Minn. reaches vaccination goals, official saysby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
Federal officials say an estimated 96 percent of Minnesota children ages 19 to 35 months were vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella through last year. The information is from the 2011 National Immunization Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kris Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease division at the Minnesota Department of Health, says the federal estimates show that Minnesota is achieving its early childhood vaccination goals for a number of important diseases.
"We are better than the national average on just about everything, which is always nice," Ehresmann said. "And in the case of, for instance, the MMR vaccine and polio, we're exceeding some of the 2020 goals for Healthy People. But certainly there are some vaccines that we need to work on."
Ehresmann says Minnesota needs to improve immunization rates for the chickenpox vaccine, hepatitis A and the hepatitis B vaccine dose that is recommended within the first few days after birth.
"The goal is to have everything at greater than 90 percent and then just maintain that," Ehresmann said. "And we aren't there. And yet we see the positive results of parents choosing to vaccinate, and our levels reflect that."