New Hampshire has the third-highest vaccination rate for toddlers (19 to 35 months) among all states, according to the latest release from the Centers for Disease Control (the whole polysyllabic report is here).
The overall rate of vaccination was 80.4 percent, plus or minus 6 percentage points, behind only Maine, which at 84.7 percent wallowped everybody, and North Carolina (80.8%). New Hampshire’s rate of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine was 93%, DTaP (diptheria, tetanus and pertussis or whopping cough) was 91% and rotavirus was 82%. Our weakness was hepatitis: Hep B was 73% and Hep A, which requires multiple vaccinations, was only 57%, putting us closer to the middle of the pack.
New Hampshire has long had a good record on vaccinations, not just for toddlers but for all children. We provide vaccines for free to people under age 19, and the Legislature has several times turned down efforts to expand parents’ ability to opt out of vaccines for anything other than medical or religious reasons. California recently removed such a “philosophical” opt-out from its state laws after it contributed to a high rate of unvaccinated kids in the state which in turn contributed to a much-publicized Disneyland measles outbreak.
As a side note, the Portland Press-Herald has a story today about the data, pointing out that Maine improved its toddler-vaccination rate a whopping 16 percentage points in 2014. It’s not exactly clear what led to that leap, but it’s impressive.
As a side note, the last time I wrote about vaccination I received one of my favorite comments ever as part of the predictable anitvaxxer backlash: “David Brooks is a buffoon of epic proportion.” I want that on my tombstone.