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Childhood Vaccination Rates High

CDC: Less Than 1% of Kids Get No Vaccination by Age 19-35 Months
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 4, 2008 -- Childhood vaccination rates are at or near record highs, the CDC announced today.

Most parents are vaccinating their kids, with less than 1% of children not getting any vaccines by age 19-35 months, according to a new CDC report.

"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," CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, says in a news release. "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 CDC's latest childhood vaccination statistics, based on telephone interviews conducted last year with the parents of about 17,000 kids born during January 2004 to July 2006, focus on the following vaccines:

  • At least four doses of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTAP)
  • At least three doses of the polio vaccine
  • At least one dose of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine
  • At least three doses of the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine
  • At least three doses of the hepatitis B vaccine
  • At least one dose of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

More than three quarters of U.S. kids -- 77% -- met all of those vaccination goals in 2007. And at least 90% met the goal for each vaccine, except for the DTaP vaccine. Most kids had gotten at least three doses of the DTap vaccine, but only about 85% had gotten the fourth dose, too.

For the first time, 90% of kids had gotten the varicella vaccine. And the percentage of kids who got the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7 reached 75%, a "substantial increase" since the vaccine was first recommended in 2000, the CDC report states.

Vaccination with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is at a record high, but almost 8% of kids aged 19-35 months hadn't gotten vaccinated against measles. That coverage gap could help explain recent measles outbreaks, notes the CDC.

Overall, 66% of U.S. kids got all of the recommended doses of the DTaP, polio, measles, Hib, hepatitis B, varicella, and PCV7 vaccines, according to the CDC's figures, published in tomorrow's edition of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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