Public Health Emerging Issues – March 26, 2019

Vaccines Work!

An unvaccinated six-year-old almost died from Tetanus earlier this year. The child was hospitalized for two months after getting a deep cut while playing on a farm in Oregon. This unfortunate event is a reminder that vaccines work!

  •  Vaccination equals prevention:
    • Vaccines are given to PREVENT viral and bacterial infections that used to cause serious illness and death. Vaccines provide immunity or protection.
  • Vaccination decisions affect everyone:
    • Besides protecting you, vaccines protect those who are too vulnerable to receive vaccination such as newborns and people with immune deficiencies.
    • When 90–95% of the community is protected, it is nearly impossible for a germ to cause an epidemic. This is an example of Herd Immunity.
  • Vaccine rates in Mesa County:
    • 74% of young children (19-35 months old) are current on their childhood vaccination series (slightly lower than Colorado at 75%).
    • Opportunity to increase adolescent immunizations (among 13-17-year-olds) exists in Mesa County, particularly for Tdap, meningococcal vaccine, and HPV:
      • 68% have received a Tdap vaccine (compared to 75% in Colorado).
      • 56% have received at least one dose of meningococcal vaccine (compared to 69% in Colorado).
      • 21% of teen girls have received at least three doses of the HPV vaccine (compared to 31% in Colorado).
      • 16% of teen boys have received at least three doses of the HPV vaccine (compared to 26% in Colorado).
    • Vaccine exemptions are highest among kindergarten students in Mesa County (5% of kindergarten students in the county have an exemption for DTaP, Hep B, MMR, and Polio).
  • For reliable sources of information:
    • Visit one of these websites-
    • Download an app-
      • Healthy Children– Parents can look up age-by-age health information for their children, check immunization schedules, and access other resources in a format designed for tablets and smartphones. A free app from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
      • Vaccines on the Go: What you should know– This app provides parents with reliable information about the science, safety, and importance of vaccines and the diseases they prevent. A free app from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Available for Android and Apple devices.
    • Talk to your health care provider!
  • Are you looking for vaccinations?
    • Vaccinations (both routine and those specific for travel) are available at Mesa County Public Health.
    • If you want information on any vaccine, Mesa County Public Health staff are available to answer your questions.
    • For more information or to schedule an appointment call 970-248-6900.

Comments are closed.

//]]>