Connecticut leads the country in the percent of children under the age of 3 receiving vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as well as the seven-vaccine series.
The combined seven-vaccine series includes protection against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, Hepatits and chicken pox.
According to new data released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Connecticut is also among the top 10 states for the percentage of children in kindergarten who are vaccinated.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy applauded the results of the report, attributing Connecticut’s success to collaboration with professional, community-based, and private partnerships.
“I want to thank the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Department of Social Services, as well as the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, local health departments, and all of the health care practitioners who champion immunizations for their work, ensuring the health and safety of our state’s children,” he said.
About 97 percent of students were vaccinated for MMR and Diphtheria, tetanus, and accelular pertussis (DTaP), which places Connecticut 6th and 9th respectively. The median rate for the nation is 94.6 percent for MRR and 94.2 percent for DTaP.
Some 96.6 percent of children were vaccinated against varicella, which is the chickenpox virus, ranking Connecticut 9th.
Last year, Connecticut changed its law on vaccination exemptions to make it more restrictive.
About 2 percent of students asked to be exempted from vaccinations between 2015 and 2016, which is estimated to be about 0.1 percent higher than the rate of exemptions the previous year. Breaking that down, 0.3 percent of students asked for medical exemptions and 1.7 percent sought for non-medical exemptions.
According to the CDC, children living below the federal poverty level had lower rates of coverage for most of the vaccinations compared with children living at or above the poverty level. CDC also said children in rural areas had a lower rate of vaccinations.
Nationally, coverage did not change during 2014–2015 for the vaccinations assessed, and the percentage of children who received no vaccinations remained less than 1 percent.
Coverage for more than 1 dose of MMR among those under 3 ranged from 97.5 percent for Connecticut at the highest end to 83.4 percent in Virginia at the lowest.
Connecticut also had the highest rate of seven-vaccine series at 80.6 percent. Virginia again had the lowest at 64.4 percent.