The number of children in the United States who have not had any vaccines to prevent diseases has quadrupled since 2001, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although vaccine uptake remained high overall, the proportion of children who received no vaccine doses by age 24 months increased gradually from 0.9% for children born in 2011 to 1.3% for children born in 2015.
Vaccine uptake was lower for most vaccines among; uninsured children, those insured by Medicaid, and for children living outside of metropolitan statistical areas.
This was especially evident for the diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccine (DTaP), the full series of Haemophilius influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib), and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), which all require a booster dose in the second year of life. Pneumococcal infection is one of the major causes of meningitis and septicaemia around the world and Hib was previously a major cause before the introduction of a vaccine.
Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that strike without warning. Vaccination is the only way to prevent them and therefore vaccine uptake needs to remain high to ensure that people are protected. Meningitis Research Foundation encourages everyone to take up the offer of the vaccines available to them through their national immunisation schedule.