Hep A vax study underscores need for long-term campaigns

A new survey out from the CDC demonstrates just how potent a recommendation for vaccinations can be, and how quickly parents can overlook a jab when they aren't being urged repeatedly to provide one.

Overall, new research indicates that only 3 out of every 10 children in the U.S. have received both recommended hepatitis A vaccinations. In the 11 states where recommendations have been in place for the longest period of time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 60% of all kids had both shots before reaching 17. Two states, Alaska and Oklahoma, achieved 85% compliance. In these states, black, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native children were more likely to gain protection than white children.

"Greater efforts among these communities allow them to have higher coverage. So it looks like those groups who seemed to be most at risk are actually being vaccinated" the most, study author Christina Dorell told Reuters Health.

Vaccination experts have been fretting for years over the success of public campaigns. Their success determines just how effectively the country can gain "herd" protection, where widespread compliance extends protection to all.

- here's the Reuters story