MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Holly A. Hill, MD, PhD
Immunization Services Division
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The National Immunization Survey involves random digit-dialing – both landlines and cell phones – to generate a large national sample we use to assess vaccination coverage. The phone survey is followed by a mail survey sent to the children’s vaccination providers to obtain vaccination histories. This 2014 NIS report is based on 14,893 children 19-35 months of age with provider- reported vaccination records.
According to the 2014 NIS, the majority of parents are vaccinating their children against potentially serious diseases. Nationally, there were no significant decreases in vaccination coverage among children 19-35 months for routinely recommended childhood vaccines in 2014. As in past years, lower coverage for vaccines recommended during the second year of life were observed. We still have opportunities for improvement.
While national coverage was high for most vaccines routinely recommended for young children, vaccination coverage does vary by state and poverty status.
High coverage rates for childhood vaccines explain why most vaccine-preventable diseases are at record low levels. However, it is crucial to maintain these rates in order to keep outbreaks from happening.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: While vaccination rates among children are high nationally, there are local pockets of children who miss vaccines. It’s crucial for clinicians to check vaccination history at each visit to ensure children are up-to-date on all the recommended vaccines.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future research should seek to increase our understanding of vaccination coverage disparities by poverty level and identify strategies to address these disparities. In addition, practical steps to ensure that children receive all appropriate vaccinations in the second year of life are needed.
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Holly A. Hill, MD, PhD (2015). Childhood Vaccination Coverage Varies By State and Poverty Status