The Covid Vaccination Rates For American Kids Is Startlingly Low

About 500 counties have a vaccination rate of less than 5% for kids in this age group.

Originally Published: 
While numbers climb in other age groups, less than 28% of kids 5 to 11 have received two COVID-19 sh...
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Kids ages 5 to 11 have been cleared to get vaccinated for COVID-19 since before Halloween. Yet a shocking number of American parents are opting not to give their kids the shot — worrying medical professionals and failing to prepare the country for the next wave of the virus.

According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and analyzed by CNN, less than 10 percent of kids in the 5 to 11 age group have been vaccinated for COVID in half of the counties in the United States. Five hundred counties around the country have vaccination rates of just 5 percent for young kids.

When the vaccine was first approved for this age group, rates were fantastic, but that soon slowed to a trickle. The overall vaccination rate for seniors is above 90%, while all adults have a rate of 66%. Teens and tweens even have a vaccination rate above 50%.

The overall full COVID vaccination rate for kids ages 5 to 11 is less than 28%.

"This has been a constant concern for all of us," Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, tells CNN. "It's very disturbing to see that families just haven't embraced [vaccination]."

As you can see from the map, the counties are concentrated regionally, with vaccination rates in the South and Midwest lagging far behind the Northeast and West Coast. The reason, sadly, seems to be tied to politics, even though public health shouldn’t be partisan.

"For some reason, with this illness, they've made their decisions," laments Dr. Rendi Murphree, who practices in Mobile County, Alabama, where rates are very low.

Misinformation has long been an issue. Parents wrongly believe that kids aren’t in danger of the disease, although a heartbreaking 118,000 children have been hospitalized, and nearly 1,400 have died. Studies show that the vaccine not only prevents infection, but reduces the harm of the infection when it does occur. And while kids might not be in as much danger as grandpa, unvaccinated kids can increase the spread throughout communities. Of course, there’s also evidence that people in these counties have more trouble scheduling appointments, finding clinics, and traveling to vaccination sites.

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