According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) adolescent vaccinations have increased by as much as 15% nationwide. The 2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) estimates were released by the CDC today.

Over 20,000 teens (age 13-17 years) were surveyed in 2009. The report revealed that there were increases in the proportion of teens in this age group who had received vaccines routinely recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds.
  • There was a 15% increase for one dose of Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) vaccine to 56%. (pertussis = whooping cough).
  • There was a 12% increase for one dose meningococcal conjugate vaccine to 54%
  • There was a 7% increase for at least one dose of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to 44% for girls. Coverage was higher among teens living in poverty compared with those living at or above the poverty level
  • There was a 9% increase for the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine to27%.
The CDC adds that there was wide variation in teen vaccination coverage among state and local areas.

Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said:

This year's data are mixed. We can see that more parents of adolescents are electing to protect their children from serious diseases such as pertussis, meningitis, and cervical cancer, but there is clear room for improvement in our system's ability to reach this age group.

Pertussis (whooping cough) outbreaks in several states and an increase in pertussis-related infant deaths in California highlight how important it is for pre-teens to receive the Tdap booster. It is important for teens and adults to get a one-time dose of Tdap to protect themselves and those around them from whooping cough. Young infants are most vulnerable to serious complications from pertussis and can be infected by older siblings, parents or other caretakers.

Parents should talk to their child's health care provider, says the CDC, in order to find out when to go in for recommended check-ups.

Dr. Schuchat added:

Completing the three-dose HPV vaccine series is very important to ensure protection against cervical cancer. Visits for immunization can be a great opportunity to address other important preventive issues that all teens need.

Financial constraints may prevent some teens from getting vaccinated, the CDC wrote in a press release. However, it added that poverty "was not a barrier to receiving any of the three adolescent vaccines".

The Vaccines for Children program provides free vaccinations to uninsured children and many others with financial difficulties.

2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen)

Source: CDC

Written by Christian Nordqvist