Most kids getting vaccines but lacking boosters
More than 90 percent of U.S. newborns and toddlers received vaccination coverage for measles, mumps polio, hepatitis B and chickenpox vaccines. The results were part of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Mobility and Mortality weekly report.
For children born within the past two decades, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths during their lifetimes, according to the CDC.
But while infants are consistently receiving that first vaccination, there is a noticeable drop in booster shots for Tdap vaccine, which prevents diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and viruses that can cause severe diseases like meningitis.
“Nationally, vaccination among children 19 to 35 months of age remains stable or has increased for all of the recommended vaccines, and that’s really good news,” says Dr. Melinda Wharton, acting director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a news release.”There is still room for improvement. Coverage is not as high as we would like it to be for doses of vaccines and boosters given in the second year of life.”
Illinois children were in the 91st percentile of receiving measles, mumps, and rubella. That ranks right near the national average. However, that figure drops to 66.8 percent when it comes to taking the series of booster shots necessary to keep the body fighting through potential future viruses.
Children who received no vaccines continue to remain below one percent, according to the study. But even with the high scores, it still means one out of every 12 children do not receive their first dose of measles, mumps and rubella. Through last month, a total of 593 measles cases had been reported from 21 states, the highest number reported in the U.S since measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, according to the CDC.
“People need to understand the importance of being vaccinated,” says Dr. Greg Smith, family medicine physician at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “We preach how essential it is to start young kids on the path of really needed these vaccinations. But it can’t just be a onetime situation because booster shots are also another level of care.”
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