The last week of April was recently designated as World Immunization Week by the World Health Organization to promote the use of vaccines and their importance in fighting against disease. Educating people about immunizations has become extremely important, especially in light of the “anti-vaccer” movement.
Despite the anti-vaccer agenda, there has still been some US vaccination success, with 90 percent of children having received their recommended vaccinations for polio, chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella in 2015 according to a CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Unfortunately, other vaccination rates fell below their target.
Vaccination Rates Drop Short of Herd Immunity
Herd immunity is the term used for the resistance of a population to the spread of disease. This results when a large percentage of people are immune. Unfortunately, vaccination rates for several serious diseases did not reach the level of herd immunity. Vaccination rates for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus were only at 80 percent according to the CDC. Additionally, vaccination rates for hepatitis B and the gastrointestinal disease rotavirus were only at 89 percent and 68 percent.
There have also been a number of outbreaks over the course of the last few years of diseases such as pertussis and measles, both of which are preventable through vaccinations. For example, in 2015 there were 229 cases of Mumps. Last year, there were 5,748 cases of mumps. Dozens of children were infected with the measles this year as well – even after the measles virus was declared eliminated back in 2000.
Improving the Vaccination Rate
One state that has proven a US vaccination success is California, where the vaccination rate has increased after the state made it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccination compliance. For example, after the pertussis outbreak in Marin County three years ago, the vaccination rate for kindergarteners rose from 77.9 to 93.2 percent.
Although there has been some US vaccination success, the vaccination rate hasn’t quite met herd immunity as of recently. That’s why vaccination awareness is so important. To keep up with all California health-related news, visit us at The Benefits Store today.