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

ed that Minnesota parents are slow to accept newer pediatric recommendations, such as the hepatitis B birth dose. Since 2005, it has been recommended that all infants be vaccinated against hepatitis B before release from the hospital.(4) Yet only one in six Minnesota hospitals administers the vaccine at birth.(5) Minnesota's hepatitis B birth dose immunization rate is 34.1 percent – far below the national average of 60.8 percent, according to the 2009 NIS.

Complacency about vaccine-preventable disease. Myths and misconceptions about vaccinations – in addition to the fact that some parents and health care providers have never seen the devastating effects of vaccine-preventable disease – have led many parents to be complacent about vaccination. This may help explain the recent State of Health Care Quality Report finding that national vaccination rates dropped among children on private insurance plans, while they were up slightly for children on public plans.(6)

In Minnesota, 1,000 cases of whooping cough (pertussis) were reported in the state in 2010.(7) Although California received more attention because of the 10 infant deaths attributed to whooping cough in 2010, Minnesota actually had a higher incidence per capita over the same period. As noted earlier, Minnesota has adolescent Tdap immunization rates below the national average.

The Special Case of Influenza Immunization

Although Minnesota is above the national average when it comes to influenza vaccine among children, inadequate Medicaid reimbursements to physicians are putting vaccination rates in danger. The reimbursement rate is particularly low in Minnesota, where the Medicaid reimbursement rate of $8.50 in 2007 is 28th place among states for vaccine administration and is about $6 less than the federally recommended rate. A new report shows that influenza vaccination rates among poor children would rise if Medicaid increased what it pays doctors for
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SOURCE Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
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