CDC: Some Arizona vaccination rates higher than national average for teens

August 31, 2012

A new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Arizona teen-agers are vaccinated at higher rates than the rest of the country in some cases. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: The CDC study looks at the rates of teens between 13 and 17 years old who are vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, meningitis, and human papillomavirus. In all of those categories, Arizona’s vaccination rates were higher than the national ones last year. Dr. Karen Lewis, Medical Director of the state Health Department’s Immunization Office, credits vaccine requirements for going to school, and enthusiastic pediatricians for the higher-than-average numbers. She also says it’s helpful when parents start vaccinating their kids when they’re young.

KAREN LEWIS: It’s always hard to get teenagers in for vaccinations. But, when you have the support of parents, it is more likely that the children are vaccinated.

BRODIE: Lewis says the state is doing a good job of getting kids vaccinated, but that officials would still like to increase the immunization levels statewide.

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