Timeliness of Receipt of Early Childhood Vaccinations Among Children of Immigrants — Minnesota, 2016

Language
Published
2016

Receiving recommended childhood vaccinations on schedule is the best way to prevent the occurrence and spread of vaccine-preventable diseases (1). Vaccination coverage among children aged 19–35 months in the United States exceeds 90% for most recommended vaccines in the early childhood series (2); however, previous studies have found that few children receive all recommended vaccine doses on time (3). The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), using information from the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) and the MDH Office of Vital Records, examined early childhood immunization rates and found that children with at least one foreign-born parent were less likely to be up-to-date on recommended immunizations at ages 2, 6, 18, and 36 months than were children with two U.S.-born parents. Vaccination coverage at age 36 months varied by mother’s region of origin, ranging from 77.5% among children born to mothers from Central and South America and the Caribbean to 44.2% among children born to mothers from Somalia. Low vaccination coverage in these communities puts susceptible children and adults at risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, as evidenced by the recent measles outbreak in Minnesota (4). Increased outreach to immigrant, migrant, and refugee populations and other populations with low up-to-date vaccination rates might improve timely vaccination in these communities.