The numbers are back and the verdict is in: 2011 showed an increase in vaccinations among adolescents over 2010 (CDC National & State Vaccination Coverage). Statistics were collected using phone surveys to households with adolescents, ages 13-17, and by contacting health care providers when appropriate.
Tdap coverage hit the 80% target, and MMR and HepB both remained above 90%, while the 2-dose varicella vaccination coverage increased 10 percentage points since 2010. In addition to individual vaccination increases, the number of states requiring middle school vaccinations prior to enrollment increased since the 2010-2011 school year. At that time, 31 states required Tdap, 19 required MenACWY, and 42 required varicella. During the 2011-2012 school year, the numbers of states requiring those vaccinations were 36, 19, and 43 respectively. These increased state requirements are at least partially responsible for the increased coverage among adolescents.
While the results of the survey are limited due to response rate, sample size among ethnic groups, and sample size among gender, the results still demonstrate that objectives set by Healthy People 2020 are attainable. To keep these percentages rising, the CDC report references The Guide to Community Preventative Services’ suggestions, “Promoting health-care provider recommendations and parental awareness of adolescent vaccines, urging consideration of every health visit as an opportunity for vaccination, reducing out-of-pocket costs, and using immunization information systems and reminder/recall systems.” In addition, the CDC recommends the continual assessment of parental delay or refusal in obtaining vaccinations as well as using state and local immunization programs to “make adolescent vaccination a priority and implement initiatives aimed at decreasing coverage gaps.”