New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control suggest American kids are at risk of serious life threatening illnesses. Not because they skip important vaccinations but because they're not getting those shots on time.
The government says kids need 26 shots by the age of 2, but 28 percent of them are not getting them when they should and 19 percent are missing a dose altogether.
"And the more children we have who are either missing doses or are improperly vaccinated, the more chance we have for disease outbreaks," said Elizabeth Luman, with the Centers for Disease Control.
"That is something we've been very successful at and I would hate to see us lose the ground that we have gained over the last several decades," said Dr. Martin Ernster, a pediatrician.
The government says 90 percent of the population needs to be immunized to prevent an epidemic. So far, that has worked in eradicating small pox, diphtheria and polio.