February 15, 2016

Some Indiana Kids Not Getting Immunized

Some Indiana Kids Not Getting Immunized

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Youth Institute’s annual Kids Count Data Book was released on Monday and much of the information focuses on the health of Hoosier kids. One section looks at how Hoosier kids are doing in the immunization department. 

While the overall rate of kids getting vaccinated in Indiana has increased from 47 percent in 2013 to 56 percent in 2015, some of the states youngest are still not getting the recommended shots.

According to the latest data from Kids Count, vaccination rates for Hoosiers between the ages of 3 and 11/2 is the 4th lowest in the nation.

Indiana Youth Institute’s Interim President and CEO Glenn Augustine, says this could be due to a number of reasons including religion.

"Some of our Amish neighbors will forgo vaccinations, it could be some people don’t believe in doing vaccinations and then we also have some parents who just don’t think about getting the vaccinations done,"  Augustine said. 

Indiana schools require vaccinations, and the state does not allow philosophical exemptions. Director of the Immunization Division with the Indiana State Department of Health Dave McCormick says the national Vaccinations For Children program, VFC, provides free shots. He says some counties are still falling short.

"They only have four VFC providers in the county, so access to care is always going to be one of the things we look at,"  McCormick said. 

Sullivan county has a 36 percent vaccination rate. The State Department of Health has contacted the 10 counties with the lowest rates and asked them to develop plans to increase immunizations.

Knox County had the highest vaccination rate at 81 percent. 

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