Rhode Island’s immunization rates for teenagers are among the highest in the country, according to new data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rhode Island leads the nation in immunizations against the Human papillomavirus, which can lead to cancer in adults, the “Tdap” vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis, and a third vaccine which prevents meningitis, an infection of the spinal cord and lining of the brain.
For the HPV vaccine, 9o percent of teenage girls and 88 percent of teenage boys in Rhode Island had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine – the highest rate in the country, according to a version of the National Immunization Survey of parents or guardians of 13- to 17-year-olds. Nationally, the averages are 65 percent for girls and 56 percent for boys.
More than 96 percent of Rhode Island teens also received at least one dose of the Meningococcal Conjugate vaccine, to prevent meningitis – the highest in the country.
And more than 95 percent of Rhode Island teens received the combined vaccine called Tdap -- the second highest rate in the country.
The full report of the 2016 immunization survey data is available online.
“Making all CDC-recommended vaccines accessible to all children at no cost is part of our work to give everyone in Rhode Island, no matter what zip code they come from, an equal opportunity to thrive,’’ Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Rhode Island’s health director, said in a statement.