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Press Releases

05/11/2022

Connecticut Department Of Public Health Releases School Vaccination Data For The 2020-21 School Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2022

CONTACT:     Chris Boyle, Director of Communications

                        (860) 706-9654 – christopher.boyle@ct.gov

 

HARTFORD, Conn.—The Connecticut Department of Public Health has posted a review of school immunization survey data for the 2020-2021 school year. The data highlight uptake of school required vaccines for children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and seventh grade as reported by schools, as well as the percentage of students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 with religious or medical vaccination exemptions.

 

Vaccines required depend on the child’s grade; some of these include influenza, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis), chickenpox (varicella), hepatitis A and B, polio, and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). This does not include the COVID-19 vaccine which is not required.

 

“By releasing this school immunization data, we want to remind parents and the public of the importance of all vaccines, which help make schools safer and reduce the risks associated with these preventable diseases,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.

 

Noteworthy items from the 2020–2021 school immunization survey include:

  • The percentage of Connecticut kindergarten students out of compliance for the MMR vaccine was 2.1 percent, up from an eight-year average of 1.2 percent, and an increase of 0.8 percent from the previous year (2019–2020).
  • It’s also important to note that due to COVID-19, DPH officials heard firsthand from physicians and school nurses that there were challenges in scheduling in-person medical appointments as well as reluctance on some parents’ part with making in-person appointments for their child’s vaccines. The State Department of Education issued guidance to schools encouraging flexibility in obtaining vaccination records due to reported difficulties in scheduling appointments.
  • The percentage of kindergarten students with a religious exemption remained the same compared to the previous year at 2.3 percent.The national average during 2020–21 for non-medical exemptions is 2.2 percent. 
  • Compared to the previous year, the percentage of kindergarten students who received required vaccines decreased slightly for each vaccine by an average of 0.7 percent.

Public Act 21-6 signed in April 2021 repealed new religious exemptions in Connecticut. Data collected for the 2020-21 school year was for a period prior to the effective date of PA 21-6 and therefore cannot measure any impact of the new law.                                                                      

 

Data for the survey was collected during the fall 2020, when many schools were either fully or partially remote. Schools collect the Health Assessment Record which includes student immunization records to verify requirements are met. This information is used to complete the annual school immunization survey--only grade totals are reported, no student information is shared.

 

“High vaccination rates protect not only vaccinated children but also those who cannot or have not been vaccinated and this is what is known as herd immunity,” Commissioner Juthani said. “Schools that achieve herd immunity reduce the risk of outbreaks. High vaccination rates at schools are especially important for medically fragile children who depend on herd immunity for their health and well-being.”

In the United States, all states require children attending public school or state-licensed childcare facilities to receive a series of vaccinations. Vaccination requirements for school and childcare attendance are critical to ensuring high rates of vaccination. Linking vaccination with school attendance—which also is required—ensures that vaccines reach the greatest number of children. Schools are a prime venue for the transmission of vaccine preventable disease, and active school-age children can further spread disease to their families and others.

Click here to view the school immunization survey data released today:
https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/n5kk-6ext

For more information about vaccine-preventable diseases, please visit:
https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Immunizations/VACCINE-PREVENTABLE-DISEASES

Anyone with questions regarding the State of Connecticut immunization program can call 
860-509-7929 or send an email to dph.immunizations@ct.gov  

 

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