Monday, September 5, 2011

Missouri immunization rate improves

ST. LOUIS, MO (ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO) - Missouri is doing a better job of getting toddlers vaccinated for childhood diseases.

Results of the CDC’s National Immunization Survey show Missouri rose from last in the rankings in 2009 up to 39th last year.

About 68 percent of children under age 3 are getting all the required vaccinations. Neighboring Illinois remained at just above the national average, with 75 percent.

Missouri health department director Margaret Donnelly attributes the improvement to stricter legislation and increased efforts to help parents keep track of vaccination schedules.

And she says cost should not keep parents from getting their children vaccinated.

"Even if you do not have insurance that covers immunizations, there are programs available where your child can get the vaccine at little or no cost," Donnelly says.

Donnelly urges parents to contact their healthcare provider or local public health agency to schedule an immunization appointment.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio


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