State�s child immunization rate up; clinics honored for role

Stateâ�?�?s child immunization rate up; clinics honored for role A record 88 percent of South Dakotaâ�?�?s 24-35 month olds are appropriately immunized, bringing the state closer to its goal of a 90 percent childhood immunization rate. The Department of Health will hold an award luncheon Aug. 20 to honor South Dakota clinics that have helped achieve that rate. â�?�?Our vaccine providers work hard to maintain high immunization rates for the 24-35 month olds because infants and preschools are most at risk for pertussis, diphtheria, measles and other vaccine preventable diseases,â�? said�? Bonnie Jameson, disease prevention administrator for the Department of Health. â�?�?Itâ�?�?s only fitting that we recognize the many clinics that are responsible for South Dakotaâ�?�?s high childhood immunization rates.â�? The 88 percent immunization rate is according to the latest assessment of immunization coverage levels by the stateâ�?�?s computerized South Dakota Immunization Information System (SDIIS). Age appropriate immunization for the 24-35 month old age group is defined as four doses of diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccine, three doses of polio vaccine, one dose of measles/mumps/rubella vaccine, three doses of hepatitis B vaccine and three doses of haemophilus influenzae B vaccine. SDIIS lets the Department of Health track immunization rates statewide, but it also lets local clinics check their own records and use the follow-up and reminder system to increase rates. Currently, 259 clinics statewide participate in SDIIS, as well as seven Indian Health Service facilities, 193 schools, universities, tribal colleges and Head Start facilities. The system includes over 530,000 patient records with more than 5,000,000 individual shots. Jameson said Parkston and Yankton will receive special recognition at the awards luncheon for their outstanding community wide effort to get flu shots to the 6-month to 18-year-old population in their communities. Vaccine providers, schools and community groups in the two towns worked together closely, offering and promoting flu shots and succeeded in achieving some of the highest child flu vaccination levels in the state. Improving the stateâ�?�?s childhood immunization rate is one objective of the departmentâ�?�?s Health 2010 Initiative.

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