About 25 percent of the nation’s toddlers aren’t protected against measles, mumps, polio and other childhood diseases despite a government push for vaccinations, federal figures show.
The number of fully vaccinated youngsters ages 19 to 35 months is at a record high - near 75 percent - but the figure has remained about the same for two years, said Dr. Walter Orenstein, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Immunization Program.
“Even with those high rates, substantial numbers of children aren’t immunized,” Orenstein said. “We can’t rest on our laurels.”
The CDC released the first results Thursday of a survey showing that more than 1 million children in that age group lack at least one basic vaccination.
Barriers to getting more children vaccinated include costs, doctors’ failure to check patients’ vaccination records when they visit and parents’ lack of awareness that it takes 11 shots to vaccinate a child fully.
The survey is aimed at improving a government program that began providing free shots to needy children last October.