Sunday, July 31, 2005

Immunizations in Louisiana

The Centers for Disease Control has released its annual National Immunization Survey which "provides vaccination coverage estimates for children aged 19--35 months for each of the 50 states and 28 selected urban areas." USA Today reported on it last week. According to USA Today, the good news is "Nearly 81% of American babies get all their recommended vaccinations before age 3, a record high." According to the CDC, "The official estimates of vaccination coverage rates from the NIS are rates of being up-to-date with respect to the ACIP recommended numbers of doses of vaccines. Vaccinations included in the survey are: diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP); poliovirus vaccine (polio); measles-containing vaccine (MCV); Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib); hepatitis B vaccine (Hep B); varicella zoster vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), hepatitis A vaccine (Hep A), and influenza vaccine (FLU)." As is obvious from the chart at the link to the survey numbers, measuring vaccination rates isn't simple. But one detail seems clear: For the four different iterations of vaccines tracked, Louisiana falls below the national average on all of them. Check Louisiana's Office of Public Health for more information about immunizations in Louisiana.