Childhood Vaccinations at All-Time High, But Problems Persist, CDC Reports
Childhood vaccination levels are at an "all-time high," but low rates in certain states and cities and a low appreciation for vaccines among some adults persist, according to a CDC survey released yesterday, Cox/Contra Costa Times reports. According to the CDC's National Immunization Survey, the immunization rate among children 19 to 35 months old was at a record high of 75% in 2002 (Rapoport, Cox/Contra Costa Times, 8/1). According to the survey, Massachusetts had the highest immunization rate, vaccinating 86% of children on time. The five other New England states and Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin all had an on-time immunization rate greater than 80% (Neergaard, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 8/1). However, vaccination rates were lower in northwestern and southwestern states and in certain urban areas across the country (Cox/Contra Costa Times, 8/1). Colorado had the lowest statewide immunization rate, with 62.7% of children there receiving all their vaccinations on time. Nine other states also had immunization rates below 70%: Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington. Newark, N.J., had the lowest vaccination rate among cities, at 57.5% (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 7/31).
The survey found that 15% of adults do not think vaccinations are necessary to prevent certain diseases and that 46% of adults with children 19 years or younger do not think it is important to get children vaccinated against infectious diseases. People who did not believe in the necessity of vaccines were largely unmarried, between 25 and 45 years old, without a college degree and living in households that make under $50,000 a year, Cox/Times reports. Dr. Walter Orenstein, director of the CDC's National Immunization Program, said, "We cannot take our prevention successes for granted. Many challenges remain" (Cox/Contra Costa Times, 8/1). The CDC aims by 2010 to have 80% of children vaccinated against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, meningitis-causing Haemophilus influenza, hepatitis B, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 7/31). The survey is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.