Physicians urge parents to get their kids vaccinated

Minnesota child wellness experts are encouraging parents to add vaccinations to this year’s back-to-school checklist. The percentage of Minnesota children receiving vaccinations is declining, which concerns many in the medical community. The Children’s Physician Network, Minnesota Medical Association, and Minnesota Head Start Association are working to raise awareness as part of August’s National Immunization Awareness Month.

Minnesota vaccination rates rank poorly. Only 58.1 percent of Minnesota children ages 24-35 months are up to date on all recommended vaccines. The vaccination rate for tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough among 11- to 12-year-olds is 52 percent, which is below the national average and ranks 35th among states.

Immunization schedules: Minnesota’s recommended immunization schedule includes:

• For infants and young children: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), IPV (polio), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), varicella (chicken pox), PCV (pneumococcal), hepatitis A and hepatitis B, rotavirus, influenza, and Haemophilus (Hib) vaccinations;

• For children ages 7 to 18: Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), MCV (meningococcal), influenza, and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccinations;

• For adults: Td (tetanus, diphtheria) vaccinations every 10 years and influenza vaccination annually.