The United States has now hit its highest-ever childhood vaccine exemption rate in history, according to the CDC.
The number of children whose caregivers are opting them out of routine childhood vaccines has reached an all-time high, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on November 10.
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Experts believe that the findings clearly reflect Americans growing unease about vaccinations in particular and medicine in general.
Prior to the so called Covid pandemic, the US had maintained nearly 95 percent nationwide vaccination coverage for 10 years.
The Epoch Times reports: Yet between 2020 and 2021, vaccine coverage in kindergarten-aged children fell to 94 percent; between 2021 and 2022, it dropped to 93 percent.
Vaccine exemption rates have also increased to 3 percent.
“It is not clear whether this reflects a true increase in opposition to vaccination, or if parents are opting for nonmedical [vaccine] exemptions because of barriers to vaccination or out of convenience,” the report authors concluded.
“Whether because of an increase in hesitancy or barriers to vaccination, the COVID-19 pandemic affected childhood routine vaccination,” they continued.
Post-COVID Skepticism Spilling Into Vaccine Skepticism
Dr. Cody Meissner, a professor of pediatrics at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, was concerned that people’s skepticism toward the current COVID-19 vaccines may have also affected their attitude toward conventional vaccines, leading to the decline in CDC-recommended and state-required vaccinations, as recently reported by the CDC.
He suggested that the CDC’s initial delayed recognition of myocarditis as a COVID vaccine side effect in adolescents and young adults, coupled with the agency’s encouragement to vaccinate, as one example of what may be contributing to people’s distrust.
“I think those [vaccination] recommendations were well-intentioned,” he said, but the slow acknowledgment of side effects may have left some people with a perception that the CDC was “not completely forthcoming.”
Pediatrician Dr. Mark Barrett said that the current trend is likely caused by people distrusting recommendations from the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and even their doctors.
“I feel parents are doing their own research,” he wrote to The Epoch Times via email.
Pediatrician Dr. Derek Husmann said that children having the lowest risk of severe COVID-19 gave parents and pediatricians a unique perspective, making them question the broad need for vaccines.
“The pediatricians’ perspective is pretty significantly different—in reference to the COVID pandemic—than a physician who takes care of adults,” Dr. Husmann said, “because the pediatric population was at essentially zero risk of death or serious complications from COVID infection.”
According to the CDC website dashboard, deaths from COVID-19 make up about 3 percent of all deaths, but the percentage is even smaller in children.
“There was a perceived conflict between the information that COVID was less serious in children, yet the vaccine was recommended for them. This was never satisfactorily explained or resolved,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy in the Infectious Disease Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, wrote to The Epoch Times.
California pediatrician Dr. Samara Cardenas said that the public slowly came to realize the COVID-19 vaccines were not safe nor effective as initially promised, and this may have also prompted parents to question the need for routine vaccinations.
“[In California], if you’re not vaccinated, they won’t even take a medical exemption. So I have quite a few patients asking about homeschooling rather than vaccinating their children,” she said.
“There has been this incredible increase in homeschooling since the COVID pandemic, and so that may have falsely inflated the vaccine rates in the [report],” added Dr. Husmann, who is based in rural Texas.
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