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Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Home News Nurse Practitioner These States Have the Lowest Vaccination Rates

These States Have the Lowest Vaccination Rates

Over the past five years, immunization has prevented roughly 10 million deaths. Despite the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, the number of unvaccinated individuals has quadrupled since 2001.

A recent report from personal finance site WalletHub delves into this trend, state by state. Mississippi claims the dubious honor of having the lowest overall vaccination rate. Texas was second-lowest, followed by Florida. Massachusetts has the highest vaccination rate. Vermont was runner-up, and Rhode Island took third, according to WalletHub.

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To come to this conclusion, researchers analyzed vaccination and insurance rates, reported disease outbreaks, and other data from all 50 states and D.C. The end result is 18 separate rankings, including flu immunization rates for kids, tetanus rates for adults, HPV rates for teens and more.

Below are the most significant findings:

Flu shot rates for children between 6 months and 17 years old

Least-vaccinated:

  • Wyoming
  • Florida
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • Alaska

Most-vaccinated:

  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Washington, D.C.

Up-to-date HPV vaccine rates for 13 to 17 year olds

Least-vaccinated:

  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • South Carolina
  • Wyoming

Most-vaccinated:

  • Rhode Island
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota

MenACWY vaccine rates in 13 to 17 year olds

Least-vaccinated:

  • Mississippi
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas

Most-vaccinated:

  • Rhode Island
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts

Flu shot rates for adults

Least-vaccinated:

  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Indiana
  • Wyoming

Most-vaccinated:

  • West Virginia
  • Washington
  • Minnesota
  • Maryland
  • Rhode Island

Tetanus shot rates for adults

Least-vaccinated:

  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • Arkansas

Most-vaccinated:

  • Minnesota
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Wisconsin
  • Iowa

Zoster vaccine rates for adults 60 and older

Least-vaccinated:

  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • Florida

Most-vaccinated:

  • Vermont
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon
  • North Dakota / Washington

Rates of combined 7-vaccine series among children 19 to 35 months old living in poverty

Least-vaccinated:

  • California
  • Michigan
  • Virginia
  • Montana
  • New York / New Jersey

Most-vaccinated:

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Tennessee

Why are there variations in vaccine rates?

“Simply put, there are some states where people are more responsible about getting vaccines,” WalletHub senior analyst Jill Gonzalez tells Florence Health. “The states that are better … tend to have higher influenza vaccination rates among children, and a larger share of teenagers with up-to-date HPV and MenACWY vaccination.”

Additional factors play a role, too.

“Other common situations among the lower ranked states include the large share of people without health insurance, and the large share of people living in areas with shortages of primary care providers,” Gonzalez explains. She adds that states with low vaccination rates have seen an additional drop over the past five years.

How can healthcare professionals improve vaccination rates?

Step one, Gonzalez says, is to educate parents on the benefits of vaccines. Share statistics regarding the drastically reduced prevalence of diseases due immunization, and emphasize that certain shots can protect from several diseases at once.

RELATED: 4 Tips for Talking to Patients About Vaccine Hesitancy

On the other hand, Blima Marcus, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, OCN, who’s become the face of the movement to talk sensitively to vaccine-hesitant patients, recommends empathy above all. For example, listen to parents’ stories, acknowledge their concerns, and if possible, call upon your own experience as a parent.

You should also consider providing a vaccination schedule so parents know what’s coming up for their children. The version from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes a list of vaccine-preventable diseases and the corresponding shots, as well.

2019’s states that vaccinate the most, WalletHub. 

2019 Recommended Vaccinations for Infants and Children (birth through 6 years), Parent-Friendly Format, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last Updated 10/7/2019

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