Why you should get your kids vaccinated now
By David Bussco, Bloomberg December 21, 2015The number of US infants who are vaccinated with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has risen dramatically in the past year.
But the percentage of children who get it, as measured by vaccination rates, has not risen significantly since 2013.
A new study from the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases suggests the trend may be slowing.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
The CDC found that in 2013, there were 5.4 million US children who received PCV vaccines.
In 2015, that number rose to 5.9 million.
The increase was driven largely by the vaccine getting better as new strains of the virus emerged.
“We think the overall number of children getting PCV vaccine is probably not that much higher than it was in 2013,” said Dr. Matthew K. McBride, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“If it is that low, then it means that the rate of vaccine uptake has not been that high.”
The rate of vaccination, however, has increased over time.
The rate rose from 1.3% in 2000 to 2.2% in 2013.
“What we have seen is the number of kids getting PCVs is not growing,” McBride said.
“That’s not because we’re having a lot of infections, it’s because we are getting a lot more of them.”
The CDC reported that 1.7 million children received PCVs in 2015, up from 1 million in 2013 and 1.4 in 2014.
But that rate has not grown since then.
In 2014, the number rose again to 1.8 million, with the number rising more slowly in 2015.
The pace of growth is “not sustainable” because the CDC has been unable to provide data to measure vaccination rates over time, McBride added.
“When you’re doing this data collection, you can’t know how long the rate will be.
The best way to think about it is we have to wait until we have enough data to determine how long it will take to increase,” McBridesaid.
A CDC report from last year found that vaccine uptake is up slightly among children age 6 to 11 and 12 to 15, but has been declining among children aged 2 to 6.
“As the population ages, so does the number and proportion of children in need of vaccine,” McBursariesaid.
“The trend is going in the opposite direction.”
“The numbers are going up,” McBurresaid.
But McBride cautions that the CDC is not yet ready to declare victory, pointing to a lack of data on vaccine uptake.
“We have a lot to learn from the last couple of years,” he said.
But the CDC said that as more data comes in, it will be able to forecast vaccine uptake rates.
In the meantime, McBuriesaid that the overall rate of increase will likely remain stable, because the vaccine is getting better.
“It’s going to continue to be an increase, but it will probably stay relatively stable,” he added.