Childhood Immunization Rates on Rise in Arkansas

JULY 28, 2005 - Posted at 8:03 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Department of Health says that childhood immunization rates in the state have increased and are now above the national rate for eight types of vaccines.

In 2004, 82.4 percent of Arkansas children aged 19 to 35 months were vaccinated, up from 67 percent four years ago.  The vaccinations included diptheria, measles, mumps, pertusis, polio, rubella, tetanus, and the flu.

Dr. Sandra Snow said the increase in immunizations is due to local health units and private providers efforts to get children vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that though disease rates have been reduced by 99 percent, immunization programs still need to be strengthened, and that diseases seen 50 years ago remain a threat to children.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)