While Colorado consistently appears in national news as one of the nation’s top health performers in a variety of measures, childhood immunization rates across the state tell a different story.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its annual report on adolescent vaccination coverage.
While it’s encouraging to see slight improvement in vaccination rates, too many Colorado teens remain under-vaccinated against serious infectious diseases. Rates are particularly low for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination series in Colorado – only 52.1 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys completed the HPV series. Nationally, just 39.1 percent of teens have received the recommended second dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY), which means they might not be protected against meningococcal meningitis. Additionally, in 2015, less than half of teens 13 through 17 years of age received the influenza vaccine.
The latest National Immunization Survey-Teen report was released on July 31, and we asked Lynn Trefren, RN, MSN, Immunization Branch Chief at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to help explain the data and what this means for Colorado teens and their parents.