Colorado Health Department says vaccination rates have dropped among school-aged children

DENVER (KKTV) — Colorado health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are up to date on all their vaccines after the state saw a drop in vaccination rates among school students last year.

In a press release on Monday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said fewer children were vaccinated in the 2021-2022 school year compared to the 2020-2021 school year. former.

Excerpt from the press release:

“CDPHE collected anonymized vaccination and exemption data from 1,338 kindergartens representing 68,253 students statewide, as well as 1,940 K-12 schools representing 862,257 students. 86.7% of K-12 students and 91.8% of K-12 students complied with school vaccination rules, a decrease of 5.2% and 2.2% compliance compared to 2020-2021 rates, respectively. The CDPHE calculates vaccine-specific full immunization rates for each school and daycare/preschool by adding the total number of children who were fully immunized for a particular vaccine, then dividing by the total number of children who were eligible for this vaccine.

A health department map breaking down rates by district can be viewed at the top of this page. To click on your specific neighborhood, see the map here.

Health officials say a simple series of vaccines can prevent a number of diseases from entering the classroom. It’s not just COVID; vaccines are available to protect children against 16 infectious diseases, including measles, whooping cough, mumps, poliomyelitis and varicella (chickenpox), the CDPHE said.

“Staying up to date on routine vaccinations against preventable diseases is critical to Colorado’s public health,” said CDPHE Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric France. “The CDPHE is there to help families keep track of their vaccinations and ensure they are up to date. Vaccines for children and adolescents save lives, and all Coloradians have access to them, whether or not they have health insurance.

The health department says many children may be eligible for free or low-cost vaccines. Information about free providers can be found here.