Vaccine Coverage in States With School Requirements vs. No Requirements

A 'spillover' effect was noted in which children get other mandated immunizations
A 'spillover' effect was noted in which children get other mandated immunizations

HealthDay News — Schools that require routine vaccines as a condition of attendance have higher rates of vaccination, including higher rates of immunization for the human papillomavirus (HPV), and children at these schools are also more likely to get recommended tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) and meningitis vaccines, according to research published online November 8 in Pediatrics.

Jennifer Moss, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues tracked vaccination rates over five years for 100,000 adolescents nationwide. 

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The researchers found that, compared to states without Tdap and meningococcal vaccine requirements, those with such requirements had 22 and 24% increases, respectively, in coverage for these vaccines. The researchers also found that Tdap booster and meningococcal vaccination requirements were associated with larger "spillover" increases in HPV vaccination coverage.

As of the 2015 school year, 47 states had requirements for Tdap booster, 25 states for the meningococcal vaccine, and three states for HPV vaccination. According to the researchers, officials should consider changing school entry requirements to increase HPV vaccination rates. An "indirect" approach – of adopting Tdap booster or meningococcal vaccination requirements – might help, the research team said.

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