U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Vaccination Coverage

The Healthy People 2010 objective for childhood immunization is to achieve 90 percent coverage for each of the universally recommended vaccines among young children. In 2008, 68.4 percent of children 19–35 months of age received each of the vaccines in the recommended 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series. This series includes four doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine; three doses of poliovirus vaccine; one dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; three doses of Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine; three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine; one dose of the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine; and four doses of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Overall, 76.1 percent of young children received the 4:3:1:3:3:1 series (which does not include the pneumococcal vaccine), and 78.2 percent received the 4:3:1:3:3 series (which does not include the pneumococcal or varicella vaccines).

In recent years, the greatest increases in vaccination rates have occurred with the pneumococcal and varicella vaccines. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was added to the immunization schedule in 2001, and vaccination coverage was first measured in 2005. Since 2005, coverage among young children has increased 50 percent. Varicella vaccine was added to the schedule in the mid-1990s, and since 2000 coverage has increased by 34 percent.

Racial/ethnic differences in coverage are apparent for most vaccine types. Non-Hispanic Blacks have the lowest rate of coverage with the complete 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series, as well as the lowest rates of vaccination with each of the individual vaccines, except for the varicella and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes an update of the childhood immunization schedule. No new vaccines were added to the 2010 schedule.

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