July 6, 2023 -- The CDC is cutting money for state childhood vaccination programs, according to KFF Health News, which cites an agency email it obtained.
The cut comes from a federal immunization grant, given in the last year, that supports childhood vaccines. Agencies are reporting the cut amounts to 10% or more of their previous year’s award.
It’s a “significant change to your budget,” said the email, which was dated June 27 and signed by two CDC officials, KFF reported.
The email was sent to “immunization managers” who are public health officials that direct state, territorial, and local programs to promote vaccinations for measles, chickenpox, and other infectious diseases.
“There will be no easy solution for this,” said the CDC email. “We know that this change will require some tough decisions.”
CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund told KFF, “The budgetary impact is still being worked out.”
The budget cut will affect programs that identify communities vulnerable to disease outbreaks, said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers.
The CDC reported that during the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer children were vaccinated than in previous years. In the 2021-2022 school year, for example, about 93% of the nation’s kindergarteners received each of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis), polio, and varicella vaccines. That was down from a 94% vaccination rate during the 2020-2021 school year and from 95% coverage during the 2019-2020 school year.
“Now is not the time to reduce federal support for routine childhood vaccine administration,” said Mark Del Monte, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in the KFF article. “We need to make sure every child remains fully up to date on their vaccinations as we approach back-to-school season, and that requires sustained investments in the vaccine delivery system.”