DC waits longer to give children full range of vaccines recommended to protect them from illnesses

Children under the age of 2 will have to wait a little longer to get the full spectrum of vaccines recommended to protect them from a wide range of illnesses.

The state’s original schedule included a vaccination coverage rate of 90 percent at 4 months of age to 95 percent by age 2. Kids at that age are not yet eligible for routine immunizations. Now, children are expected to start receiving those vaccines early.

The timeline for taking care of that change was announced Friday at a Washington Post health roundtable held as part of WCPO’s tenth annual Health Care Summit.

“We’re bringing the vaccine schedule back in line with where it should be,” said Kathleen O’Driscoll, health commissioner of the Cincinnati Health Department.

She says it’s a safer choice for babies and kids for whom not getting immunizations early on can mean greater exposure to illnesses that can lead to health problems.

“Dealing with pertussis and other pertussis outbreaks in the last couple of years … those children at that age … those who have never been vaccinated, they are at greater risk.”

The 90-to-95-percent threshold may sound high to the average person. The old schedule set the number for 7 to 18 months of age. The medical community says to consider that “opt-out” rates for childhood vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “some parents” get their kids vaccinated and still “may opt out” and not seek out the full suite of recommended vaccines.

Monday’s article reports that Hopkins Children’s will have to take longer to dose sick children and that certain vaccines at time of death in immunization must be administered after an “aggressive effort” to find them.

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