ATLANTA, Aug. 19 (UPI) — U.S. teen vaccination rates, though improved, leave a lot to be desired, so if teens are uninsured parents should ask about free vaccines, officials say.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta says the Vaccines for Children program provides free inoculations to uninsured children and many others with financial barriers.
The CDC survey of more than 20,000 teens ages 13-17 in 2009 indicates increases in the percentage of teens who received vaccines routinely recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds.
The survey indicates:
– One dose of the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis, or Tdap, vaccine coverage went up about 15 points to about 56 percent.
– One dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine coverage increased 12 percentage points to about 54 percent.
– For girls who received at least one dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, coverage increased 7 percentage points to about 44 percent, but only 27 percent received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine.
Poverty was not a barrier to receiving any of the three adolescent vaccines, but financial challenges can be a barrier for some uninsured teens.
The findings are published in The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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