Vaccine coverage did, however, vary between the states from 91.3 percent in Maryland to 63.1 percent in Nevada. Vaccination coverage also varied in the 14 metropolitan areas covered in the CDC survey. In Philadelphia, the city with the highest coverage, 82.2 percent of children had received all the recommended vaccines, compared with 69.6 percent of children in San Bernardino, Calif., the area with the lowest coverage.
"There is still a vaccine coverage gap in poor children compared with others," Schuchat said. "The good news this year is that the gap between those children living in poverty and other children is narrowing. So, we are making progress, but we are not finished with all the work we have to do," she said.
Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean of the master of public health program at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in New York City, called the new report very good news.
"What is significant about this is that this is the age group that historically over the past two decades has been hard to raise immunization levels," Imperato said.
"Viruses brought into the country with individuals coming from a high endemic area will quickly find their way into an unimmune cluster of individuals, as we have seen from time to time with diseases such as mumps and pertussis and measles," he said.
For more on vaccinations, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Sept. 4, 2008, teleconference with Julie Gerberding, M.D., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; Pascal James Imperato, M.D., dean, master of public health program, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, New York City; Sept. 5, 2008, CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report