Estimated 78 percent of Colorado kids fully immunized
September 5, 2008
DENVER ” An estimated 78 percent of Colorado children under age 3 were considered fully immunized last year, according to the annual National Immunization Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The national average was about 77 percent of children under age 3 receiving six vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough; haemophilus influenzae type b; hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella; polio; and chickenpox, the state health department said Thursday.
Gov. Bill Ritter has set a goal for the state to surpass an 80 percent immunization rate.
Colorado’s rate ranked 18th among states, although state health officials said the statistical variation associated with the survey means there’s virtually no difference between Colorado and all but the three highest-ranked states of New Hampshire, Maryland and Connecticut.
The 2006 rate for Colorado was listed at about 76 percent.
The state health department has taken steps to boost the immunization rate, such as expanding the state immunization registry so parents can be notified when vaccinations are due.
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It also is developing a long-term public awareness plan, providing grant funding for community outreach clinics, and participating in a federal program that allows the state to distribute free vaccines for children who are eligible for Medicaid, are uninsured or are Native American or Alaskan natives.