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CDC: Adolescent Vaccine Rates Rising

But Study Shows Progress Still Needs to Be Made for Kids Aged 11 and 12
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Multidose vaccine bottle over rising graph

Sept. 6, 2011 -- More 11- and-12-year-olds are getting their recommended vaccines, but there's room for improvement, a CDC study shows.

The study compared immunization rates for 13- to 17-year-olds born from 1991 to 1996. It shows that nearly 55% of kids had made vaccination visits to doctors at age 11 to 12, but many still hadn't received all recommended immunizations.

Immunization rates were examined for three childhood vaccines: measles, hepatitis B, and varicella, better known as chickenpox. Rates were also analyzed for adolescent vaccines recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds, including tetanus-diphtheria, tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (whooping cough), meningoccal vaccine, and for girls, human papillomavirus (HPV).

The study is published in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Most Parents Follow Guidelines

In general, the study shows that by age 11 most adolescents have had their childhood immunizations.

During the period studied, tetanus-diphtheria or tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccination for kids aged 11 to12 increased from 33.8% to 68.2%.

Meningoccal-containing vaccination increased from 8.4% to 50%. HPV vaccination among girls increased from 11.1% to 30.5%.

But CDC researchers say "more can be done to increase the frequency with which adolescents receive all necessary vaccines during a visit."

For example, 62.4% of girls had not received the HPV vaccine, 60.9% hadn't received meningococcal-containing vaccines, and 19.5% had not been immunized against tetanus and diphtheria and pertussis.

Researchers point out, though, that meningococcal and HPV vaccine recommendations were not in place when many youths included in the survey were within the studied age range.

Still, the researchers say the study "shows encouraging progress with implementing the three vaccines specifically recommended for 11- and-12-year-old children."

The study is based on data from the 2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen telephone interviews involving 35,004 households and information from vaccination providers on 20,066 adolescents.

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