The national vaccination rate for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), polio, and chicken pox for kindergarteners fell to around 93% in the 2021-22 school year, down from 94% in the 2020-21 school year and 95% in the 2019-20 school year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson discusses this decline — and Arkansas’s even lower child vaccination rate — in a report by Axios NW Arkansas.
Thompson tells Axios that many factors have contributed to the declining child vaccination rate, including misinformation about vaccines and healthcare disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also urges parents to make sure their kids are up to date on their shots, noting that these are not new vaccines and that decades of data have shown they are extremely safe and effective.
For more information about vaccines, see our explainer, “Why Immunizations Matter.”