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1.8 What percentage of children are vaccinated?


This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

1.8 What percentage of children are vaccinated?

Some estimates of vaccination rates, from articles in World Health
Statistics Quarterly, 45, 1992:

Measles: About 80% of the world's children aged less than 1 were
reported to have received measles vaccine (a dramatic increase from
1983, when the figure was less than 20%). (Clements, Strassburg,
Cutts, and Torel)

Polio: Estimated vaccination rate of 85% worldwide in 1990. This rate
isn't equally distributed, though. The Western Pacific Region had a
coverage rate of 95%, and the South-East Asia Region 91%, but the
Africa Region had a coverage rate of only 56%. (Hull and Ward)

DTP: Varies widely from country to country. The US, Canada, France,
Norway, Poland, Australia, China were among the countries with
coverage rates over 80% in 1987-1989. (The article gives Yugoslavia as
also being in this category, but in view of the breakup of the country
and the civil war there, I would suspect that level hasn't been
maintained.) England, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, and most of the countries
in South America, as well as the Soviet Union (now defunct) were in
the 50-80% category. Sweden and many African countries had coverage
rates of under 50%. Coverage rates in the WHO regions were as follows:
Africa 57%, Americas 75%, Eastern Mediterranean 80%, South-East Asia
89%, Western Pacific 94%. (Galazka)

From _Statistical Abstracts of the United States, tables no. 189,
Percent of Children Immunized Against Specific Diseases, by Age Group:
1980 to 1985 (I am including the totals only, but the table also
includes a breakdown by race)

Disease                         All Respondents         
                                1 to 4 years old        
                                1980    1984    1985 
Diptheria-tetanus-pertussis     66.3    65.7    64.9
Polio                           58.8    54.8    55.3
Measles                         63.5    62.8    60.8
Rubella                         63.5    60.9    58.9
Mumps                           56.6    58.7    58.9
Disease                         All Respondents         
                                5 to 14 years old
                                1980    1984    1985 
Diptheria-tetanus-pertussis     74.0    73.8    73.7
Polio                           70.0    70.2    69.7
Measles                         71.0    73.5    71.5
Rubella                         74.0    72.4    70.2
Mumps                           63.2    70.9    71.6

Respondents consulting records, 1985 (29 percent of white and 15 percent of black or other respondents who consulted
records for some or all vaccination questions)

Disease                         1 to 4 years    5 to 14 years

Diptheria-tetanus-pertussis     87.0            93.0
Polio                           75.7            88.4
Measles                         76.9            87.4
Rubella                         73.8            85.3
Mumps                           75.5            87.1

According to the California Morbidity for May 21, 1993, about one
third of infants were found not to be vaccinated, and more than half
of all toddlers were behind schedule at their second
birthday. Vaccination rates were lower among black and Hispanic
children. Only at school entry age did vaccination levels really rise,
the result of school requirements. By 1990, more than 90% of school
age children were vaccinated. Immigration was cited as one factor
keeping vaccination rates low.

The May 1, 1994 HICNet Medical News, citing MMWR, reports on
vaccination coverage of 2 year old children in the US from 1992-1993,

"Vaccination coverage increased for three vaccines from 1992 to 1993:
for three or more doses of Hib, from 28.0% to 49.9% (p less than
0.05); for three or more doses of poliomyelitis vaccine, from 72.4% to
78.4% (p less than 0.05); and for three or more doses of DTP/
diphtheria and tetanus toxoids (DT), from 83.0% to 87.2% (p greater
than 0.05). Coverage with measles-containing vaccine decreased from
82.5% to 80.8% (p greater than 0.05). Among 19-35-month-olds, 12.7%
had received three or more doses of Hep B.

From 1992 to 1993, the proportion of children who had received a
combined series of four or more doses of DTP/DT, three or more doses
of polio vaccine, and one dose of MMR increased from 55.3% to 64.8% (p
less than 0.05), primarily because of increased coverage with the
fourth DTP/DT dose (from 59.0% to 71.1% [p less than 0.05])."

More details on these statistics in that issue of HICNet Medical
News. For those who are interested, MMWR gives quarterly updates of
vaccination coverage in the US, evaluating progress toward the
national goal of 90% coverage. These updates are included in HICNet
Medical News when they come out, and MMWR itself can also be retrieved
over the net. See the reference section in section 3 of this FAQ for
information on retrieving MMWR over the net. HiB and hepatitis B
vaccination coverage has been increasing (as is to be expected, since
those are the most recently instituted vaccines). The March 5, 1995
HICNet includes an MMWR report which shows HiB coverage rising to a
record high of 70.6% and Hep B coverage rising to 25.5% during the
first quarter of 1994. However, a report in JAMA, cited in a summary
in Journal Watch for Jan 15, 1995 (paper) or Feb 7, 1995 (electronic),
"found that only 46 percent of white children and only 34 percent of
black children had received adequate immunization by eight months of
age (JAMA Oct 12, pp. 1105 and 1111)."


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