The Healthy People 2010 objective for the complete series of routinely recommended childhood vaccinations is immunization of at least 90 percent of 19- to 35-month-olds with the complete series of vaccines. In 2005, 80.8 percent of children aged 19–35 months had received the recommended 4:3:1:3:3 series of vaccines. This series comprises four doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine, three doses of poliovirus vaccine, one dose of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, three doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, and three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine. Overall, 76.1 percent had received the recommended series plus the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine.
Since 2000, the greatest increases in vaccination rates have occurred with the varicella vaccine (added to the schedule in 1996) and the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTP). These rates have risen 29.6 and 4.9 percent, respectively. Vaccination rates for other vaccines have also risen during this time period, ranging from 0.5 percent (Hib vaccine) to nearly 3 percent (Hepatitis B vaccine).
While there was no difference in vaccination coverage by race and ethnicity regarding the 4:3:1:3:3 series of vaccines, racial and ethnic disparities were evident regarding the coverage of three individual vaccines: the DTP vaccine; the varicella vaccine; and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV; data not shown). Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic children were less likely than non-Hispanic White children to have received 4 or more doses of the DTP and PCV vaccines, while non-Hispanic White children were less likely to have received the varicella vaccine.
Each year, the CDC publishes an update of the recommended childhood immunization schedule. The 2007 schedule continues to encourage the routine use of hepatitis B vaccines for all infants before hospital discharge and the use of annual influenza vaccines for all children between 6 months and 5 years of age.