New England States Have Highest Rates in the Nation
Concord, NH – According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released yesterday, New Hampshire vaccinated 28% of its residents against 2009 H1N1 influenza as of the end of January. This is above the nationwide average of 24%. For children (6 months to 17 years of age), the vaccination rate in New Hampshire was 46%, compared with 37% for the country as a whole.
“We are very pleased with the overall results,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, “but we know there is room for improvement. We learned a great deal from this event about conducting a large-scale vaccination campaign and we will use these lessons learned to improve our plans for the future.”
The New England states had the highest rates by region according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, with Maine having the highest rate in New England. Rhode Island had the highest rate overall at 38.8% of its population. Nationwide the CDC estimates that 60 million people became ill with H1N1 and between 72 and 81 million people were vaccinated during the campaign. The numbers are the result of two surveys conducted the by CDC among all the states.
“DHHS and the Division of Public Health Services want to thank the hundreds of individuals in New Hampshire who contributed tirelessly to this effort,” said Dr. Montero. “It would absolutely not have been possible without their contributions. We also want to recognize the citizens of New Hampshire who stayed informed of the situation and took the recommended precautions against this pandemic including being vaccinated.”
There is still evidence that H1N1 is circulating in parts of the U.S. Vaccine is still available in New Hampshire and those most at risk of complications are encouraged to receive it. For more information, visit www.nh.gov and click on the H1N1 Influenza Resource Center or call the New Hampshire Inquiry Line by dialing 211. To view then entire CDC report, go to http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/.