Adolescent immunization rates improve but still miss targets

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 3, 2008

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When it comes to routinely recommended vaccines, the nation's immunization coverage rates for preteens and teenagers are on the rise, according to 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates released Oct. 9. Most young people, though, still do not receive all the recommended immunizations, and this age group continues to fall short of Healthy People 2010 goals.

For instance, their coverage levels with three or more doses of hepatitis B and two or more doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine were more than 80%. Coverage with one dose of varicella vaccine was high at 75.7%. But two-dose protection was far lower at 18.8%.

Meanwhile, 32.8% of preteens and teens surveyed had received meningococcal conjugate vaccination, up from 11.7% in 2006. In addition, 30.4% had received tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccination, up from 10.8% in 2006. Lastly, 25.1% of adolescent females had received at least one dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine.

The Healthy People 2010 goals are 90% coverage for preteens and teens ages 13 to 15 with three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, two doses of MMR, one dose of Tdap, and one dose of varicella vaccine for those who previously have not had chicken pox. There is no goal for HPV vaccination because the preventive was not licensed until 2006.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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