HealthDay News — For children born in 2015 to 2016, vaccination coverage is generally high, although coverage can be improved with increased access to providers and health insurance, according to research published in the Oct. 18 issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Holly A. Hill, MD, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the National Immunization Survey-Child to assess vaccination coverage with the recommended number of doses of each vaccine among children born in 2015 and 2016.

The researchers found that nationally, coverage by age 24 months was ≥90% for 3 or more doses of poliovirus vaccine, 1 or more doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, 3 or more doses of hepatitis B vaccine, and 1 or more doses of varicella vaccine; in 20 states, MMR coverage was <90%. By age 24 months, the likelihood of being up to date was lowest for 2 or more doses of influenza vaccine (56.6%). Compared with those with private health insurance, uninsured children and those insured by Medicaid had lower coverage. Improving access to vaccine providers and eliminating missed opportunities to vaccinate children during health care visits could increase vaccination coverage.

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“Improvements in childhood vaccination coverage will require that parents and other caregivers have access to vaccination providers and believe in the safety and effectiveness of vaccine,” the authors write.

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