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angle-left Childhood vaccination rates in Syracuse are among highest in the nation

Childhood vaccination rates in Syracuse are among highest in the nation

For Immediate Release:  2018-01-18

Contact:  Liz Martin, (315) 671-6408

Childhood vaccination rates in Syracuse are among the highest in the nation, according to a new study of medical claims by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

The study examined U.S. claims data for 843,610 children, born in 2010-2013 and commercially insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, and followed their care continuously from birth to 3 years of age. Focusing on completion rates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended seven-vaccine series for children, the study found that 73.5 percent of children nationwide and 64.2 percent of children in New York state were up-to-date on their CDC-recommended vaccinations during the seven-year span from 2010 to 2016. In Syracuse, the total childhood vaccination rate was 84.4 percent, a rate that is among the top 20 of all metropolitan statistical areas examined in the study.

“Childhood vaccination is one of the most significant public health accomplishments of the 20th century. We have all but eradicated many devastating diseases and health conditions with vaccinations, preventing an untold amount of illness, disease, and death,” said Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Corporate Medical Director Martin Lustick, M.D. “It’s very important for the healthy development of all children that they be vaccinated.”

While overall vaccination rates are strong nationwide, 23 percent of children born in 2013 still did not receive the CDC-recommended seven-vaccine series within the first three years of life. For children who are not completely vaccinated, missed well-child visits were the primary reason for under-vaccination.

“The results of the national study highlight how important well-child visits are to improving vaccination rates,” said Lustick. “Physicians in our community are doing a great job with well-child visits, so we’re not surprised by the high vaccination rates.”

Lustick added, “The fact that the Central New York region has the lowest uninsured rates in modern times also helps explain why we have among the best records on vaccinations in the country.”  According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the 2016 uninsured rate in Central New York was 3.96 percent, which is lower than the uninsured rate in the state (6.06 percent) and in the nation (8.58 percent).

Vaccination rates continue to improve among commercially insured children in the U.S., according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association study.

For more information on this study from The Health of America Report series, visit “Early Childhood Vaccination Trends in America.”

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit