MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Oct 23;69(42):1505-1511. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6942a1.
Immunization has been described as a “global health and development success story,” and worldwide is estimated to prevent 2-3 million deaths annually.* In the United States, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) currently recommends vaccination against 14 potentially serious illnesses by the time a child reaches age 24 months (1). CDC monitors coverage with ACIP-recommended vaccines through the National Immunization Survey-Child (NIS-Child); data from the survey were used to estimate vaccination coverage at the national, regional, state, territorial, and selected local area levels† among children born in 2016 and 2017. National coverage by age 24 months was ≥90% for ≥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine, ≥3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB), and ≥1 dose of varicella vaccine (VAR); national coverage was ≥90% for ≥1 dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR), although MMR coverage was <90% in 14 states. Coverage with ≥2 doses of influenza vaccine was higher for children born during 2016-2017 (58.1%) than for those born during 2014-2015 (53.8%) but was the lowest among all vaccines studied. Only 1.2% of children had received no vaccinations by age 24 months. Vaccination coverage among children enrolled in Medicaid or with no health insurance was lower than that among children who were privately insured. The prevalence of being completely unvaccinated was highest among uninsured children (4.1%), lower among those enrolled in Medicaid (1.3%), and lowest among those with private insurance (0.8%). The largest disparities on the basis of health insurance status occurred for ≥2 doses of influenza vaccine and for completion of the rotavirus vaccination series. Considering the disruptions to health care provider operations caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, extra effort will be required to achieve and maintain high levels of coverage with routine childhood vaccinations. Providers, health care entities, and public health authorities can communicate with families about how children can be vaccinated safely during the pandemic, remind parents of vaccinations that are due for their children, and provide all recommended vaccinations to children during clinic visits. This will be especially important for 2020-21 seasonal influenza vaccination to mitigate the effect of two potentially serious respiratory viruses circulating in the community simultaneously.