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Missouri health officials say the state’s immunization rate for a series of seven vaccines for toddlers is the lowest in the nation. KSMU’s Adam Hammons asked the Greene County Health Department what they’re doing to fix this.
The state health department says 56 percent of children ages 19 months to 35 months received all of the recommended early childhood vaccinations last year. That’s way behind the national average of 71 percent.
Pam Bryant is a health program administrator at the Springfield Greene County Health Department. She says it’s not really known why children aren’t getting vaccinated. She said it could be a combination between money, lack of information, and that some parents are against vaccines.
“There’s a lot more vaccines out than five years ago, than ten years ago, and that keeps this new information for parents. And if they had one child then it’s different for each child.”
Bryant says that Greene County does have staff members who work specifically on vaccinations. She says that communication with parents is an important part in getting children vaccinated.
“We do reminders. Hey you’re appointment’s coming up or your child’s overdue, please come back in. And try to work with them.”
Vaccination clinics at the health department are open Monday through Friday on both an appointment and walk-in basis.
You can find a link for more information on vaccinations in Missouri by going to our website ksmu.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.