MMWR News Synopsis

Friday, October 15, 2021


Vaccination Coverage by Age 24 Months Among Children Born in 2017 and 2018 — National Immunization Survey-Child, United States, 2018–2020

CDC News Media

New CDC data show that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most parents in the U.S. continued to protect their children by following CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccine schedule. However, there are disparities in vaccination coverage based on health insurance status, race/ethnicity, poverty level, and jurisdiction. Despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remain vigilant to ensure that children get the vaccines they need and catch up on any missed doses to protect them against serious and sometimes deadly diseases. While routine vaccination among children remains high, parents and providers should use any clinician visit as an opportunity for the child to get recommended vaccinations that are due or might have been missed because of COVID-related disruptions. According to the latest National Immunization Survey-Child (NIS-Child), during 2018-2020, over 90% of children were fully vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), polio, hepatitis B, and varicella by age 24 months. While CDC’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program helps provide vaccines to children whose families may not be able to afford them, the study found that barriers to health care access associated with health insurance status and poverty level may keep some parents from getting their children vaccinated.

Binge Drinking Among Adults, by Select Characteristics and State — United States, 2018

CDC News Media

Binge drinking is a preventable risk factor for many diseases and injuries; however, 1 in 6 US adults binge drink. Many do so frequently and consume a large number of drinks each time. A new study found that in 2018, 1 in 6 U.S. adults binge drank, increasing their risk for many preventable diseases and injuries. Binge drinking (five or more drinks on an occasion for men or four or more drinks for women) was most common among adults who were male, higher income ($75,000+), non-Hispanic White, or living in the Midwest. For some groups, binge drinking was not as common, but they still reported high frequency, intensity, or both. The frequency of binge drinking and the number of drinks consumed affects the risk of adverse outcomes. Among adults who binge drank, 25% did so at least weekly, on average, and 25% consumed at least eight drinks during a binge occasion. Regulating alcohol sales and increasing alcohol taxes are effective community prevention strategies to reduce binge drinking

Differences in State Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Deaths, by Principal Mechanism of Injury, Intent, and Percentage of Population Living in Rural Areas — United States, 2016–2018

CDC News Media

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related deaths are more common in the South and Midwest regions of the United States. Understanding where the highest rates of TBI-related deaths occur can help inform prevention efforts. States with a higher percentage of people living in rural areas had higher rates of TBI-related deaths during 2016-2018. Suicide and unintentional falls contributed the highest number of TBI-related deaths in most states. These findings highlight the need for evidence-based prevention strategies that address the leading causes of TBI-related deaths, specifically those targeting suicide, unintentional falls, and motor vehicle crashes.

Notes from the Field

Healthcare providers should consider the possibility of Bacillus cereus group bacteria when diagnosing and treating welders and metalworkers with severe, rapidly progressive pneumonia or other anthrax-like disease, especially if they are working in U.S. Gulf Coast states. Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) group bacteria are naturally found in soil and dust. B. cereus can cause food poisoning, but on rare occasions has been reported to cause anthrax-like disease. In 2020, CDC confirmed two cases (one fatal) of anthrax pneumonia in welders caused by a rare B. cereus group bacteria containing anthrax toxin genes typically associated with the bacteria that causes anthrax (B. anthracis). Since 1994, a total of seven cases of human pneumonia infections with B. cereus group bacteria containing anthrax toxin genes have been reported. Of these seven cases, five died and the survivors were severely ill with long hospitalizations and recoveries. All reported cases have been in welders or metalworkers in U.S. Gulf Coast states. Little is known about why welders and metalworkers have been the only occupations reporting this highly fatal pneumonia and if Bacillus species that carry anthrax toxins, besides B. anthracis, extend beyond U.S. Gulf Coast states. To decrease the chances of lung infections or injuries among welders and metalworkers, employers of metalworkers or welders can educate them regarding hazards linked to welding and ways to minimize breathing in potentially harmful fumes. Healthcare providers should consider the possibility of B. cereus group bacteria when differentiating the potential causes of severe, rapidly progressive pneumonia or other anthrax-like disease in welders and metalworkers.



CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: October 14, 2021