CDC Says Teen Vaccine Rates Rise, But There’s ‘Room For Improvement’

The CDC says more teenagers got their recommended immunizations last year, but that there’s room for improvement — for example, only 27% of teenage girls received the recommended three doses of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

That’s still an improvement of 9 percentage points from 2008. About 44% of teen girls had at least one dose of HPV vaccine. (A CDC advisory panel last year recommended against adding an HPV vaccine to the list of immunizations recommended for teen boys, though it said it was okay for them to have it.)

Two other immunizations are recommended for both sexes, one called Tdap, used against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) and one against meningococcal meningitis. The former is in the spotlight because there have been outbreaks of whooping cough this year. In California, the outbreak has killed eight infants and was declared an epidemic. Adolescents, the CDC says, “are thought to be an important source of pertussis transmission.”

The CDC said 56% of teens had received a dose of the Tdap vaccine and 54% had received the meningococcal meningitis immunization. Both rates increased by double digits. The data “are mixed,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a statement. “There is clear room for improvement in our system’s ability to reach this age group.” Immunization rates varied widely by state and locality, the CDC said.

You can check out the CDC’s vaccine schedule for teens in this chart — scroll down to figure 2.

Vaccine bonus: This year the CDC is recommending even healthy adults aged 19-49 be vaccinated against the flu.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 at 1:36 am and is filed under Health Care. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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