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The vast majority of the nation’s parents are having their children get recommended vaccinations, according to 2007 vaccine coverage estimates released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Childhood immunization rates remain at or near record levels, with at least 90 percent coverage for all but one of the individual vaccines in the recommended series for young children, said the CDC′s 2007 National Immunization Survey (NIS).
More than 77 percent of children were fully vaccinated with all vaccines in the series of recommended vaccines, and there were no differences in coverage among any racial or ethnic group for the complete series. Importantly, less than 1 percent of children had received no vaccines by age 19 months to 35 months.
“The ongoing success of our nation’s immunization program is largely dependent on the trust that parents put in the safety of vaccines and in those caregivers who administer them,” said CDC director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH. “I want to encourage parents to continue to be informed and to ask their pediatricians about the safety of vaccines or any other concerns they may have about their child’s health.”
The recommended vaccine series measured by NIS consists of four doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTaP); three doses of polio vaccine, one or more doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR); three doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib); three doses of hepatitis B vaccine; and one or more doses of varicella or chickenpox vaccine. This set of immunizations begins shortly after a child is born and continues through age 2.
The fourth dose of DTaP vaccine is the only vaccine of the recommended series that has not reached 90 percent coverage (84.5 percent).
The NIS coverage data includes children born between January 2004 and July 2006. There were no statistically significant decreases in nationwide individual vaccine coverage from 2006 to 2007.
In 2007, for the first time, there was 90 percent coverage for varicella vaccine and for the third dose of PCV. One dose of varicella vaccine increased in 2007 to 90 percent, compared to 89.2 percent in 2006.
There were also significant increases for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Coverage of three or more doses increased from 86.9 percent in 2006 to 90.0 percent in 2007 and coverage with four or more doses rose from 68.4 percent in 2006 to 75.3 percent in 2007.
Varicella vaccine and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine coverage among American Indian and Alaska Native children increased significantly. Varicella coverage increased from 85.4 percent in 2006 to 94.9 percent in 2007, and coverage with the fourth dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine increased from 62.7 percent to 80.4 percent.
“Because our nation has been so successful in reducing and eliminating vaccine preventable diseases, it is easy to take the benefits of immunizations for granted,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s NationalCenter for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). “However, recent cases and outbreaks of measles in our country have been a sobering reminder that we must not let our guard down.”
As in previous years, estimated vaccination coverage levels varied substantially among states. Estimated coverage with the complete vaccine series ranged from 91.3 percent in Maryland to 63.1 percent in Nevada. Coverage also ranged substantially among 14 local areas surveyed. The highest estimated coverage among the local areas for the complete series was 82.2 percent in Philadelphia, and the lowest was 69.6 percent in San Bernardino, Calif.
For each group of vaccinated children born during a given year, an estimated 14.3 million cases of vaccine-preventable diseases and 33,500 premature deaths are prevented over the course of a lifetime. In addition, vaccination results in a total savings of $43.3, billion, including $9.9 billion in direct medical costs.