MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Overall, vaccine coverage for children aged 19 to 35 months remained high and stable from 2013 to 2017; however, a small, but growing number of children received no vaccinations, according to research published in the Oct. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Holly A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2017 National Immunization Survey-Child to assess vaccination coverage at national, state, territorial, and selected local levels among children aged 19 to 35 months in the United States.

The researchers found that coverage remained high and stable overall, exceeding 90 percent for at least three doses of poliovirus vaccine, at least one dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, at least three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, and at least one dose of varicella vaccine. Although remaining low, the proportion of children who received no vaccine doses by age 24 months increased gradually from 0.9 percent for children born in 2011 to 1.3 percent for children born in 2015. Compared with children with private insurance, vaccine coverage was lower for most vaccines among uninsured children and those insured by Medicaid. Further, vaccine coverage was lower for children living outside of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) versus those living in MSA principal cities.

“These disparities could be reduced with greater awareness and use of the Vaccines for Children program, eliminating missed opportunities to vaccinate children during visits to health care providers, and minimizing interruptions in health insurance coverage,” the authors write.

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