Issue: January 2013
Perspective from Molly Howell, MPH
Source: Groom AV. Pediatrics. 2012;130(6);e1592-e1599;doi:10.1542/peds.2012-1001.
December 14, 2012
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Gains persist in vaccination coverage of Alaska Natives, American Indians

Issue: January 2013
Perspective from Molly Howell, MPH
Source: Groom AV. Pediatrics. 2012;130(6);e1592-e1599;doi:10.1542/peds.2012-1001.
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Recent gains in immunizations among Alaska Native and American Indian populations have not slowed, according to data published recently by the CDC.

CDC researchers reported information from National Immunization Surveys that included data from 2006 to 2010. The data indicated that although disparities exist between white and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations in 2001 to 2004, the findings from the latest surveys show the discrepancies are disappearing.

Amy V. Groom, MPH, of the Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC, and researchers said overall vaccination coverage was similar between the two groups in most years, with slightly lower coverage rates with four or more doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine among AI/AN children in 2008 and 2009 and 2006 and 2009. However, when stratified by geographic regions, “AI/AN children had coverage that was similar to or higher than that of white children for most vaccines in most years studied.”

Vaccination coverage assessed in this study included four or more doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine, or diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, or diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and any acellular pertussis vaccine (4+DTaP); three or more doses of poliovirus vaccine (3+polio); one or more doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (1+MMR) vaccine; three or more doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b (3+Hib) vaccine; three or more doses of hepatitis B (3+HepB) vaccine; one or more doses of varicella (1+Var) vaccine; and four or more doses of pneumococcal conjugate (4+PCV) vaccine.

The researchers also examined coverage with the combined 4+DTaP; 3+polio; 1+MMR; 3+Hib; 3+HepB; and 1+Var vaccine series, referred to as the 4:3:1:3:3:1 series and coverage with this series plus 4+PCV, referred to as the 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series.

In addition, they also analyzed coverage for these two series without Hib vaccine (4:3:1:x:3:1, 4:3:1:x:3:1:4) because of the Hib vaccine shortage from 2007 to 2009.

Disclosure: Groom reports no relevant financial disclosures.