Alabama is the #1 state with the lowest childhood immunization rates against COVID-19

(STACKER) — In the last week of April 2022, just over 1,100 children in the United States have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For comparison, almost 1 million adults died in the same period. Lower death and hospitalization rates among those under the age of 18 may indicate that children are less likely to suffer from COVID-19.

Despite a generally milder illness, schools have been turned upside down during the pandemic and children have suffered socially, emotionally and academically from two years of closure and social distancing measures. To address more systemic disorders and protect communities on a larger scale, the Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 16 and older and has granted emergency use approval for children ages 5 to 16. Neither Moderna’s nor Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines are approved — even in an emergency — for those under the age of 17 in the case of Moderna and 18 in the case of Johnson & Johnson.

Citing data compiled by the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services, HeyTutor studied childhood immunization rates in every state in the US and Washington DC. Booster shots are not yet recommended for children under 12 years of age. States are ranked by childhood immunization rates 5-11 years as of April 29, 2022.

Read on to learn more about childhood immunization rates in your state, or view the national list here.

Alabama in numbers

  • Children fully vaccinated:
    • 5-11 years: 10.1% (42,674)
    • 12-17 years: 34.9% (129,878)
  • With at least one dose:
    • 5-11 years: 15.3% (64,522)
    • 12-17 years: 44.3% (164,918)
  • With booster dose:
    • 12-17 years: 12.0% (15,522)

There are 73 million children under the age of 18 in the United States, which is almost a quarter of the total population. Nationwide, approximately 30% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 and 60% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Still, there are concerns about the vaccine as parents question its effectiveness, as well as its short- and long-term side effects. And while many parents share the same concerns, the strength of those concerns varies by demographic, geographic, and political lineage, according to a recurring survey by the COVID States Project. The project consisted of a multi-university group of researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Rutgers and Northwestern Universities. Almost 23,000 people were interviewed for the survey from the end of December 2021 to the end of January 2022.

For example, parents with college degrees are more likely to have their children vaccinated than parents without college degrees. And using parental income as an indicator of the likelihood of getting vaccinated, 81% of top earners — people with annual incomes of $150,000 or more — said they were likely to vaccinate their children, compared to 46% of parents earning $25,000 or less.

Parents in the Northeast and Western United States are more likely to vaccinate their teens than parents in the Midwestern and Southern states. The likelihood of vaccination also varies significantly between urban and rural meltdowns, with parents of teenagers in rural areas reporting that they are almost 20 percentage points less likely to vaccinate their children.

Parents of children between the ages of 5 and 11 are more hesitant to vaccinate – and are increasing. Looking at the political affiliation of parents in this age group, 42% of Republican parents surveyed in January 2022 say they are likely to vaccinate their children, compared to 55%. of Independents and 76% of Democrats. In all three groups, the proportion of parents expressing the likelihood of their children being vaccinated has decreased since September 2021.

Politics is playing an increasingly larger and sometimes disproportionately large role in communicating about the COVID-19 vaccine for children. An Associated Press investigation found that anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense, led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., more than doubled its revenue to $6.8 million in the first year of the pandemic. AP reported on the group’s goals and disseminated misinformation to people who already tend not to trust the vaccine, including mothers and black Americans.

As of fall 2021, Asian and Hispanic parents are consistently more likely to vaccinate their children, while white and black parents report a lower likelihood.

As the end of this school year nears and the administration plans for the fall, COVID-19 vaccine mandates will be a constant conversation for students. Currently, four states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, and New York — as well as Washington DC, have some sort of mandate in place, which will be implemented this fall. Nineteen states have banned them.

Continue to see which states have the highest and lowest child immunization rates for COVID-19.

States with the highest child immunization rates for COVID-19

#1. Vermont: 58.8% of children ages 5 to 11 and 81.3% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated
#2. Rhode Island: 50.7% of children ages 5 to 11 and 81.6% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated
#3. Massachusetts: 49.5% of children ages 5 to 11 and 78.7% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated

States with the lowest childhood immunization rates for COVID-19

#1. Alabama: 10.1% of children ages 5 to 11 and 34.9% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated
#2. Louisiana: 11.9% of children ages 5 to 11 and 38.9% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated
#3. Mississippi: 12.2% of children ages 5 to 11 and 38.1% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated

This story originally appeared on HeyTutor and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

About Thelma Wilt

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