South Dakota’s numbers for vaccines is now well below the national rate for early-childhood immunizations. And now health officials in the state are concerned.
The goal for immunizations in the state is 80%. The number tanked to 70.4% in 2016.
“We forget the days; you know when we had significant problems with things like polio,” Dr. Tad Jacobs, Avera Medical Group Cheif Medical Officer, said. “Significant pneumonia, people have died from these diseases, and so we forget those. But, there’s been lots of studies done; clearly, vaccines are safe.”
The state is essentially blaming “fake news” on parents choosing to take a pass on vaccines.
“It’s really where you get your information,” Dr. Jacobs said. “And so many folks who really are opposed to [immunizations] get a lot of their information from Facebook or other blogs and other information.”
Also, parents who “delay vaccines” are being blamed for the state’s “crisis.”
“Parents sometimes have that concern,” Satter said. “So, then they want to delay the vaccines and kind of follow their own schedule. And so, those children would be considered not up-to-date. It’s not necessarily that they are not getting any vaccines, but they might be picking and choosing.” Sioux Falls School District health services coordinator Molly Satter said.