Event Highlights Disparities in Childhood Immunizations in Contra Costa
April 27, 2007
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More children in Contra Costa are getting immunized against childhood diseases but some children are still getting left behind.
As part of Toddler Immunization Month, Contra Costa Health Services will hold a special event next week to both celebrate successes and raise awareness about childhood immunizations, which are available throughout the county. The event runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 4 at the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program on the first floor of the Richmond Health Center, 100 38th St.
More than 75% of all Contra Costa children have received their recommended infant and toddler vaccinations by the age of 2, a 12% increase from 2000, said Erika Jenssen, Immunization Coordinator for Contra Costa Public Health. But despite the increase, African-American children still lag behind by more than 11% when compared to the county population as a whole.
"This is a celebration of how far we've come and how far we still need to go. While the overall statistics for Contra Costa are very encouraging, we know that there is still much to be done to ensure more African-American children receive their immunizations so that they can be protected against preventable childhood diseases," Jenssen said.
About 65% of African-American toddlers are immunized in Contra Costa compared to 85% of White and 72% Latino children, according to 2006 immunization statistics. However, progress is being made. Since 2000, the number of African-American children getting immunized has increased by 17%, and educational and outreach efforts to reduce this disparity continue, Jenssen said.
The May 4th event will include fun activities and information about the importance of regular checkups for children, who need at least five before the age of 2 in order for them to get the immunizations they need. For more information on the CCHS Immunization Program, call 1-800-246-2494
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- Erika Jenssen
- Immunization Coordinator