A federal survey finds 73% of Iowa’s two-year-olds are getting the recommended number of vaccines. Don Callaghan, Bureau Chief of the Iowa Immunization Program, says the C.D.C. report finds more Iowa kids are getting their shots.
Callaghan says infant immunizations are extremely important and launch a lifetime of good health. Callaghan says, “Nationally, we’re seeing an immunization coverage level of about 70% so Iowa’s 73%, so about three-percentage points above the nation.”
While the survey puts Iowa above the national average, it also points out that 27% of the state’s two-year-olds are -not- getting the proper shots on time. “We do have room for improvement,” Callaghan says. He attributes the state’s better-than-average finding to health care providers in Iowa and parents. “We have work to do and we’ll continue to provide education and make sure our children are up to date and do not contract those vaccine-preventable diseases.”
He says the survey made no differentiation between urban versus rural or economic status. “The survey is looking at children who are vaccinated by two years of age so at 73%, we have all of our children vaccinated by two but there is a group of children that do get vaccinated just a little bit later on.”
The C.D.C.’s National Immunization Survey covered a laundry list of some 13 different vaccines, including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio. Callaghan says Iowa parents are encouraged to keep their children healthy by asking their doctor if the child is up to date on his or her immunizations, making and keeping immunization appointments, keeping an immunization record and updating it after every doctor visit.