Study Shows Colorado Parents Value Access to School and Child Care Immunization Rates

Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sep 04 2018

For Immediate Release

AURORA, Colo.— Survey data published in the journal Vaccine show Colorado parents value vaccination rates in the context of school and child care choice.

Results from the statewide survey of more than 400 mothers of children under 12 years of age conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado indicate that parents, including those considered vaccine hesitant, would accept longer driving commutes to avoid schools and child care centers with lower vaccination rates. This is one of the first studies to assess the value of publicly reporting vaccination rates.

Key highlights include:

  • When asked to rate the importance of six factors related to school/child care choice, vaccination rates had the fourth highest rating, after safety, academics and size.
  • Parents of child-care-age children were more likely to consider vaccination rates important.
  • Parents rated vaccination and distance as similarly important in choosing a school/child care.

“High levels of vaccination coverage are necessary to protect our youngest and most vulnerable community members – our children – from vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks,” stated lead author and Children’s Hospital Colorado infectious disease pediatrician Jessica Cataldi, MD, MSCS. “Reporting vaccination rates allows parents to understand the level of risk of the environments in which they place their children and empowers them to make informed choices.”

Resulting from legislation passed in 2014, a Colorado Board of Health rule passed in 2015 requires all K-12 schools (public, private and parochial), as well as child care facilities, Head Starts and preschools that are licensed for 10 or more students, to report immunization and exemption data annually to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). CDPHE then calculates immunization and exemption rates at the school or child care, district and state levels, and makes the data available online. The school and child care immunization data webpage enables parents and guardians to look up immunization and exemption rates for their school and child care.

“That parents would sacrifice commute time in favor of a school or child care with higher vaccination rates shows that parents value access to vaccination rate data and school and that child care rates may influence parents’ decisions about where to send (or not send) their children,” added Dr. Cataldi. “Public health and policy efforts to strengthen capacity for reporting vaccination rates will in turn support parents in staying informed about the health of their communities and their children."

About the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition
The Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC) is a statewide, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Its mission is to strategically mobilize diverse partners and families to advance children’s health through immunizations. CCIC does not accept funding from vaccine manufacturers or distributors. To learn more, visit www.childrensimmunization.org and connect with CCIC on Facebook and Twitter.

About Children’s Hospital Colorado
Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) has defined and delivered pediatric health care excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children’s Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually acknowledged as one of the nation’s top ten Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine, Children’s Colorado is known for both its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research, education and advocacy programs, as well as comprehensive everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Children’s Colorado also is recognized for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Centers and has been designated a Magnet® hospital since 2005. The hospital’s family-centered, collaborative approach combines the nation’s top pediatric doctors, nurses and researchers to pioneer new approaches to pediatric medicine. With urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Metro Denver and Southern Colorado, including its campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, Children’s Colorado provides a full spectrum of pediatric specialties. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org and connect with Children’s Colorado on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Contact: Meredith Kersten
Office: 720.777.1798 Mobile: 608.295.3475
meredith.kersten@childrenscolorado.org