The 2013 National Immunization Survey (NIS) provides mainly great news the overwhelming majority of American babies are receiving vaccinations. However, there is room for improvement.
According to the National Immunization Survey (NIS) conducted by the CDC, the majority of children are being vaccinated. NIS has been monitoring the administration of vaccinations of children between the ages of 19-35 months since 1994.
In the recently released 2013 report, more than 90 percent of children are getting vaccines for polio, hepatitis B, chickenpox, and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Less than one percent of children received no vaccinations. The results also indicate that vaccine coverage has increased since 2012 for some vaccinations, including the rotavirus vaccine and the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine, and remained stable for other vaccinations.
While the high vaccination percentages are great news, there is room for improvement. Only 83% of children received the fourth dose for the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine; only 82% received the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV); and only 82% received the Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine booster dose.
Another issue is that children living below the federal poverty level had lower vaccination rates than children at or above the poverty level for most vaccinations. Reaching and maintaining high coverage across states and socioeconomic groups is needed to prevent resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases, states the CDC. To reduce the gap in vaccination coverage between socioeconomic classes, the CDC recommends clinician and system-based interventions to target communities with high poverty rates in order to improve parental knowledge about vaccines and to further facilitate access to vaccines. The federal Vaccines for Children Program, which provides vaccinations for free, is a solution for those who cannot afford vaccinations.
The NIS report also points out that through August 2014, almost 600 cases of measles in the United States were reported, the highest number since measles was declared eradicated from the US in 2000. Most of these cases occurred in individuals who were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status.
Vaccination coverage of over 90 percent from 1994-2013 will save an estimated $1.38 trillion in total societal costs over the lifetimes of children born in that time period proving vaccines save us money, as well as saving lives. Hopefully next year s report will show an even higher percentage for vaccine coverage.
ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross says, We have been talking about the importance of vaccinations for years. There is really no good reason for a parent to chose to leave a child vulnerable to these completely preventable diseases, and there is no excuse for allowing an unvaccinated child to spread life-threatening preventable contagion to others in their school, or family.
He goes on. Despite this positive report, the rates of HPV vaccination are still unacceptably low and there is a lot more work that must be done to ensure that adolescents receive this potentially life-saving vaccination.