CDC Reports Early Childhood Immunization Rates Increasing

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Toddler receives polio vaccination: Image courtesy of CDC

1, September 2011: A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national  survey shows immunization rates for children 10-35 months of age are either increasing, or are being sustained at high levels.  “Rates for most of the long-standing recommended vaccines are at or above 90%,” CDC reported today.

Most parents are protecting their young children from dangerous diseases 

“Today’s report is reassuring because it means that most parents are protecting their young children from diseases that can cause widespread and sometimes severe harm,” says Anne Schuchat, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.  “We recommend vaccinations because they are one of the most effective, safest ways to keep children healthy.”

National Immunization survey (NIS) looked at more than 17,000 households in 2010

Compared to the previous year,  vaccine coverage for children born between January 2007 and July 2009 increased for measles, mumps and rubella, rotavirus,  pneumococcal disease, hepatitis A, and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib).  Immunization against poliovirus, chickenpox (varicella virus) and the full series of hepatitis B vaccinations remained stable at 90 percent.

However, Dr. Schuchat cautions that there are still outbreaks of measles and whooping cough which shows that vaccine-preventable diseases are still a risk.  “It is important that healthcare providers, community groups, and state programs support parents in assuring that children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Recent increases in immunizations among minority children

“In marked contrast to other health services, where substantial disparities between whites and minorities persist,” according to CDC, “immunization rates did not differ by racial or ethnic groups for most vaccines.”  Because of the recent increases in coverage among minority children, vaccination levels for most vaccines were similar to or higher than those among white children.

NIS shows less than one percent of toddlers unvaccinated 

Despite the focus on parent who do not vaccinate their children or seek exemptions from required immunizations, the CDC’s National Survey found that less than one percent of children born between January 2007 and July 2009 had received no immunizations at all. 

Complete results from the 2010 National Immunization Survey can be found at: www.cdc.gov.

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