Vaccination coverage among children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the United States was 24%, lagging behind that of children aged 12–15 (33.3%) within the first two months of immunization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
The CDC report also noted ethnic and racial disparities in the vaccination rates within the first two months of immunization, including overrepresentation of Asian children and underrepresentation of Black, White, and Hispanic children. CDC said the imbalance appeares to be the result of several factors, including higher poverty rates within the Black and Hispanic communities (19.5% and 17.0%, respectively).
“Lower income parents face challenges taking leave from work to get their children vaccinated or to care for children who have vaccine side effects,” CDC said. “Other factors that could hinder lower income parents from seeking vaccinations for their children include transportation challenges, a lack of pediatric and family medicine practices that serve as medical homes for routine pediatric care, and higher COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among some parents.”
Vaccination coverage inconsistencies were also noted in different states, apparently as a result of differences in jurisdictions. States in the Northeast, including Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, marked higher immunization coverage in comparison to those in the South including Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, CDC said.
“CDC recommends that everyone >5 years of age receive COVID-19 vaccination to reduce illness and death. Pediatric and family medicine practices that serve as medical homes, along with pharmacies and other providers, should continue to promote and offer COVID-19 vaccines to children,” the report read.
Read the full report here.