Suzanne Higgins Published

State's Immunization Efforts Receive National Honors


West Virginia has received two national honors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its efforts to control vaccine-preventable diseases.

The CDC ranks West Virginia among the top three states in the country for having the highest number of adults immunized against the flu. 

Approximately 52% of adults in West Virginia got a flu shot in the 2013-2014 season, compared to 42% nationally.

West Virginia was also cited for being among the top five states for most improved immunization coverage of adolescents, ages 13-17.

The number of adolescents in West Virginia immunized against several vaccine-preventable diseases has continued a steady rise in recent years to nearly 80% for the meningitis vaccine and the Tdap vaccine, which covers Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis.

Officials at the state Department of Health and Human Resources attribute the rise to immunization requirements for students entering the 7th and 12th grades that began 2 years ago.

Jeff Neccuzi, Director of the Division of Immunization Services, says the accomplishment is a testament to the dedication of school nurses and medical providers.