Percent of Children Age 19 Months to 35 Months Who Are Fully Immunized, 2006*
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, State Health Facts, 2008.
*Fully immunized children are those who receive four or more doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; three or more doses of poliovirus vaccine; one or more doses of any measles-containing vaccine (MCV); three or more doses of Haemophilius Influenza type B (Hib); and three or more doses of Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB).
Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children, Birth to Age 6 - United States, 2008
Note: Of the vaccines listed here, only some influenza vaccines contain thimerosal.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2008.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes vaccines as a cost-effective public health measure, credited with saving millions of lives and preventing hundreds of millions of cases of disease.
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and School Requirements
ACIP consists of 15 health experts appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services who annually make vaccination recommendations for the public; these influence most school requirements.
All 50 states require children to receive certain vaccines prior to enrolling in school, which helps identify children who may have missed recommended vaccines in early childhood.
- As of 2007, all states allow exemptions for medical reasons. All states except Mississippi and West Virginia allow religious exemptions, and 20 states allow philosophical exemptions based on personal, moral or other beliefs.
The federal contract price for vaccines recommended to age 18 increased from $45 in 1985 to $837 in 2006 (excludes the human papillomavirus vaccine), due to new vaccines and to inflation and other cost increases.
Two CDC programs—Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Section 317—provide almost 90 percent of publicly funded vaccines. The VFC provides free vaccines for children who are uninsured, Medicaideligible, underinsured (at federally qualified health centers), Native American or Alaska Native.
Section 317 provides grants to states and territories, commonwealth trusts and several cities for vaccine purchase and programs to vaccinate additional children who are not eligible for VFC.
- In addition to federal resources, 16 states and the Northern Marianas Islands fund all or most recommended vaccinations for all children in the state ("universal purchase"), then distribute them to public and private health care providers. Many states also use insurance mandates to offset costs for parents of insured children.
Immunization registries—confidential, computerized systems that contain children's vaccination histories—are intended to help doctors check a child's immunization history. They also help ensure that children who are too young to fall under school vaccine requirements are immunized.
Legislation established statewide registries in 27 states, and 13 states require reporting by providers. All 50 states, all U.S. territories and the District of Columbia have at least one regional or local registry.
In 2006, 65 percent of children under age 6 participated in state or local registries. Healthy People 2010 goals aim for a 95 percent participation rate.
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