When parents, schools, health departments, communities, and healthcare professionals work together to maintain high vaccination coverage among school-age children, they provide critical protection against serious diseases that can quickly spread through schools if children are unvaccinated. Each year, CDC gathers data about vaccination coverage and vaccine exemption rates among children in kindergarten. These data show that most kindergarten students across the United States are up-to-date on their required vaccinations.
State and local vaccine requirements for school entry are established to keep vaccine coverage high and to help protect schoolchildren from vaccine-preventable diseases. This year, most states reported their vaccination coverage was at or near the Healthy People 2020 target of 95%. The median exemption rate was 1.8%. Even though we know that vaccine coverage is high, there are clusters of children in communities that have low vaccine rates and high exemption levels. This puts those children at risk for catching and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases.