Vaccine News & Notes — February 2023

Published on in Parents PACK

Annual survey finds that most children are receiving vaccines

Each year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) performs a large, random digit dialing survey to assess vaccine coverage across the U.S. Called the National Immunization Survey (NIS), households with children between 19 and 35 months of age are randomly contacted and asked to participate. Participation includes having the parent or guardian answer questions about the child’s vaccination status and agreeing to have the scientists contact the child’s healthcare provider to complete a questionnaire confirming the child’s immunization history.

The NIS is an important tool for monitoring the national situation related to immunization coverage and for determining where more effort may be needed to ensure that all children and communities are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Often, the results that get the most attention are the shortcomings — where the work is needed, and rightly so, because there is always room for improvement in any program. However, one of the findings that should also be highlighted is the low number of children that remain completely unvaccinated, especially at this juncture when there is so much discussion about vaccine hesitancy. This number is usually very low, and this year’s data, which surveyed children born in 2018 and 2019, were no different. Less than 1% of the almost 30,000 children — fewer than 300 — included in the survey had received no vaccines. In fact, this represented a numerically significant drop in the percent of completely unvaccinated children compared with the previous year (1.3% to 0.9%). And, while even a few hundred unvaccinated children are too many (especially since they often share the same social circles, increasing their risk of getting and spreading a disease), the data are important for understanding that the lion’s share of families choose vaccines. For parents who may be struggling to decide about vaccinations for their own babies, these data may offer some reassurance.

Have you tried “The Vaccine Quest?”

Voices for Vaccines is a group of families who believe in the power of vaccines, and as such, they work to ensure that people can get accurate answers to their vaccine-related questions. Recently, they released “The Vaccine Quest,” an online course that covers the immune system, how vaccines work and their types, how vaccines are approved and monitored, vaccine schedules, making vaccines decisions, the diseases prevented by vaccines and more. The content is covered in a series of five modules that each contain three to five quests.

Find out more or enroll in the free course today!

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.