One Quarter of U.S. Children Not Adequately Vaccinated

Missed or improperly timed doses account for majority of non-compliance

WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in four children in the United States are not in compliance with official vaccine recommendations, a figure that is higher than previous estimates that relied on counting vaccine doses alone, according to a report scheduled to be published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Elizabeth T. Luman, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data on 17,563 children from the 2005 National Immunization Survey in order to evaluate compliance with vaccination recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. These recommendations include the number of doses of each vaccine required, time intervals between doses within a series, the minimum age at which a dose is considered valid and age ranges for administration.

Overall, the investigators found that 72 percent of children were compliant with all vaccination recommendations, which is 9 percentage points lower than coverage based on counting vaccine doses alone. Nineteen percent of children missed one or more doses, 8 percent received an invalid dose, and 9 percent failed to meet other recommendations, the report indicates.

"Approximately 28 percent of children were not in compliance with the official vaccination recommendations," the authors write. They explain that "focusing only on missed doses disregards a substantial number of children who were not in compliance because of mistimed doses and other vaccine-specific requirements."

More Information

Physician's Briefing