U.S. Childhood Immunization Rates High

ATLANTA, Sept. 17 (UPI) — Immunization rates for U.S. children ages 19- to 35-months for most routine vaccines remains at or more than 90 percent, health officials say.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds less than 1 percent of young U.S. children received no vaccinations.

“Nearly all parents are choosing to have their children protected against dangerous childhood diseases through vaccination,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, says in a statement.

However, in 2008, there were outbreaks of measles — primarily among children whose parents had declined to have them vaccinated — so it is likely some communities have high numbers of under-vaccinated or unvaccinated children, Schuchat says.

“While it’s encouraging to see immunization rates remaining high, we know that parents have questions about vaccines and we must continue to educate parents about the importance of vaccination to help avoid future resurgences in serious, preventable illnesses,” Schuchat says.

The report used data from the 2009 National Immunization Survey that involved more than 17,000 households and looked at vaccination of children born from January 2006 to July 2008. It found vaccine coverage against poliovirus; measles, mumps and rubella; hepatitis B and varicella or chickenpox, remained relatively stable at 90 percent or higher.

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