Date: Thursday, September 5, 2019
In Midst of Nationwide Outbreaks, Colorado’s Immunization Rates Lag, Cost of Preventable Disease Remains High
Charges to treat flu in Colorado surpassed $367 million during the 2017-18 flu season
Despite a recent nationwide outbreak of measles resulting in the highest number of cases in nearly 30 years and a growing Hepatitis A outbreak in Colorado, Colorado’s vaccination rates continue to lag, according to an independent report released today by Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) and the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC).
In 2018, only 87% of Colorado kindergarteners were fully vaccinated against measles—down from 89% in 2017—and nearly 5% of kindergarteners submitted exemptions for one or more vaccines, leaving Coloradans, especially the state’s youngest residents, vulnerable to an outbreak. And though cases of influenza resulted in over $367 million in hospital and emergency department charges and more than 42,000 missed work days in Colorado in 2017-18, only 45% of Coloradans received a flu vaccine. The report, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Colorado’s Children, also finds that improving rates of influenza vaccination to just 70% could prevent $22 million in treatment charges and $1.4 million in lost wages and productivity.
Read more in the Sept. 9 press release.
Access the full Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Colorado's Children Report.