Michigan childhood vaccination rates low for back to school

LANSING — Childhood vaccination rates have dropped below 70% in more than half of Michigan’s counties and health and school officials are advising parents to catch their kids up on immunizations before school starts in the coming weeks.

Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and other health and school officials spoke on Monday about the need to catch students up on the regular immunizations, as well as the COVID-19 vaccination for those who are 12 and older.

Seven counties in Michigan have childhood immunization rates that have dropped below 60%, as well the city of Detroit during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry.

When an area has lower vaccination rates it creates an environment where diseases can spread, Khaldun said.

“All it takes is one infected individual. So as families, students, teachers and administrators, prepare for this upcoming school year, I urge every parent to make sure their child is up to date on all of their vaccinations,” Khaldun said.

East Lansing School Board President Terah Chambers said that on top of requiring face masks indoors, parents must make sure their kids get all of their vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine if eligible, in order to move forward with the goal of in-person instruction every day of the school year.

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