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Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor

These Are the Best and Worst States for Vaccination Rates, Report Says

Massachusetts and Montana are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
PUBLISHED ON 01/17/2020

Baby’s health is a top priority for parents—and part of keeping baby healthy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), includes getting them their shots. But for many parents, the topic of vaccines can be contentious. After all, thanks to the internet, there is so much misinformation out there, it can be hard to know what to trust. A new study set out to find the top 10 states with the highest and lowest child vaccination rates.

The study, conducted by Expert Insurance Reviews, looked at data from the CDC’s National Immunization Survey. It examined what percentage of children—born in 2015 and 2016 and aged 19- to 35-months—in each state had completed the combined 7-vaccine series. The series includes four or more doses of DTaP, three or more doses of Polio, one or more doses of MMR, Hib full series, three or more doses of HepB, one or more doses of Varicella and four or more doses of PCV.

The last several years have seen an uptick in diseases like the measles. (According to data from the CDC, the number of measles cases between 2018 and 2019 almost tripled.) According to the study, the uptick in cases of preventable diseases is likely due not just to parents opting out of vaccines, but also a difference in healthcare access among certain demographic groups. The study found that nationally, there was a consistent gap by almost 6 percent between the vaccination rate of whites and Asians compared to those of African-Americans and Native Americans. It also found that there was a 10 percent difference in vaccination rates for those below poverty level.

Below, the top 10 best and worst states based on vaccination rates, along with the percentage of kids that have completed the combined 7-vaccine series.

The 10 States With the Highest Child Vaccination Rates

  1. Massachusetts; Combined 7-vaccine series: 85.9%
  2. North Dakota; Combined 7-vaccine series: 85.6%
  3. Nebraska; Combined 7-vaccine series: 85.5%
  4. Connecticut; Combined 7-vaccine series: 85.2%
  5. Iowa; Combined 7-vaccine series: 81.9%
  6. Pennsylvania; Combined 7-vaccine series: 81.5%
  7. Alabama; Combined 7-vaccine series: 81.3%
  8. North Carolina; Combined 7-vaccine series: 80.8%
  9. Colorado; Combined 7-vaccine series: 80.0%
  10. New Hampshire; Combined 7-vaccine series: 79.8%

The 10 States With the Lowest Child Vaccination Rates

  1. Montana; Combined 7-vaccine series: 64.0%
  2. Indiana; Combined 7-vaccine series: 67.3%
  3. Washington; Combined 7-vaccine series: 68.6%
  4. Minnesota; Combined 7-vaccine series: 68.9%
  5. South Carolina; Combined 7-vaccine series: 70.1%
  6. Mississippi; Combined 7-vaccine series: 70.2%
  7. Missouri; Combined 7-vaccine series: 70.4%
  8. Arizona; Combined 7-vaccine series: 70.7%
  9. Florida; Combined 7-vaccine series: 70.8%
  10. New York; Combined 7-vaccine series: 70.9%

If you’re a new parent or will soon be one, check out our guide on everything you need to know about vaccines, as well as tips on how to make them less stressful. As always, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any questions or concerns you may have.

PHOTO: Sean Pavone / Getty Images