CDC Report Shows Immunization Rates Increased from Last Year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CDC Report Shows Immunization Rates Increased from Last Year

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OLYMPIA, WA - A new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows immunization rates for children in Washington State increased last year.

The survey says 71 percent of kids under three years old in our state got a series of recommended vaccines in 2013. The state's rate for the same series of vaccines in 2012 was 65 percent.

Although rates have improved, they're still below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent, leaving many kids unprotected. Rates increased across the board except for DTaP, the vaccine that prevents pertussis (whooping cough). 

This is especially concerning because of the whooping cough epidemic in 2012. This disease goes in cycles and tends to reappear about every three to five years. "Even though our state's whooping cough epidemic is over, we still have cases and this disease will always be in our communities," says State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. "We mustn't let our guard down when it comes to whooping cough. This and other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, are a plane ride away."

Immunization rates for DTaP vaccine decreased 4 percent from last year. Young kids need five doses of this vaccine to be fully protected since immunity from whooping cough may wear off over time.