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Children of Immigrants Less Likely to be Up-to-Date on Shots

Last Updated: October 31, 2017.

Children up to age 36 months with at least one foreign-born parent are less likely to be up-to-date on recommended vaccinations, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

TUEDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Children up to age 36 months with at least one foreign-born parent are less likely to be up-to-date on recommended vaccinations, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Maureen Leeds, M.P.H., and Miriam Halstead Muscoplat, M.P.H., from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), used information from the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection and the MDH Office of Vital Records to examine early childhood immunization rates.

The researchers found that at ages 2, 6, 18, and 36 months, children with at least one foreign-born parent were less likely to be up-to-date on recommended immunizations than children with two U.S.-born parents. At age 36 months, vaccination coverage varied by mother's region of origin, from 77.5 percent among children born to mothers from Central and South America and the Caribbean to 44.2 percent among those born to mothers from Somalia. The authors note that in these communities, low vaccination coverage increases the risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases among susceptible children and adults.

"Increased outreach to immigrant, migrant, and refugee populations and other populations with low up-to-date vaccination rates might improve timely vaccination in these communities," the authors write.

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