THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- More American teenagers
are getting their recommended vaccinations, federal health
officials reported Thursday.
In some cases the number of teens getting the shots increased 15
percent from 2008 to 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is the nation's report card on how the nation is doing in protecting adolescents and teenagers from vaccine-preventable diseases," said Dr. Lance Rodewald, director of the Immunization Services Division of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "It is very important to vaccinate and protect adolescents from vaccine-preventable diseases."
This year, similar to last year, coverage is rising for the
three most routinely recommended vaccines for teens, Rodewald
The three vaccines are Tdap, the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular
pertussis (whooping cough) booster; the meningococcal conjugate
vaccine (against meningitis); and for girls, the human
papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which fights cervical cancer.
Rodewald noted that all these vaccines are relatively new and it
takes several years for coverage of new vaccines to reach the goal
of 90 percent.
Tdap is a new vaccine that is replacing the Td booster, adding
in the whooping cough component, Rodewald said.
This is the fourth year the CDC has issued a teen vaccine
report, and the rates of coverage have risen each year, Rodewald
added. "This year they went up about the same amount they went up
last year," he said.
The researchers collected data on more than 20,000 children aged
13 to 17 who took part in the 2009 National Immunization
Survey-Teen. The findings were published in the Aug. 20 issue of
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Other key findings:
One factor that may be dampening teen vaccination rates is that
many teens don't see their doctor as often as younger children do,
"Infants have an advantage in that they have these well-defined child-care visits that gives a natural platform for vaccination, and adolescents don't make quite as many visits to the doctor," he said.
Vaccination coverage also varied by states. For example, only
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island had more
than 60 percent coverage for all three routinely administered
adolescent vaccines -- Tdap, meningococcal vaccine and HPV,
according to the report.
"For every one of these vaccines there is an enormous range across the states," Rodewald said. "Some of the states are quicker out of the gate to adopt a new recommendation."
Meningococcal vaccine coverage ranges from 20 percent in the
U.S. Virgin Islands to almost 80 percent in the District of
Columbia, and Tdap coverage ranges from 34 percent in the U.S.
Virgin Islands to 72 percent in Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
For more on vaccines, visit the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
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