FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
April 23, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases recognized Connecticut for achieving the third-highest childhood immunization coverage rate in the nation at ceremony today at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
CDC officials also recognized sixteen immunization “champions” – physicians, nurses, office managers, and their respective local health department immunization coordinators from across Connecticut who have worked especially hard at raising childhood immunization coverage in their communities and ensuring that children they serve are protected against childhood vaccine preventable diseases.
Connecticut is a national leader in childhood immunization, and officials said the state’s success is due in large part to the efforts of many professional, community-based, and private organizations that have worked diligently with the Department of Public Health to raise awareness of the issue. These organizations include the Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Connecticut Association of Directors of Health, the state Department of Social Services, and the Connecticut Commission on Children.
“We are very proud of the work that healthcare providers and organizations around the state have done to educate parents and raise awareness about the importance of childhood immunization,” stated Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA. “Childhood immunizations are an important way to protect our children from preventable diseases and keep them healthy.”
According to results from the CDC 2006 National Immunization Survey, Connecticut achieved an 82 percent coverage rate for the basic immunization series among children 19 to 35 months of age. Connecticut’s immunization rate was third only to Massachusetts and North Carolina, and well above the national average of 77 percent. Connecticut has been among the top five states for childhood immunization coverage levels for the past 10 years. The award coincides with National Infant Immunization Week, running from April 19 to April 26. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/default.htm.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.