(KXNET) — More schools in North Dakota are seeing fewer and fewer kids vaccinated.

So, when did this trend start, and what does it mean for our children?

As more rural health centers shut down during the pandemic, more children ended up missing their monthly and yearly checkups.

According to stacker.com, North Dakota is the fourth state with the fewest rural hospital closures since 2005.

This may be good news for the state’s rural health, but there are still too few doctors and nurses in our rural communities.

And with vaccine mandates worldwide, families in the state took a step back and decided to think before they gave their children any more vaccines.

“Strengthened or maybe even polarized opinions about vaccines there are definitely parents that were more willing to get vaccinated like maybe saw the benefits with vaccination what happened with the pandemic bringing numbers down,” said Vaccine-Preventable Disease Epidemiologist, Danni Pinnick.

The North Dakota Department of Health is working with the CDC to bring those numbers up, but it may take time.