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Michigan’s childhood vaccination rate remains below pre-pandemic levels. Local health officials say they’re beginning to see the effects of compromised herd immunity.

Childhood infections may increase the risk of developing certain mental illnesses in childhood and adolescence.
Childhood infections may increase the risk of developing certain mental illnesses in childhood and adolescence.

Health officials say Michigan’s childhood vaccination rate has fallen during the pandemic, even for illnesses that parents have long protected against… like measles and polio.

Falling vaccination rates cause children who are more vulnerable to vaccine preventable disease to have less immunity. Doctor Joshua Meyerson is the medical director for three health departments in northwest Michigan. He said children who are too young to be immunized against particular diseases rely on herd immunity.

Community immunization levels below even 90% leaves high risk individuals vulnerable to severe illness from vaccine preventable diseases

Dr. Meyerson says his departments are seeing success raising vaccine rates through school based health centers. The centers encourage keeping up to date with vaccinations by increasing access and education for both parents and students. Dr. Meyerson encouraged a refocus on educating their communities and encouraging people to see their providers to combat the declining rate.

You can check your county's immunization report card at https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_4911_4914_68361-321114--,00.html