Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health

Date: November 9, 2017To: Louisiana Vaccine Providers

From: Frank Welch, OPH Immunization Program Medical Director  Stacy Hall, OPH Immunization Program Director

Re: 1/3 of Louisiana Children Aged 19-35 Months Are Not Up To Date with Age-Appropriate Vaccinations, and Rates Are Declining

Nationally, after many years of progress, there have been small decreases of 1-2 percent in coverage of some vaccinations from 2015 to 2016. The Louisiana estimates of vaccination coverage among children 19-35 months of age has decreased 4 percentage points this past year.

Louisiana does very well on kindergarten vaccination rates. From this, we can interpret that parents and healthcare providers in Louisiana do want and do have their children vaccinated, just not “on time” when compared to national standards and other states. It is not a problem with vaccinating as such, but rather a problem with vaccinating on time. Children who are not vaccinated on time are not protected from vaccine preventable diseases as soon as they become vulnerable.

The CDC National Immunization Survey (NIS) identifies the percentage of children 19 to 35 months of age who are up to date for the combined 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 vaccine series, which includes ≥4 doses of DTaP, ≥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine, ≥1 dose of measles-containing vaccine, full series of Hib (≥3 or≥4 doses, depending on product type), ≥3 doses of HepB, ≥1 dose of VAR, and ≥4 doses of PCV.

Below are annual NIS results for comparison:

NIS 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 Coverage Rates (%)
Year National Louisiana
2012 68.4 68.5
2013 70.4 69.1
2014 71.6 73.2
2015 72.2 70.8
2016 70.7 66.8

The Healthy People 2020 Target is 80%.

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of November 3, 2017 included the report Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19-35 Months and CDC’s ChildVaxView is reflecting this new data.

What Vaccine Providers Can Do Now:
The Office of Public Health has worked with the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to develop Strategies for Increasing Immunization Coverage Rates. The Louisiana Immunization Program strongly encourages vaccine providers to use these evidence-based practices. View the Strategies

Great work is being done with Louisiana’s 747 Vaccines for Children (VFC) providers which have administered 1,182,070 doses of vaccine valued at $74,298,430.00 during the last fiscal year. We now need to prioritize on time vaccinations in accordance with the Louisiana Immunization Schedule.

Please contact your Office of Public Health Regional Immunization Consultant or the OPH Immunization Program at 504- 568-2600 or stacy.hall@la.gov if you have questions or would like further discussion.

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