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Questions & Answers About Vaccination Coverage in the U.S.

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Questions answered on this page:
  1. Why measure vaccination coverage?

    Data on vaccination coverage is used to identify groups at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases, to provide vaccination coverage estimates in an effort to increase coverage, and to evaluate the effectiveness of programs designed to increase coverage.

  2. What is the purpose of the NIS-Teen?

    The NIS-Teen was established to provide an on-going, consistent data set for analyzing vaccination levels among adolescents in the US and disseminating this information to interested public health partners. The NIS-Teen provides national and state estimates of vaccination coverage-including new vaccines as they are licensed and recommended for use. It also helps us track progress towards Healthy People goals.

  3. How are data for the NIS-Teen collected?

    We use random-digit-dialing to find households with adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. We ask parents or guardians to tell us the vaccines that appear on the adolescent's "shot card" kept in the home. If the shotcard is not available, we ask parents or guardians to tell us the vaccines that they recall the adolescent receiving. We also collect demographic and socioeconomic information. At the end of the interview, we ask for permission to contact the adolescent's vaccination providers. Providers are then contacted by mail to verify each of the adolescent's vaccinations.

  4. What are the strengths of NIS-Teen?

    The NIS-Teen uses a nationally representative sample, and provides estimates of coverage that are weighted to represent the entire population, nationally, and by region, state, and selected large metro areas. The large sample size allows us to stratify (that is, subdivide) the data so that we can examine vaccination rates among different groups, for instance, by income level, race, and other factors.

  5. What are the vaccination coverage estimates for my local area?

    The NIS-Teen estimates vaccination coverage for the 50 states and various selected urban areas [42KB] (compliant). Due to sampling methods and sample size constraints of the NIS-Teen, coverage for smaller geographical areas can not be estimated.

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