Study finds vaccination rates in decline for children covered by private health plans

The Wall Street Journal: A new report shows that "vaccination rates among two-year-olds covered by private insurance plans dipped by almost four percentage points last year." At the same time, vaccination rates for children covered by Medicaid "were edging up - by less than 1%." The report, authored by the nonprofit National Committee for Quality Assurance, speculates that commercial child vaccination rates are lower due to parents' beliefs -- "not supported by scientific evidence — that vaccines cause or trigger autism spectrum disorders. ... The NCQA says that pediatric vaccines are responsible for preventing 10.5 million diseases per birth cohort in the U.S. and also save billions in direct and indirect costs" (Hobson, 10/13).

Kaiser Health News: The study found that measles, mumps and rubella immunizations "fell to 90.6 percent in 2009 from 93.5 percent in 2008," while diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough was down "to 85.4 percent last year from 87.2 percent" and chickenpox "slipped to 90.6 percent in 2009 from 92 percent in 2008" (Galewitz, 10/13).

Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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