NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Early childhood immunization rates on are the rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.
According to its latest report, vaccination rates for children between 19 and 35 months old are either increasing or being sustained at high levels (at or above 90% of children) for most vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Today’s report is reassuring because it means that most parents are protecting their young children from diseases that can cause widespread and sometimes severe harm,” Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a written statement.
“We recommend vaccinations because they are one of the most effective, safest ways to keep children healthy.”
The CDC based its report on surveys of more than 17,000 households looked at children born between January 2007 and July 2009.
It found vaccine coverage increased in 2010 for many vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps and rubella, rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis A, and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib). Vaccination coverage rates against poliovirus, chickenpox and the full series of hepatitis B remained stable at or above 90% of children.
Childhood immunizations have become a hot-button topic during the past few years as many anti-vaccination groups have argued that parents should carefully consider whether or not to vaccinate their child for fear of injecting unknown or potentially harmful substances into their children’s bodies.
However, the CDC said that while much focus has been put on these groups and the segment of parents who seek exemptions from vaccine requirements, less than 1% of toddlers had received no vaccines at all.
“As recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough have shown, vaccine-preventable diseases are still around us,” Schuchat said, “and it is important that health care providers, community groups, and state programs support parents in assuring that children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
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