NPR

The Other Reasons Kids Aren't Getting Vaccinations: Poverty And Health Care Access

Religious and ideological opposition to vaccines has fueled the current measles outbreak. But there's another factor driving low vaccination rates in some communities: poverty.
Band-aid at the ready, Sara McRae, a medical assistant at Unity Health Care, heads in to vaccinate a pediatric patient. Source: Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR

The toddler looking up at Dr. Melanie Seifman in her Washington, D.C., exam room seems a little dazed.

It could be because she just woke up from a nap at daycare. It could be that she remembers the shots she got last time, and she knows what's coming.

The little girl is catching up on some vaccines she's behind on: missing doses of the DTaP and polio vaccines. She's over two years old — both of those shots are supposed to happen at a baby's six-month check up.

"It happens a lot," Siefman says. The clinic, where Siefman practices, serves mostly low-income, mostly African-American patients. She

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