connecticut schools

DPH Survey Data Shows Decrease in Kids Getting Vaccinated

NBC 5 News

Recently released data from the Department of Public Health shows that fewer children are getting school-required vaccinations compared to previous years.

There are different vaccines required for children of different ages.

Some required vaccines include influenza, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis), chickenbox, hepatitis A and B, polio and MMP (measles, mumps and rubella), according to DPH.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not currently required for children in schools.

“By releasing this school immunization data, we want to remind parents and the public of the importance of all vaccines, which help make schools safer and reduce the risks associated with these preventable diseases,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.

The survey shows that the percentage of Connecticut kindergarten students not getting school-required vaccines is at 2.1%, which is up from the eight-year average of 1.2%.

In comparison to the 2019-20 school year, the percentage of kindergarteners getting school-required vaccinations went down about 0.7% for each vaccine.

Survey data was collected during fall 2020 when many schools were either fully or partially remote.

DPH said that they heard firsthand about the challenges of scheduling in-person medical appointments due to COVID-19. Physicians and school nurses said that some parents have been reluctant to make appointments for their children to get vaccines.

“High vaccination rates protect not only vaccinated children but also those who cannot or have not been vaccinated and this is what is known as herd immunity,” Juthani said. “Schools that achieve herd immunity reduce the risk of outbreaks. High vaccination rates at schools are especially important for medically fragile children who depend on herd immunity for their health and well-being.”

The percentage of kindergarteners with a religious exemption remained the same compared to the previous year at 2.3%. The national average for non-medical exemptions is about the same, at 2.2%, DPH officials said.

Public Act 21-6, which was signed in April of last year, revoked new religious exemptions in Connecticut.

All states in the U.S. require children attending public school to receive a series of vaccinations. This also applies to state-licensed childcare facilities, according to DPH.

To see data collected from the school immunization survey, click here.

Contact Us