Michigan sees lowest vaccination rates for children in a decade

The start of a new school year is on parents’ and guardians’ doorsteps, and health officials in Michigan are urging them to put childhood immunizations at the top of their back-to-school lists.

There’s a good reason for this, they said, because Michigan is seeing some of its lowest vaccination rates in a decade — and just one case of a communicable disease can start an outbreak.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state’s chief medical executive, said Thursday this year “is different” and children should be up to date on vaccinations. People can look at their school’s vaccination data online to understand their child’s risk.

A pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Health officials said the vaccination rate for toddlers — those 19-36 months old — is at 66.5% for recommended doses in the primary series, one of the lowest rates Michigan has seen since 2011, citing state health department data. They said the vaccination rate for children in this group is less than 70% in more than half of the state’s 83 counties, according to June data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry.



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