Teen vaccination rates on the rise

Vaccination rates among U.S. teens have increased, though they are still below the desired level and also below rates for younger children.

In a study conducted by the CDC of more than 20,000 teens, UPI reports, it was found that, in 2009, teens between the ages of 13 and 17 had increases in vaccinations routinely recommended for 11 and 12-year-olds.

Vaccine coverage for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, provided by the Tdap vaccine, went up 15 percent to a total of 56 percent, UPI reports.

According to the survey, those with meningococcal conjugate vaccine coverage went up 12 points to approximately 56 percent.

Coverage for girls with one dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine increased to 44 percent, up seven percent. Only 27 percent, however, received the recommended three doses.

The CDC says that, for teens receiving adolescent vaccines, the sooner the better. They recommend inoculations beginning at around 11 or 12 years of age.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told UPI that teens without insurance should get information about vaccination programs like Vaccines for Children. Vaccines for Children provides free inoculations for those with financial barriers to having a complete set of immunizations.