Geographic Clusters in Underimmunization and Vaccine Refusal.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Parental refusal and delay of childhood vaccines has increased in recent years and is believed to cluster in some communities. Such clusters could pose public health risks and barriers to achieving immunization quality benchmarks. Our aims were to (1) describe geographic clusters of underimmunization and vaccine refusal- (2) compare clusters of underimmunization with different vaccines- and (3) evaluate whether vaccine refusal clusters may pose barriers to achieving high immunization rates. METHODS: We analyzed electronic health records among children born between 2000 and 2011 with membership in Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The study population included 154 424 children in 13 counties with continuous membership from birth to 36 months of age. We used spatial scan statistics to identify clusters of underimmunization (having missed 1 or more vaccines by 36 months of age) and vaccine refusal (based on International Classification of Diseases- Ninth Revision- Cl


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Added on: 02 July, 2015
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