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Racial Disparities in Childhood Immunization Coverage Rates Closing

Armen Hareyan's picture

Health insurance coverage for childhood immunization

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today announced that 2005 childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children between 19 and 35 months of age remain at or near record highs. For the first time in the past ten years, rates for the full series of recommended vaccines did not vary significantly by race and ethnicity.

According to CDC's annual National Immunization Survey (NIS), estimated immunization coverage rates for the 4:3:1:3:3:1 series ranged from 79.5 percent for children of multiple race, 77.1 percent for Asian; 76.3 percent for black; 76 percent for white, and 75.6 percent for Hispanic children. Health insurance coverage for the previous series that excluded varicella vaccine (4:3:1:3:3) was 10 percent lower for black children in 2002, compared to 3 percent in 2005. For Hispanic children insurance coverage for the 4:3:1:3:3 series was 7.5 percent lower in 2000, compared to 3 percent in 2005. The 4:3:1:3:3:1 series includes four doses of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP), three doses of polio vaccine, one dose of measles-containing vaccine, three doses of Hib vaccine, three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, and one dose of varicella vaccine.

"These results are terrific news, especially since there are virtually no differences with respect to race and ethnicity for this series of vaccines," said Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). "We've been working hard, with many partners, to ensure that all children have access to recommended vaccines, and these results show we have