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New Report from Children's Hospitals and Clinics Shows Vaccination Rates Declining among Minnesota Children
Date:3/8/2011

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Minnesota has long been known as a leader in the area of childhood vaccination rates, but a new report released today from Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota shows the state's vaccination rates are backsliding. According to the 2009 National Immunization Survey (NIS), Minnesota has dropped 13 spots in two years – from seventh place in 2007 to 20th place in 2009 – for vaccination coverage rates for the primary series of shots(1) among all children 19 months through 35 months of age.

The decline is part of a worrisome trend that could pose a threat to the health of Minnesota children. The 2009 NIS indicates that in only two years, Minnesota's childhood immunization rate slipped to 76.9 percent in 2009 from 80.5 percent in 2007.(2) Based on the state's current population of 423,000 children ages 0 through 5 years, for every percentage point drop in the immunization rate, 4,230 young kids are exposed to vaccine-preventable disease.(3)

"This report serves as an alert to parents and pediatricians, reminding us that we must remain vigilant when it comes to the health of our children," said Alan L. Goldbloom, MD, President and CEO of Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Adolescent immunization is lagging. Minnesota ranks poorly against other states for vaccination rates for its adolescents, according to the 2009 NIS. The vaccination rate for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) among 11- to-12-year-olds is 52 percent, which is below the national rate of 55.6 percent and ranks 35th among the states. Minnesota's immunization rate for meningococcal conjugate (MCV4) – a serious bacterial illness that is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children – is 43.9 percent, which is below the national rate of 53.6 percent and puts Minnesota 38th in the nation.

Parents are wary of new vaccines. State public health officials have not
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SOURCE Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
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