Immunization Coverage is the average of the percentage of children ages 19 to 35 months who have received the following vaccines: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTP), Poliovirus, Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) and Hepatitis B Vaccine (HepB). This measure does not account for each individual receiving the full series of shots, but rather, individuals receiving individual shots. The ranks are based on the preceding year’s data from the CDC’s National Immunization Program.
Early childhood immunization has been shown to be a safe and cost-effective means of controlling diseases within the population. In the last 50 years, vaccinations have led to a 95 percent decrease in vaccine preventable diseases. The CDC recently called vaccines one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Routine childhood immunizations are estimated to save almost $10 billion in direct medical costs. The Guide to Community Preventive Services has numerous proven methods to increase the rate of vaccinations in a community that include ways to increase the demand in the community, improve access, and system-based or provider-based innovations. See their suggestions at www.thecommunityguide.org/vaccines/universally/index.html.
 Shefer A, Briss P, Rodewald L, et al. Improving immunization coverage rates: An evidence-based review of the literature. Epidemiol Rev. 1999;21(1):96-142.
 Zhou F. Economic evaluation of the 7-vaccine routine childhood immunization schedule in the United States, 2001. Archives of Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine. 2005;159(12):1136.
 Guide to Community Preventive Services. Vaccinations to prevent diseases: universally recommended vaccinations. May 2012. www.thecommunityguide.org/vaccines/universally/index.html. Accessed August 6, 2012.
The measures tracked by America's Health Rankings are those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For a state to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on these measures, these determinants of health.
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