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Delaware Ranks in Top 5 in Nation For Childhood Immunization, DPH Immunization Program Honored With Awards

Date Posted: Thursday, January 5th, 2017
Categories:  News Public Health

DOVER — Delaware ranks third in the nation for its percentage of immunized children ages 19 to 35 months, and seventh for its percentage of adolescents receiving the trio of the recommended human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccines, according to a recent national rankings report.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the National Immunization Survey (NIS) results for 2015. Based on the results of this survey, Delaware was recognized with awards for outstanding progress towards Healthy People 2020 goals in the following three areas:

• Outstanding progress toward the Healthy People 2020 target of 70 percent for influenza vaccination coverage among children aged 6 months to 17 years during the 2015-2016 influenza season. Delaware had a rate of 69.2 percent, a 3 percent increase from the 2014-2015 influenza season.

• Outstanding progress toward the Healthy People 2020 targets of 80 percent for nine selected vaccinations for children aged 19 months to 35 months.

• Outstanding progress toward the Healthy People 2020 targets of 80 percent coverage for each of the three vaccines (one dose of Tdap vaccine, one dose of Meningitis vaccine, and three doses of Human Papilloma Virus or HPV Vaccine) among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. Delaware has exceeded the targets for the first two vaccines but despite progress, still falls below the target for HPV vaccine.

“This achievement is an excellent example of collaboration at work as immunizations are delivered by many different partners,” said Division of Public Health (DPH) Immunization Program Director Jim Talbott, who accepted the awards at the National Immunization Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

The National Immunization Survey is a random telephone survey conducted by the CDC every year. Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress.

State-mandated vaccination requirements for school entry protect children and communities against vaccine preventable diseases. The annual Delaware school vaccination survey conducted in 2016 to assess kindergarten immunization coverage shows that Delaware had a 97 percent immunization coverage rate for two doses of MMR, five doses of DTaP, and two doses of Varicella vaccine. The same survey shows a combined medical/religious vaccine exemption rate of only 1.2 percent.

For additional information on immunizations, visit the Delaware Immunization Program webpage at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/immunize.html or call DPH at 800-282-8672.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

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