SAN FRANCISCO — Vaccines are the main focus of the U.S. government this week, and some parents are pushing for school to get in on the action.
In a blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services said in October that nearly two million kids in the United States had been vaccinated.
The department said it was updating its own data to reflect the current trends and is also launching a program to help schools track how many students received their shots.
But the department’s data has some parents worried.
A survey released Thursday by the nonprofit National Center for Health Statistics shows that only 6 percent of kids in grades 3 through 12 in the nation’s third-largest city have received their shot, while only 6.3 percent in suburban Atlanta.
Some parents worry that the data could have some unintended consequences.
“I don’t want my child to miss out on an important opportunity because of data that’s not available,” said one mom, who requested anonymity.
An online survey also released Thursday showed that only 22 percent of kindergartners in New York City had received their flu shots, while 33 percent of middle schoolers and 40 percent of high schoolers in Chicago had.
Parents of some schools said they were concerned that the numbers could be inflated.
One parent, whose 3-year-old son is a freshman, said she would not be happy if her son was left out of the program, but that she did not want her son to miss the opportunity to have a flu shot.
That could be a real concern, she said.
I think if it were that simple, we would all be doing it, she added.
Another parent, who asked not to be named, said that her daughter is about to start her freshman year at a public school and has received her shots.
“She’s going to be one of the first ones that gets them, and I don’t know if it will be because she’s been vaccinated, or because she knows she’s getting them,” the mother said.
“But I don`t want her to miss an opportunity.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is not releasing any figures on how many children in the U,S., received shots, and it is unclear whether the data is updated every week.