Routine vaccination coverage among children in kindergarten was at or near the 95% national Healthy People 2020 target for DTaP, measles-mumps-rubella and varicella vaccines for the 2013 to 2014 school year, according to a recent MMWR report.
The CDC analyzed school vaccination data collected by federally funded state, local and territorial immunization programs for children enrolled in kindergarten during the 2013 to 2014 school year. Vaccination coverage data were available for 4,252,368 children and vaccination exemption data were available for 3,902,571 children. Forty-nine US states and Washington, DC, provided vaccination coverage data and 46 US states and Washington, DC, provided exemption data for the 2013 to 2014 school year.
Vaccination requirements for school entry varied among states. All 49 states and DC that reported coverage data required 2 doses of MMR. Regarding DTaP, two states required three doses, 27 required four doses, 20 required five doses and one state did not require pertussis vaccination for school entry.
Thirteen states met CDC standards for school assessment methods of vaccination coverage.
Median vaccination coverage for two doses of MMR was 94.7%. Eight states reported less than 90% coverage.
Among the 36 states and DC that required pertussis vaccination, median two-dose varicella vaccination coverage was 93.3%. Nine states reported varicella vaccination coverage 95% or higher.
Median vaccination coverage for DTaP was 95% overall, despite varying local requirements.
Eight states had less than 1% of kindergartners with a vaccination exemption; and 11 states had at least 4% of kindergarteners who were exempt from vaccination. Kansas reported an increase in vaccination exemption of 1.5 percentage points and 1.2 percentage points in Maine. West Virginia reported a decrease in vaccination exemption of 1 percentage point.
Researchers emphasized the importance of reporting school vaccination coverage rates, as data can be used to identify areas in need of direct vaccination efforts or those potentially at higher risk for vaccine-preventable disease transmission.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.