Reuters Health Information: U.S. infant vaccination rates high, timeliness a concern -CDC
U.S. infant vaccination rates high, timeliness a concern -CDC
Last Updated: 2014-08-28
By David Beasley
ATLANTA (Reuters) - U.S. infant vaccination rates for
diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella increased or
remained stable at high levels in 2013, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention said Thursday.
Immunization rates exceeded 90% for some vaccines, and fewer
than 1% of infants received no vaccinations at all, the CDC
said. Concerns remain, however, that children are not always
getting their shots on time.
One in 12 children was late receiving a first dose of the
vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), leaving them
particularly vulnerable to measles, the CDC said.
As of Aug. 8, there had been 593 measles cases in the United
States this year, the highest since 2000. Most cases have been
in patients who were either not vaccinated or did not know
whether they had received the vaccine, the CDC said.
Immunization rates for children varied widely by state. For
the first dose of MMR vaccine, the rates ranged from 86% in
Colorado, Ohio and West Virginia to 96.3% in New Hampshire, the
CDC study showed.
"We're at a good level in terms of our national estimates,"
said Melinda Wharton, director of the CDC's immunization
services division. "But there are states where coverage has
lagged and that's concerning."
Immunization rates for some diseases were 8 to 12 percentage
points lower for children living below the poverty level,
according to the CDC report, which recommended stronger efforts
to increase vaccinations in poorer areas.
Nationally, the vaccination rates for rotavirus, which can
cause severe diarrhea, increased from 69% in 2012 to 73% in
2013, the CDC said. The rate of children receiving the first
dose of a vaccine against Hepatitis B rose from 72% to 74%
during that time, the agency said.
In the August 28 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the
CDC said health providers still face a challenge of ensuring
children receive booster doses in their second year of life for
several vaccines, including those that prevent diphtheria,
tetanus, and pertussis, as well as pneumococcal disease.
"We're not doing as well as we'd like getting some of the
booster doses given in the second year of life," Wharton said.
"For some of the new vaccines, coverage is still not as high as
it could be."