Ohio immunization rate among the lowest in the country

Ohio immunization rate among the lowest in the country

New data shows Ohio now ranks 49th in the country for immunizations.

The National Immunization Survey (NIS) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed immunization rates are rising nationally. It showed 72.7 percent of children aged 19 to 35 months received all of their routine vaccinations in 2013. That number rose from 68.4 percent in 2012.

Ohio's numbers are more concerning. The NIS survey indicated that 63.4 percent of Ohio's children were properly immunized in 2013. That number fell from 66.8 percent in 2012 and 76.4 percent in 2011, putting Ohio 49th in the country for immunizations, behind only Arkansas.

To increase vaccine rates and improve public health, the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) worked with legislators to draft House Bill 536, sponsored by State Representatives Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Ryan Smith (R-Gallipolis).

The bill would restore the immunization requirement for children entering into a state-regulated childcare facility. Ohio is the only state that does not have this requirement. This bill, which does include exemptions for medical and parental reasons, should enter committee hearings this fall.

The Ohio AAP also is working to keep Ohio children healthy with its Maximizing Office Based Immunization (MOBI) program.

In partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio AAP trains more than 5,000 health care workers across the state on immunizations, the latest schedules and recommendations and strategies for discussing concerns with parents.

"With the outbreaks of measles and mumps in Ohio this year, it is important now more than ever to protect our children against preventable diseases," said Rebecca Brady, MD, FAAP, MOBI Medical Director. "The passage of the child care immunization bill would be an important step in the right direction."

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.