Georgia has one of the lowest percentages of children vaccinated for COVID-19, study shows

As the 2022-23 school year begins, Georgia kids are among the country's lowest vaccinated. Centers for Disease Control data shows Georgia ranks at the bottom of the U.S. states in terms of the percentage of children vaccinated for COVID-19.

The American Academy of Pediatrics report released on July 27 comes about nine months since the Food and Drug Administration endorsed the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 years old. In June, the FDA approved the shots in infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

The report shows that 1.7% of children ages 6 months to 4 years old received one dose, tied for the sixth-lowest statewide figure in the U.S. The CDC numbers showed that 23% of Georgians ages 5 to 11 received at least one dose, the ninth-lowest percentage among states. Georgia ranks 16th in the age 12 to 17 group, with 54% of those children having received at least one dose. 

Nationwide, 4.7% of 6-month-olds to 4-year-olds, 37% of 5 to 11-year-olds and 69% of 12 to 17-year-olds received one dose. 

There are 72.8 million children under age 18 in the US, 22% of the population. 

In Fulton County, COVID-19 transmission is considered high, based on a community transmission map. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens issued a rule requiring mandatory masks during public meetings that are held inside city facilities shortly before the city announced it had returned to the "Red Zone" of COVID-19 transmission. 

The World Health Organization and UNICEF said their figures show 25 million children last year failed to get vaccinated against diptheria, tetanus and pertussis, a marker for childhood immunization coverage, continuing a downward trend that began in 2019.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.