Oct. 13 (UPI) — A small but growing number of children under the age of 2 in the United States are not being immunized, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said Friday.
A report on a 2017 immunization survey indicates 1.3 percent of children born in 2015 did not receive the recommended vaccinations. The figure is markedly higher than it was in 2011, when just 0.9 percent of those between 19 and 35 months received no vaccinations. The figure was 0.3 percent in 2001.
The availability of health insurance and the children’s locations played a role in vaccination compliance, the CDC said.
The report said uninsured and Medicaid-insured children and those living in rural areas were less likely to be vaccinated than those with private insurance living in or near a city. About 7 percent of uninsured children did not receive vaccinations, compared to 0.8 percent of children with private insurance.
The growing immunization gap comes despite a federally funded program, Vaccines for Children, which offers vaccines at no cost to families of children otherwise unable to pay for them.
Although the figures of non-immunization are still low, they are steadily growing. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends routine vaccination by age 24 months against 14 potentially serious illnesses, including polio, measles, mumps, rubella, Hepatitis B and varicella.