Skip to content

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Federal Health Officials Extol High U.S. Vaccination Rate

By
WebMD Health News

July 6, 2000 (Washington) -- Good news on the vaccine front: The vaccination rate for U.S. children has reached its highest rate ever, according to statistics released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Thanks in large part to these high immunization rates, we have seen a breathtaking decline in suffering and death from most vaccine-preventable diseases," said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna Shalala, PhD, in a news release.

Overall, about 80% of preschoolers got their scheduled inoculations in 1999, a figure similar to the previous year. The state-to-state vaccination rate varied from Vermont's 90.5% at the top to Oregon's 72.3% at the bottom, according to the CDC.

Four particular vaccines showed a big jump, based on a study published in the July 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the CDC. The vaccination statistics show that 93.5% of preschoolers are getting immunized against Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), 95.9% of children are receiving three doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT) vaccine, and almost 90% are taking the hepatitis B shots. And for the first time, more than half of the children surveyed has gotten the relatively new chickenpox vaccine.

HHS says that the number of kids protected by vaccination has gone up from 55% in 1992 to its current 80% level. However, the news isn't all good. There are pockets of medically under-served people in cities like Houston, Chicago, and Detroit where the vaccination rate is just 60%. And an estimated 900,000 U.S. children weren't vaccinated last year.

Although Shalala told those attending the CDC's National Immunization Conference here that the government has made "extraordinary strides," she also said that the number of vaccinated children needs to be 100%. The CDC says 11,000 babies are born every day in the U.S., creating an ongoing challenge.

In an effort to reach full vaccination coverage, Shalala announced a $100 million "new, major investment" intended to encourage state Medicaid plans to develop vaccination registries that would help doctors keep track of what shots a child needs, even if the child moves from health plan to health plan.

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
 
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?
 

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
Article
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Slideshow
 
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Article
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids
Video
 

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
Video
gloved hand holding syringe
Article
 
infant receiving injection
Tool
pills
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections