luis Coastal Unified School District Lead Credentialed School Nurse Grace Van Doren said the pandemic made it seem like parents were reticent to take their kids into their doctors’ offices to get their necessary shots.

“We want to protect kids from getting these vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Van Doren. “We want to protect kids who can't have them. “

Santa Barbara County Public Health Immunization Coordinator Kathleen Clerkin said the rise in vaccination rates is expected to improve.

“Vaccination science is important, especially for our kids, because we're trying to prevent diseases which in the past have been very mortal and dangerous for them,” said Bravo.

Van Doren said five vaccines children need are polio, DTap, Hep B, MMR, and varicella.

“It's safe to return now,” said Bravo. “It's safe to return to the medical offices. It's safe to get your vaccinations. It's safe to get on with life now.”

According to the CDC, the targeted vaccination rate is 95 percent.