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Missouri Lagging Behind In MMR Immunizations

Brett Blume
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Getty/Joe Raedle

Getty/Joe Raedle

CBS St. Louis (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSStL.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSStL.com/Health

ATLANTA, Ga. (KMOX) –  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are out this morning with new data on childhood immunization rates.

And while a generally high vaccination rate among children aged 3 and under has resulted in “historically low levels” of most vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S., CDC officials say more work needs to be done.

Dr. Erin Kennedy, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC, tells KMOX News that

“The one thing I would be most worried about in Missouri is the coverage rates for Measles, Mumps and Rubella…or the MMR vaccine,” Kennedy says. “It’s really important that we get 90% coverage, especially for measles.”

Statistics show that the current MMR vaccination rate in the Show-Me State is 88.2%, more than three-percent lower than the national average.

Dr. Kennedy says even in 2012 many parents have to be convinced that their children aren’t at a bigger risk from the vaccination than from the disease its designed to prevent.

“As with any medication there’s some side effects,” she says, “but most of these side effects are very minor, like soreness where the shot was given, fussiness, or low-grade fever. But before any vaccine is licensed there are multiple safety studies done and then we continue to monitor the safety of the vaccines once they are starting to be given to children.”

The CDC study showed that the percentage of children ages 19 to 35 months receiving no immunizations whatsoever has now dropped to less than 1% nationally.

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