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Rhode Island Adolescent Vaccination Coverage is Second Highest in Nation

Vaccination is not just for infants and toddlers. Adolescents need vaccinations, too, for protection from serious diseases like tetanus, meningitis, and human papillomavirus (HPV). In the recent National Immunization Survey (NIS) – Teen, Rhode Island ranked second in the nation for the three vaccines routinely recommended for teens.

In 2009, Rhode Island had near-top rankings for tetanus, meningitis and HPV vaccines. The tetanus vaccination rate was 91.4% (compared to the national average of 76.2%), the meningitis vaccination rate was 75.7% (compared to the national average of 53.6%), and the HPV vaccination rate was 68.3% (compared to the national average of 44.3%).

“These results are good news for Rhode Island,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “Through a combination of HEALTH’s Vaccinate Before You Graduate (VBYG) program and the work of adolescent healthcare providers, our state is protecting young adults against serious diseases before they leave high school. Our goal is to have 90% of adolescents get each of these vaccines. We have already reached this goal for the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) and hepatitis B vaccines.”

“In addition to providing the recommended vaccines to all Rhode Island teens, we want to make sure that they are up to date on all immunizations and that they get a flu shot every year,” said Chief of the Office of Immunization Patricia Raymond, RN, MPH. “This year, for the first time, we are offering the seasonal flu vaccine to students at school-based vaccination clinics and through our VBYG program. We want to offer as many opportunities as possible to get vaccinated and stay healthy.”

The 2009 NIS for children ages 19-35 months of age also shows that for most of the recommended childhood vaccines, Rhode Island has met or surpassed the Healthy People 2010 goal of a coverage rate of 90%.

The NIS is administered annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To view the entire NIS report, visit For information about the VBYG program, visit To view the 2010 School Flu Clinic Schedule, visit

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