R.I. recognized for child vaccine rate

Feb. 24, 2012 at 10:17 PM
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PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Rhode Island received two awards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for being in the nation's top tier for two vaccine series, officials say.

Rhode Island's coverage rate for the combined vaccine series children should complete by age 2 years was 80.2 percent, compared to the national average of 73 percent. The vaccine series protects children from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, pneumococcal disease and hepatitis B.

Rhode Island's vaccination coverage rate for the vaccine series for adolescents ages 13-17 was 84.4 percent versus the national average of 64.2 percent. The vaccine series protects adolescents from tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, meningococcal disease and human papillomavirus.

"Children and adolescents in Rhode Island are being vaccinated against serious diseases thanks to the dedication of Rhode Island's pediatricians, family physicians, school personnel and many other unsung heroes," Dr. Michael Fine, director of the state Department of Health, said in a statement. "Children share close quarters at schools, at child care facilities and at home. At a time when the rates of many vaccine-preventable diseases are rising, it is especially important that this population is protected."

Rhode Island shared the childhood series coverage rate top tier with Wisconsin, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Washington. Rhode Island shared the adolescent series coverage rate top tier with Massachusetts and Washington.

The data were collected from 2010 to 2011 through the CDC's National Immunization Survey, a national telephone survey.

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