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More U.S. 'Tweens' Getting Recommended Vaccines
Date:9/5/2011

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Growing numbers of 11- and 12-year-olds are receiving their recommended vaccines, which could indicate that resistance to children's inoculations is lessening in the United States.

"We are getting better, but we still have a fair way to go," said Dr. Lance Rodewald, director of the immunization services division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, which is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although vaccine rates among adolescents and teens have improved, they still fall short of goals set by the government's Healthy People 2020 campaign, he said.

For the study, published in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, researchers analyzed data from the 2009 National Immunization Survey--Teen telephone interview to see how many adolescents had their recommended shots.

These shots included three childhood vaccines -- measles, hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox) -- and four vaccines recommended for receipt at age 11 or 12: tetanus-diphtheria (Td) and/or tetanus/diphtheria/whooping cough (Tdap) vaccine; meningococcal vaccine (MCV4); and for girls, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against a virus linked to cervical cancer.

Most youths were up-to-date with their shots by age 11, and rates had increased for teen vaccinations for those born in the mid-to-late 1990s compared with those born earlier, the study showed.

The researchers found that 68 percent had received one or both tetanus vaccines at age 11 or 12 compared with 34 percent of teens born from 1991 to 1996. Fifty percent had received the meningococcal-containing vaccine compared with 8 percent of those born between 1993 and 1996. About 30 percent of girls had received the HPV vaccine versus 11 percent of those born from 1994 to 1996.

The CDC has rec
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