Thousands of US toddlers unvaccinated; health officials react

Oct 12, 2018, 4:11 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm
vaccine rates alarm health officials...
A young child receives the oral polio vaccine. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new report finds thousands of young U.S. toddlers get no vaccinations at all, but Utah health officials say there is no reason why families shouldn’t work on getting their young children vaccinated on time.

The survey from the Centers for Disease Control found a growing number of toddlers have received no immunizations at all. Utah Immunization Program Manager Rich Lakin one reason for that change could be parental choice.

“I think people get on social media and they are just getting the wrong information,” he says.

But in other cases, he believes parents may skip the vaccines because they don’t have the insurance. According to Lakin, those parents may not realize Utah has the Vaccines for Children program that offers the shots free.

While there are also people who believe diseases like polio and measles are not a danger anymore, Lakin hopes to educate them.

“Even though we don’t see the diseases, they do exist,” he says, pointing out that often, those diseases are a mere plane ride away from causing a problem here in the United States again.

“The reason you don’t see those diseases is because of immunization,” Lakin says. “And if immunizations go away, we will see these diseases return.”

The challenge, according to Lakin, is for people who cannot get the immunizations because of their own compromised systems, allergies, or other reasons. If someone else becomes sick and then passes the disease to someone who can’t be vaccinated, that person is at much higher risk of complication.

“They would be hospitalized or they could die from the disease,” Lakin says.

The CDC report found 1.3 percent of children born in 2015 have never gotten any of the recommended vaccinations. Additionally, health officials say the percentage of children ages two and under who haven’t gotten all of their vaccinations has quadrupled over the last 17 years.

Researchers did not ask parents why they had not gotten their kids the immunizations. but the CDC speculates some of it is because of ignorance or bad information. Families who lived outside of a city and families with no health insurance were less likely to be vaccinated.

Today’s Top Stories


best before labels...
DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Business Writer

Keep it or toss it? ‘Best Before’ labels cause confusion

Manufacturers have used the labels for decades, but some say "best before" labels have nothing to do with safety and that they encourage food waste.
2 days ago
red cross van...
Alejandro Lucero

Utah Red Cross urges residents to donate in wake of Hurricane Ian

All Utahns are urged to donate but especially those with type O blood. You can schedule an appointment online, through their app, or over the phone.
3 days ago
Intermountain drone delivery...
Chris Jacobs

Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline launch drone delivery service

A new drone delivery system by Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline is unveiled on Oct. 4. The program will service the Salt Lake Valley.
3 days ago
Mosquitos at a Utah lab are pictured....
Britt Johnson

Uptick in mosquitos in Utah caused by recent weather and temperatures

Mosquitos in Utah have seen a growth in population thanks to recent weather. While aggressive, they are not the disease-carrying breed.
4 days ago
Turkey and cattle farms near Moroni, Utah. Three additional cases of avian influenza have been conf...
Mark Jones

Three additional cases of avian influenza confirmed in Sanpete County

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Friday that three additional cases of avian influenza have been confirmed on turkey farms in Sanpete County.
7 days ago
A sign for the Food and Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters in July 2020 in Whi...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

ALS drug gets FDA approval despite uncertainty about effectiveness

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment for ALS on Thursday.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Thousands of US toddlers unvaccinated; health officials react