FRIDAY, Oct. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Overall vaccination coverage is high among the nation’s kindergarten students, according to research published in the Oct. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jenelle L. Mellerson, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed vaccination coverage and exemption estimates collected by state and local immunization programs for children in kindergarten in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The report also included kindergartners provisionally enrolled (attending school without complete vaccination or exemption while following a catch-up vaccination schedule) or in a grace period (permitted to attend school for a set period of time without evidence of vaccination or exemption) for 28 states.

The researchers found that median vaccination coverage was 95.1 percent for the state-required number of doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and acellular pertussis vaccine; 94.3 percent for two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; and 93.8 percent for two doses of varicella vaccine. A median of 2.2 percent of kindergartners had an exemption from at least one vaccine. The median percentage provisionally enrolled or attending school during a grace period was 1.8 percent.

“Vaccination coverage among kindergartners remained high; however, schools can improve coverage by following up with students who are provisionally enrolled, in a grace period, or lacking complete documentation of required vaccinations,” the authors write.

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