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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Department for Public Health Immunization Program Honored by CDC

Press Release Date:  Friday, March 16, 2012  
Contact Information:  Media Contact: Gwenda Bond or Jill Midkiff (502) 564-6786 or (502) 564-7091  


Program cited for improvement of childhood vaccine coverage levels

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 16, 2012)— The Department for Public Health’s (DPH) Immunization Program was recognized for high immunization coverage levels for a childhood vaccination series by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the national 2012 Immunization Program Managers Meeting.

“We have been working to increase immunization rates among Kentucky’s children for several years now, including a campaign to make the public aware of the changes to the immunization schedule that took effect last July,” said DPH Acting Commissioner Steve Davis, M.D. “The improvement in vaccine coverage helps improve the health and well-being of our fellow Kentuckians, and particularly our children.”

Kentucky’s childhood vaccination series coverage rate was approximately 80.6 percent in the last two quarters of 2010 and the first two quarters of 2011, compared to the national coverage rate of approximately 73.1 percent. Kentucky was also recognized for improving childhood immunization coverage levels from 63.3 percent in 2007. The results are based upon mid-year provisional data from the National Immunization Survey, and full year results will be released this fall. Data is gathered by a telephone survey, which is conducted annually.

New regulations governing the state’s immunization schedule for infants, toddlers and school-age children took effect July 1, 2011, increasing or altering the types and amounts of certain vaccines required for school entry. Immunization requirements were updated to better align Kentucky’s schedule with recommendations from the CDC. The new standards put the Commonwealth in line with national pediatric standards, and parents are encouraged to become familiar with changes to the vaccine schedule to make sure their child’s immunization record is approved for school entry.

“I commend the Kentucky Immunization Program and would also like to thank local health departments and the state’s health care providers for their hard work and dedication to ensuring timely and appropriate vaccination of the state’s children,” said Dr. Davis. “Kentucky parents are clearly recognizing the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”

The Kentucky Immunization Program provides services and support aimed at preventing and reducing the risk and incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases for all Kentuckians. Those services include: providing vaccines at no cost to health care providers enrolled in the Vaccines for Children program; enforcing school and child care immunization regulations; providing immunization education and training for health care providers and the general public; coordinating surveillance and control efforts for vaccine-preventable diseases; promoting vaccine safety; and developing effective partnerships to increase vaccination rates in Kentucky.

For more information on the Kentucky Immunization Program and the child vaccination schedule, visit http://www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/epi/Immunization+Program.htm.

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Last Updated 3/16/2012