Maryland and the District of Columbia may be neighbors geographically, but they are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to DTaP vaccination rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Maryland’s coverage of required DTaP vaccine doses came in at a national high of 99.6% for children entering kindergarten in 2016-2017, while the District of Columbia had the nation’s lowest rate at 82.2%, Ranee Seither, MPH, of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, and associates at the CDC, Atlanta, reported (MMWR. 2017 Oct 13;66:1073-80).
States near Maryland with high DTaP coverage rates included Mississippi (99.4%), Delaware (98.7%), Virginia (98.2%), and Louisiana (98.0%). Other members of the below-90% club were Colorado (86.8%), Kansas (88.7%), Alaska (89.1%), Arkansas (89.2%), and Idaho (89.8%), the CDC investigators said.
There is also variation among the states in the number of doses required for kindergarten entry: Most require five, but Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin require four; Nebraska requires three; and Pennsylvania does not require pertussis vaccine. Oklahoma and Wyoming did not report vaccination coverage “because of widespread problems with the quality of data reported by schools,” they noted.
Nationally, median coverage for state-required doses of the DTaP vaccine was 94.5%, according to data from federally funded immunization programs in the 50 states and D.C., which included 3,973,172 kindergartners for the 2016-2017 school year.