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Child vaccination rates are high, CDC says

"I want to personally recognize the hard work of doctors and nurses coping with many challenges in the course of clinical work," said Dr. Anne Schuchat.

By
Brooks Hays
Dr. Richard Mulvaney speaks on the 50th anniversary of the first Polio vaccine, on April 26, 2004, at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Va., the place where the first shots were given. The photo at right is of Mulvaney giving one of the first shots to Jacqueline Lonergan. The first Salk vaccine inoculations were given on April 26, 2004, and eventually led to the erradication of Polio in most of the world. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)
Dr. Richard Mulvaney speaks on the 50th anniversary of the first Polio vaccine, on April 26, 2004, at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Va., the place where the first shots were given. The photo at right is of Mulvaney giving one of the first shots to Jacqueline Lonergan. The first Salk vaccine inoculations were given on April 26, 2004, and eventually led to the erradication of Polio in most of the world. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Previous news reports have suggested immunization rates had dropped in recent years -- depressed by growing fears over the unfounded link between vaccines and autism. But a new Center for Disease Control study suggests infant vaccination rates remain high.

In a report released by the CDC this week, the agency confirmed that results from their 2013 National Immunization Survey show the "vast majority of parents" are ensuring that their children, of 19 to 35 months old, are getting immunized against the full spectrum of potentially serious diseases. The survey's results were detailed this week in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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"I want to personally recognize the hard work of doctors and nurses coping with many challenges in the course of clinical work, and commend parents who, despite competing responsibilities, continue to prioritize immunization to keep their children healthy and safe," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a news release issued by the CDC. "These people are central in keeping young children healthy by ensuring they receive the recommended vaccines on schedule."

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The report showed that that national rate of vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella stands at 92 percent; some 17 states fell below the 90 percent mark, including a range topped by Rhode Island (at 82 percent) and anchored by Arkansas (at 57 percent). Low rates of vaccination can leave a state's population vulnerable to an outbreak.

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Doctors, nurses and other caretakers are expected to encourage their patients to have their children immunized at the proper times throughout early development. Vaccines can mitigate a range of preventable diseases, including hepatitis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria, chickenpox and others. Many healthcare providers also recommend flu and pneumonia vaccines.

"Immunizing your child is probably one of the most important things you can do to keep your child healthy and prevent disease," Dr. Elaine Schulte, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, told Fox News.

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