February 13, 2019

Chicago Nationally Recognized for Most Improved Immunization Coverage Rates

Chicago Department of Public Health receives three awards for high vaccination coverage

Mayor’s Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO - The Chicago Department of Public Health continues to make significant strides in protecting children, adolescents and adults against vaccine-preventable diseases and was once again recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its immunization efforts. During the annual grantee meeting in Atlanta, GA, CDPH received awards in three categories:

•    Healthy People 2020 Award for most improved average of coverage rates for nine vaccinations for children aged 19-35 months from 2014 to 2017. Chicago’s high measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage (94% for ≥1 dose for 19-35 month olds) is critical when measles outbreaks continue to occur in Washington, New York  and as close as the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign.

•    Healthy People 2020 Award for most improved average of coverage rates for adolescents aged 13-17 years from 2014 to 2017.  Chicago surpassed the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80% Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series initiation in 2017 with 82% of teens having received at least one HPV vaccine.  We are tied with Massachusetts for the 5th highest series initiation coverage in the country (after Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Philadelphia and El Paso County, Texas).

•    Recognition for programs with largest improvement in adult pneumococcal vaccination coverage with a more than 9 percentage point increase for adults aged 65 years and older from 2014-2017Though adults can be historically hard to reach, making vaccines available to adults has been a priority for CDPH. The department spearheaded an effort to vaccinate high-risk adults with hepatitis A vaccine amidst a growing number of  hepatitis A outbreaks, nationally and in other parts of Illinois.  To date, CDPH has distributed over 3,000 doses of hepatitis A vaccine and administered over 2,000 doses with 11 vaccinating partners since 2017.

“Keeping Chicagoans healthy and ensuring they have access to quality preventive care is integral to keeping our City running,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These recognitions and record vaccination rates are a testament to Dr. Morita’s bold leadership and the Department of Public Health’s strategy, which is a model for the nation.”

“We are honored to be recognized as a model health department” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “These prestigious awards come with great responsibility and we reaffirm our commitment to increasing immunization rates and improving the lives of Chicagoans.”

HPV vaccine prevents cervical, other genital, head and neck cancers. In 2017, 67% of Chicago teens completed the HPV vaccine series (2 or 3 doses depending on age at initiation) which is 16 percentage points higher than the national coverage levels. In addition, Chicago saw increased rates for HPV coverage in adolescent boys from 41.6% in 2016 to 46.4% in 2017.

Under Mayor’s Emanuel leadership, Chicago is countering the flu season, having hosted community clinics in all 50 wards and vaccinating over 7,900 individuals to protect them from influenza.  As influenza activity continues to increase city wide, there is still time to receive a flu vaccine.  Residents can find a free flu shot in their neighborhood by visiting ChicagoFluShots.org.

Healthy People 2020 is a 10 year initiative and disease prevention agenda developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For 3 decades, Healthy People has been committed to improving the Nation’s health by setting national objectives and monitoring progress.

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