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Missoula Healthy Kids Indicators - 2020


Since widespread immunization in the United States, we have achieved dramatic success reducing the incidence of, and deaths caused by, most infectious childhood diseases. However, our very success can cause some of us to forget about the risk and become lax in immunizing our children. Although Montana law now requires full vaccination before kindergarten, many younger children are left at risk for a variety of reasons: lack of health care coverage, poverty, religious belief, lack of education of parents. Immunization levels at age two reflect the status of the community’s commitment to provide accessible preventive health care to young children and families.

Vaccines are among the most cost-effective clinical preventive services and are a core component of any preventive services package. Childhood immunization programs provide a very high return on investment.

Communities with pockets of unvaccinated and under-vaccinated populations are at increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.  Healthy People 2020



These data may be misleading and incomplete because some children’s vaccination records are not entered into the state-wide immunization registry.

There are many different factors that influence vaccination rates including: different methods of gathering data; parent refusal of certain vaccines; physicians who are reluctant to allow the parent to alter the vaccine schedule and refer them to the Health Dept. instead.

Source: MT DPHHS

graph % of kids fully immunized by 35 months, national immunization survey

Source: National Immunization Survey

Healthy People 2020 Target

Vaccination coverage levels for children at 35 months (percent of children)

Baseline 2007 Target 2020
4 doses DTaP vaccine 85 90
3 doses Hib vaccine 57 90
3 doses hepatitis B vaccine 94 90
1 dose MMR vaccine 92 90
3 doses polio vaccine 94 90
1 dose varicella vaccine 91 90
4 doses pneumonoccal 80 90
2 doses hepatitis A 40 60
1 dose Hepatitis B at birth 51 85
2 or more doses rotavirus 38 80

The US Dept of Health and Human Services sponsors the Healthy People objectives,
 a science-based, 10-year national plan for improving the health of all Americans.


How are we doing

State law requires that all children entering kindergarten have received 4 DTaP; 3 polios; 1 MMR. Admission to Day Care Centers require age appropriate doses of DTaP; polio; Hib, Varicella and MMR. Hep B and PCV4 are recommended but not required by law.

We compare favorably to other larger Montana towns but have a ways to go toward meeting HP 2020 goals.

In 2009, of the 753 kindergarteners registered in Missoula Dist. 1 schools, only 2 were non-compliant for adequate immunizations, and 9 had no immunizations because of religious beliefs. However, "adequate immunization" rates for two-year-olds are more difficult to accurately assess.


For Additional Data and Information important for evaluating this topic, click here.


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