CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health has received two national awards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for having the most improved adolescent immunization coverage rate and the most improved pneumococcal vaccine rate among high risk adults from 2012-2015.
“We are very pleased to be recognized by our federal partners for this accomplishment, but the true credit goes to every West Virginia health care provider who helps to ensure our residents are age-appropriately immunized,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health. “West Virginia is a model for immunization across the nation, and we are collectively working to protect our most vulnerable citizens against serious vaccine-preventable disease. This achievement for coverage rates indicates that the state is continuing to move in the right direction.”
West Virginia was recognized by CDC for significant improvements in adolescent immunization coverage rates for Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and meningococcal (meningitis) vaccines, which improved from 50 percent to 85 percent and 86 percent respectively from 2012-2015. The substantial improvement can be attributed to the requirement of both vaccines for 7th and 12th grade school entry.
Pneumococcal vaccine coverage rates among high risk adults increased from 29.3 percent to 37.7 percent over this time frame. According to Dr. Gupta, much of this improvement is directly related to patient screening and appropriate vaccination by immunization health care providers across the state.
“These improved immunization rates are helping to prevent communicable disease outbreaks,” Gupta said.
To learn more about immunization in West Virginia, visit: http://www.immunization.wv.gov/