Kindergarten vaccines close to target levels: CDC

Kindergarten vaccines close to target levels: CDC
But measles, chickenpox protection remains a concern.

(HealthDay)—Most kindergarten children in the United States are up to date on their vaccinations, a new government report finds.

U.S. researchers looked at data from 49 states and the District of Columbia for the 2011-2012 school year and found that statewide levels of vaccination coverage among kindergarten children are at or very near Healthy People 2020 targets.

Healthy People 2020 is a 10-year agenda launched by the federal government in 2010 to improve the nation's health.

Among , the median vaccination coverage in 2011-2012 for three vaccines—polio; ; and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis ()—met the Healthy People 2020 goal of 95 percent coverage or higher.

But median coverage for measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and varicella (chickenpox) vaccine were below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 95 percent. Colorado has the lowest rate of MMR coverage at 86.6 percent, and Texas the highest, at 99.3 percent.

Even though statewide levels of are at or very near target levels, a potential threat remains from groups of unvaccinated children or locally low for highly infectious diseases, such as measles, the researchers said.

Last year, 222 cases of measles were reported to the CDC, the most in any year since 1996.

Exemptions from vaccination increased slightly, with Arkansas claiming the biggest increase in exemptions, up 3.4 percent, the investigators found.

The study, by Stacie Greby and colleagues at the CDC's Immunization Services Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, is published in the Aug. 24 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC urges parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule before they start school this year.

More information: The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about childhood vaccines.

Related Stories

Measles cases rise after decade of decline

Feb 02, 2012

Measles outbreaks in parts of Europe and Africa led to some 60,000 more cases worldwide in 2010 over the previous year, after nearly a decade of declines, US health authorities said on Thursday.

Pertussis reaches epidemic level in Washington state

Jul 20, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Pertussis rates may reach record levels this year in the United States, where Washington state is experiencing an ongoing epidemic, according to a report published in the July 20 issue of the ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

12 hours ago

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone on Friday launched a controversial three-day shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus, as the UN Security Council declared the deadly outbreak a threat to world peace.

User comments