Colorado second in nation for vaccines

Colorado ranks second in teenage vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s survey.

About 86 percent of teenagers in Colorado receive the vaccine, placing Colorado second behind the state of New Hampshire.

The survey also found increases in Colorado for teens protected against meningococcal disease and the human papillomavirus. CDC officials are concerned about HPV immunization rates because they lag behind other vaccination rates. The HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer.

Joni Reynolds, public health director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said having state data allows states to track their progress from year-to-year.

“Being a national leader for three years running validates our continued hard work in Colorado to improve teen vaccination rates. Adolescents are a challenging group because they visit their health care provider less often than their younger siblings,” she said.

The 2010 national survey of teens ages 13-17 found an increase in the percentage of teens in this age group who had received vaccines routinely recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds.

Specific nationwide findings since the last survey and Colorado comparisons follow:

• Nationally, for one dose of the Tdap vaccine, coverage went up 13 percentage points to 69 percent. In Colorado, the Tdap rate increased 9 percentage points to 86 percent between 2009 and 2010.

• Nationally, for one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, coverage went up 9 percentage points to 63 percent. In Colorado, the rate increased 6 percentage points to 60 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.

• Nationally, for girls who received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine, coverage increased 5 percentage points to about 32 percent. The number of Colorado teen girls receiving the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine increased 8 percentage points in 2010 to 41 percent.