Vaccine Exemptions Increased Among US Children in Kindergarten After COVID-19

A study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that national coverage of state-required vaccines among kindergarten children is below prepandemic levels, with an increase in vaccine exemptions in 41 states. Researchers evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vaccine administration for the 2022 to 2023 school year, finding low coverage rates for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and varicella vaccines. Additionally, there was an increase in vaccine exemptions, particularly nonmedical exemptions, with rates above 5% in 10 states. The study acknowledges limitations in varying state vaccine requirements and assessment methods. Researchers concluded that the pandemic affected childhood routine vaccination.

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