Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Report Shows High Cost of Vaccine-Preventable Disease

In 2015, Colorado ranked 14th among U.S. states for childhood immunizations, with over 24 percent of children under-immunized at 36 months of age and 472 Colorado children hospitalized with vaccine-preventable diseases, resulting in $35 million in hospital and emergency department charges. 

That’s according to an independent report released today by the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC) and Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado). The report, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Colorado’s Children, also finds that in 17 Colorado counties less than 50 percent of children are up to date on routine immunizations – well below the coverage level necessary to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Prepared annually by pediatricians and researchers from the Department of Epidemiology at Children’s Colorado, the report provides an analysis of the state of health of Colorado’s children based on the most recent National Immunization Survey, Colorado Hospital Association inpatient and emergency department data and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data. 

The report examines vaccination rates, hospitalizations and costs associated with vaccine-preventable disease in children. For the first time, the report also includes emergency department visits for vaccine-preventable diseases, county-level rates and school exemption data. Findings show that, despite improvement, there are significant gaps in vaccinating Colorado’s children.

Working toward a change

Local health departments in the Denver Metro area work to increase vaccination rates in our communities as an important and life-saving public health practice. Colorado’s current rate of children immunized with all of the recommended vaccines remains well below the majority of U.S. states and the national goal of 90 percent, with under-vaccination resulting in preventable childhood illness, hospitalization and death.  
Jefferson County Public Health is part of the Denver Metro Alliance for HPV Prevention, a regional collaborative working to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates across five counties in the Denver metropolitan area. Other members include Denver Public Health, Tri-County Health Department, the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition and the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science. The project is funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Amendment 35 grant program to address cancer, childhood obesity, and tobacco use and exposure in and around the Denver Metro area. For more information, please visit

Get your child vaccinated!

Jefferson County Public Health will offer low cost immunizations to the children in the community at the Shots for Tots and Teens clinic on Saturday, March 4, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Arvada Fire Station #2, 5250 Oak Street. 

Orlando Lucero, 7, watches as Mountain View Fire Rescue fire-medic Micah Arnold applies a bandage to 
the site of his vaccine at the Shots for Tots and Teens clinic Feb. 4, 2017 in Arvada.
Photo by Nikki Work
To learn more about this program, call (303) 239-7078 or visit

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