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Childhood Immunization Rates Continue to Improve

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In 2013, 93 percent or more of the children seen at the Northern Kentucky Health Department’s four county health centers had received all of their recommended immunizations.

The rates were documented during the Health Department’s annual 2-year-old immunization audit, conducted by the Kentucky Immunization Program. For 2013, the Grant County Health Center in Williamstown achieved an immunization rate of 99 percent, followed by the Campbell County Health Center in Newport with a rate of 94 percent, the Boone County Health Center in Florence with 93 percent and the Kenton County Health Center in Covington with 93 percent as well. In comparison, Kentucky’s statewide immunization rate and the national average rate is 68 percent. The Health Department’s four county health centers were all above 90 percent—the benchmark set by the state and federal government.

“Even with heavy client loads and tight resources, our staff continue to protect the health of children in our region by ensuring they receive age-appropriate immunization,” said Jennifer Hunter, RN, MSN, Director of Clinical Services. “I’m proud of their accomplishments, and have challenged them to continue to improve upon our rates, with the goal of every child being fully immunized.”

The vaccine coverage rates track seven childhood immunizations, with a total of 19 doses, recommended for children by age 18 months. The audit checks for compliance at 24 months, giving families a six-month cushion should the child need to be caught up. It includes:

“Vaccines are among our most successful and cost effective public health tools,” said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. “With these high immunization rates, we are not only protecting vaccinated individuals from developing potentially serious diseases, but also protecting entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious agents.”

The Health Department provides more than 11,000 childhood vaccinations annually. It offers vaccinations for 15 childhood diseases at its four county health centers on a daily basis. Through the federal Vaccines for Children program, many vaccines are available to children age 18 years and under who would not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.

For more information about the awards or childhood immunizations, please call 859.341.4264 or visit http://www.nkyhealth.org.

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Media representatives should contact Emily Gresham Wherle at 859.344.5470 or Emily.Gresham-Wherle@nkyhealth.org, about any request or information before calling any other Health Department employee. Your calls and requests will be handled expediently with your deadlines in mind. Thank you for your interest and support in educating the community about public health issues.

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For statewide news releases, please visit the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.