The Northeast Colorado Health Department has raised objections over the recent vaccination data by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), saying the released report has failed to paint an accurate picture of vaccination rates among children in Colorado.
According to the health department, the CDC has surveyed only 0.5 percent of the kindergarten population of Colorado for preparing the vaccination data.
Public Health Director Tony Cappello, of the Northeast Colorado Health Department, said, “It is not the lack of vaccinations which is the most immediate problem posed by the data, but the real problem is the data itself.”
The CDC has released a table for October 2014 which showed the coverage of vaccination among kindergarten children in the US states. The table showed Colorado having the lowest kindergarten vaccination rate at 81.7 percent in the country.
Cappello said Colorado has an estimated population of 69,904 kindergartners, and the federal agency selected only 350 to participate in its random-selection survey for vaccination rate.
“We are only looking at 0.5 percent of that population, and that is very small,” he said.
The public health director also said that Colorado was the only state in the CDC table whose data were prepared on the basis of a random survey method, while the kindergarten vaccination rates for other states were determined by census data.
The CDC table showed some of the states having as good as 100 percent participation rate for vaccination of the kindergarten children,
According to the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS), the Morgan County data shows that just 59.28 percent of children under five-year-old were vaccinated during 2013-14 period and only 63.66 percent of children under 6-year-old were vaccinated between 2013 and 2014.
According to Cappello, those numbers are not correct as the doctors are not required to enter data related to vaccination into CIIS.
“We don’t have a sound reporting system. It’s to nail down any kind of local data because it does not have to be reported,” he said.
Cappello said that even though Colorado’s vaccination data has its limitations, it is quit believable that the state does post a lower rating compared to other states.
“I have no doubt that our rates are low,” he asserted.
Colorado is among the 20 states in the US that allow the parents to oppose the immunization programs for their children based on the personal or religious beliefs.