Childhood vaccination rates increase 12% in 6 years

The childhood vaccination rate for Blue Cross Blue Shield members increased 12 percent from 2010 through 2016, according to an analysis conducted by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

For the analysis, researchers examined medical claims data from the first three years of life for BCBS members born between 2010 and 2013.

Here are three key findings from the analysis.

1. Early childhood immunization rates for the seven CDC-recommended vaccines by age two and three months increased from 69 percent among individuals born in 2010 to 77 percent among children born in 2013.

2. The report identified high levels of geographic variation in vaccination rates. For example, overall vaccination rates for children born in 2013 were highest in North Dakota at 86 percent and lowest in Nevada at 63 percent.

3. While childhood vaccination rates have improved since 2010, parental vaccine refusals have also increased, up 70 percent in children born in 2013, compared to those born in 2010.

"Continued public health efforts can increase childhood vaccination rates by simply touting the benefits of attending regular children's checkups," said Trent Haywood, MD, senior vice president and CMO for BCBSA. "This report demonstrates that vaccine use among commercially insured people in the U. S. is increasing in the right direction. The data, however, also show large regional variation, indicating there are further improvements to be made."

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