Breaking News
More () »

Child COVID-19 immunizations are low as new school year begins

New data reveals that 38% of kids ages 5 to 11 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Just 6% of kids ages 2 to 4 have gotten at least one dose.

CLEVELAND — As parents check off their list of back to school necessities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is checking its list of vaccinations. 

With students set to head back to class next week, the director of the CDC says vaccination rates for COVID-19 among the youngest are at a low.

New information released this week shows 3.4% of kids younger than 2 have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. Almost 6% for those between 2 and 4 years old, and close to 38% for kids ages 5 to 11. 

"Childhood vaccinations are really a critical component to being prepared and being able to prevent disease," explains Dr. Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD).

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky addressed the low numbers in a radio interview addressing parents, saying "They're bringing their kids to the pediatricians, and now is the time to ask your questions."

Closer to home, Jason Briscoe is a director of pharmacy operations for Discount Drug Mart. He says that two and a half years into the pandemic and more than a year of the vaccine rollout, it's now that they're seeing a low in vaccine and booster appointments.

"It is much, much lower than it's been. As it relates to the number of COVID vaccinations provided on a daily basis, probably the lowest it's been," Briscoe says. 

Dr. Morita, Briscoe and other medical professionals say if you are taking the steps to get ahead of health this school year, the suggestion is to make the visit a one-stop-shop for any vaccine, not just COVID-19.

"People are taking their children in for back to school physicals and for sports physicals, so take advantage of the opportunity and get your children vaccinated as well," advises Dr. Morita.

When speaking to the CDC Advisory Committee, 3News asked about the continued message to get vaccinated and some of the fatigue that comes with it. Doctors say the reminder is here: While we have to learn how to live with the virus, you can't necessarily forget how severe it can be, especially with flu season just around the corner. 

Related Stories:

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out