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CDC: Most Kindergartners Are Getting Their Vaccinations

Still, small percentage of parents refuse vaccinations for their children, experts note

THURSDAY, Oct. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most American children entering kindergarten are getting their required vaccinations, according to research published in the Oct. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

According to the report, coverage for the 2013 to 2014 school year ranged from 95 percent for the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine to 94.7 percent for two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, and 93.3 percent for two doses of varicella vaccine. However, there was still a persistent 1.8 percent of children whose parents didn't want their children vaccinated.

"These vaccination rates remain the same as they were the previous year," Shannon Stokley, M.P.H., associate director of science at the CDC's immunization services division, told HealthDay. Stokley said the rate of parents who opt out of vaccinations differ by state, from a low of 0.1 percent in Mississippi to 7.1 percent in Oregon, which continues to have the highest rate of vaccine refusal in the United States.

Parents choose not to have their children vaccinated for a variety of reasons, she said. These include not understanding the reasons vaccinations are important, fear that the vaccines aren't safe, and not believing that they're needed. "These diseases aren't common and people forget that they are actually very serious, and we need to maintain the protection so these diseases don't come back," Stokley stressed.

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