Survey: Alaska ranked 27th in nation for immunization
rates for 2-year olds, up from 48th in 1996
August 08, 2003
Doug Bruce, Health & Social Services Director of the Alaska Division of Public Health, said, "National Immunization Awareness Month focuses attention on the importance of proper immunizations for Alaskans of all ages and reminds parents to update their children's immunizations, including college bound students, for back-to-school."
In 1996, Alaska ranked 48th in the nation for immunization of two-year-olds. The recently released 2002 National Immunization Survey results rank Alaska as 27th in the nation in this category. Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Joel Gilbertson credits this improvement to efforts made by Alaskan families, federal, state, and local public health and education agencies, Native health organizations, and public and private medical communities.
Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century. Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, eliminated wild poliovirus in the U.S. and significantly reduced the number of cases of measles, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis and other diseases. But despite these efforts, thousands of people in the U.S. still suffer from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases. By staying current on recommended vaccines, individuals can protect themselves, their families, friends, and their communities from serious life-threatening infections.
For information on where to get immunizations, school and child care requirements and all other immunization questions, please call the Alaska Immunization Hotline at 1-888-430-4321, your local health department, other healthcare providers, or online at http://akepi.org/id/immune.stm.
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