CDC Reports More U.S. Teens Are Getting Vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the 2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen). The report reveals more U.S. teens are getting the recommended vaccinations.
The CDC has conducted the NIS-Teen since 2006. It is a random telephone survey of parents or care-givers, followed by verification of records with health care providers. The NIS-Teen estimates the proportion of teens aged 13 through 17 years who have received the three recommended pre-teen vaccines: Tdap, the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (whooping cough) booster; the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (against meningitis). Also, surveyed was the number of girls who have received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine which fights cervical cancer.
National Immunization Survey-Teen Highlights
The survey involving more than 20,000 teens aged 13-17 found that in 2009 56% of teens received one dose of the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap). This is up 15 points from the previous year.
Almost as many teens (54%) received one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, an increase of 12 points from 2008.
The percentage of girls who received at least one dose of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, increased 7 points to about 44%, but only 27% received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine.
While no differences was noted in girls receiving one dose of HPV between racial/ethnic groups, a higher percentage of coverage was noted among teens living in poverty compared with those living at or above the poverty level.
There was a difference noted between racial/ethnic groups among girls who received all three doses of HPV vaccine. Fewer blacks and Hispanics compared to whites were noted to receive all three doses.
Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, noted "There is clear room for improvement in our system's ability to reach this age group."
"Pertussis outbreaks in several states and an increase in pertussis-related infant deaths in California highlight how important it is for pre-teens to receive the Tdap booster," said Dr. Schuchat. "It is important for teens and adults to get a one-time dose of Tdap to protect themselves and those around them from whooping cough. Young infants are most vulnerable to serious complications from pertussis and can be infected by older siblings, parents or other caretakers."
Although poverty was not a barrier to receiving any of the three adolescent vaccines, financial challenges could prevent some teens from getting vaccinated. Families who need help paying for vaccines should ask their health care provider about the Vaccines for Children program, which provides free vaccines to uninsured children and many others with financial barriers. For help in finding a local health care provider who participates in the program, parents can call 800-CDC-INFO begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 800-CDC-INFO end_of_the_skype_highlighting or go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines.