Rhode Island continues to be a national leader in adolescent immunizations, with Rhode Island teens at or above the national averages for every vaccine type, according to recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"Rhode Island's immunization success is directly attributable to the dedication of our community partners and healthcare workforce, including primary care providers, school nurses, and pharmacists," said Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH, Interim Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). "Prevention is a fundamental principle of public health. By vaccinating Rhode Island children so well, we are helping to control healthcare costs, we are preventing the serious health consequences of many illnesses, and we are giving everyone in our state the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. With flu vaccine and the updated COVID-19 vaccine to be widely available in Rhode Island in the coming weeks, I encourage everyone to continue putting prevention first by getting vaccinated."
Rhode Island highlights:
• Rhode Island saw minor decreases in adolescent vaccination coverage rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, but overall coverage increased from 2021 to 2022, returning to rates similar to those in the 2020 survey (which represents pre-pandemic levels). • Rhode Island has the nation's highest rate for 13 to 17-year-olds who are up to date on their human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. 94.6% of Rhode Islanders in this age group have had at least one dose, compared to 76.0% nationally. • Rhode Island continues to exceed national vaccination averages for adolescent Tdap vaccination (preventing tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). 95.1% of Rhode Islanders 13-17 years old have had at least one dose, compared to 89.9% of adolescents in this age group nationally. Rhode Island is also a national leader in MenACWY vaccination (meningococcal conjugate vaccine). 96.2% of Rhode Islanders 13-17 years old have had at least one dose, compared to 88.6% of adolescents in this age group nationally.
The Rhode Island Child and Adult Immunization Registry (RICAIR) contributes to Rhode Island's high vaccination rates. RICAIR is a statewide health information system that houses child and adult immunization records in one unified system, which healthcare providers can access statewide to coordinate care for patients. An additional factor in Rhode Island's immunization success is its Universal Vaccine Policy. This Universal Vaccine Policy allows healthcare providers to order all vaccines from the state for children from birth through 18 years of age, and most recommended vaccines for adults, at no cost. (As a condition of enrollment in the system, providers have to vaccinate patients at no cost.)
The data were collected using the CDC's National Immunization Survey-Teen. Vaccination estimates are generated by calling randomly selected phone lines nationally among households that include adolescents from 13 to 17 years of age. Parents and guardians are interviewed to obtain adolescent, maternal, and household information and are asked to provide consent for their adolescent's vaccine providers to be contacted. Data is not collected on every individual, so the true vaccination rates (and therefore rankings) could be slightly higher or lower.
Complete Rhode Island immunization data are available online at https://ricair-data-rihealth.hub.arcgis.com/