Childhood immunization rates are on the rise

August 5, 2005

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that approximately 81% of the nation's toddlers are receiving all the vaccinations in the recommended series."These results are terrific news," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC. "They illustrate the tremendous progress we've made in preventing what were once common childhood diseases. Most importantly, these results show that parents have high levels of confidence in our vaccination recommendations. It's encouraging to see that parents recognize the importance of protecting their children against diseases that while relatively uncommon, can cause serious harm."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that approximately 81% of the nation's toddlers are receiving all the vaccinations in the recommended series.

"These results are terrific news," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC. "They illustrate the tremendous progress we've made in preventing what were once common childhood diseases. Most importantly, these results show that parents have high levels of confidence in our vaccination recommendations. It's encouraging to see that parents recognize the importance of protecting their children against diseases that while relatively uncommon, can cause serious harm."

Last year, 80.9% of children ages 19 to 35 months had received a full series of inoculations against diphtheria, tetanus, pertusiss, polio, meningitis-causing Haemophilus influenza or HIB, measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis B. That exceeded the government's goal that 80% of toddlers get those shots on time by 2010.

Last year's number of toddler's receiving vaccinations was up from 79.4% in 2003.

However, not all states are meeting the national standards. Only 68.4% of youngsters in Nevada got their main series of vaccinations on time last year, with black and Hispanic children are lagging behind white children on receiving their shots.

The 2004 National Immunization Survey also found that 87.5% of young children were receiving chickenpox and the childhood pneumococcal vaccine. That number is up from 84.8% in 2003. In addition, 73.2% had on-time doses of the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar, which protects against meningitis and ear infections.

Toddlers are not the only ones who need to get vaccinated, though. Adolescents also need their shots, too, such as a new whooping cough booster shot for teenagers and preteens that was approved earlier this year, to combat a return of that disease as childhood vaccine protection wanes.