Minnesota shows improved adolescent vaccination rates
“We started at the bottom of a steep hill and have made good progress increasing immunization rates for adolescents, but we haven’t reached the summit yet,” Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Division at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), said. “Getting to the top will mean more Minnesota adolescents are protected from serious diseases, which will help protect the entire community."
The data was gathered through a telephone survey from the CDC called the National immunization Survey (NIS).
“Studies show school immunization requirements help protect individual kids and help reduce disease outbreaks in the community,” Ehresmann said. “However, we can’t rely solely on the law to make sure kids are protected. There are additional vaccines that are recommended but not required, such as HPV vaccine.”
The state’s rates are currently level or above the national averages for adolescent immunizations. Minnesota’s all-over increase reflects a further overall improvement in vaccinations rates throughout the U.S.
“HPV vaccine is cancer prevention,” Ehresmann said. “The first dose should be given at the same appointment as Tdap and meningococcal vaccines, which makes it very easy for parents to schedule one appointment.”