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Press Release

For Immediate Release: October 9, 2008
Contact: Division of News & Electronic Media, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286

  • Versión en español

Nation's Teen Vaccination Coverage Increasing, But Below 2010 Goals

Survey provides first estimates for HPV vaccination

The nation's immunization coverage rates for preteens and teens are increasing for routinely recommended vaccines, but most still do not have all of the recommended immunizations, according to 2007 estimates released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"The overall trends are good news," said Dr. Lance Rodewald, director of the Division of Immunization Services at the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "We are seeing more preteens and teenagers being protected against serious, sometimes deadly diseases. But we remain short of our goals—for almost all of these vaccines we want at least 90 percent of adolescents to be fully immunized. As such, we have much work to do to get many more adolescents protected."

The survey provides estimates for three vaccines recommended at 11 or 12 years of age: the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), and the human papillomavirus (HPV4) vaccine for girls and young women. It also includes estimates of the percentage of 13- through 17-year-old teens who should have received the recommended immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, and varicella vaccine (VAR) earlier in life.

According to Rodewald, the nation's Healthy People 2010 goals for preteens and teens ages 13-15 years are not being met for any of the vaccines for which goals were set. The Healthy People 2010 goals are for 90 percent coverage for preteens and teens 13 to 15 years of age with three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, one dose of either tetanus-diphtheria or tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine, and one dose of varicella vaccine for those who have not previously had chickenpox. There is not a Healthy People 2010 goal for HPV vaccination, which was first licensed and recommended in 2006.

The survey found that, compared to 2006, there was a substantial increase in the percentage of preteens and teens who had received the recommended vaccinations. Specific findings included:

  • Vaccination coverage levels for three or more doses of hepatitis B (HepB) and two or more doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) were over 80 percent;
  • Coverage with one dose of varicella vaccine (VAR) was high at 75.7 percent but coverage with two doses was low at 18.8 percent among preteens and teens without a previous history of disease;
  • 32.4 percent of preteens and teens surveyed had received MCV4 vaccination, up from 11.7 percent in 2006 (a 20.7 percentage point increase);
  • 30.4 percent had received Tdap vaccination, up from 10.8 percent in 2006 (a 19.6 percentage point increase);
  • 25.1 percent of adolescent females had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine

Rodewald encourages parents to take their preteens and teenagers for routine medical checkups as a way to ensure they receive the recommended vaccinations.

Additional Background Information

The meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) vaccine protects against meningococcal meningitis, the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine protects against pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects girls against cervical cancer. The recommended series consists of one dose of Tdap vaccine, one dose of the MCV4 vaccine, and three doses of the HPV4 vaccine.

CDC has conducted the National Immunization Survey for teens since 2006. It is similar to the standard NIS which began in 1994, that collects immunization information among children 19 through 35 months old. It is a random digit-dialed telephone survey.

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