Protecting kids from preventable illnesses

While parents in Bexar County are doing a little better than in the nation as a whole at getting their young children vaccinated, Bexar still lags behind much of Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The CDC released its 2013 National Immunization Survey of children 19 to 35 months of age. Bexar County is one of only a half dozen cities or counties that provide local data to the survey.

In 2013, 70.6 percent of Bexar County children had received the complete recommended seven-vaccine series, compared to 70.4 percent for the nation as a whole.  For Texas as a whole, 72.5 percent got the series, including 77.6 percent in Houston.

For  measles, mumps and rubella vaccine alone, Bexar County did very well at 93 percent — better than Houston, all of Texas and all of the nation.

The CDC said across the country, vaccine coverage was stable or improved over previous years  for all routinely recommended childhood vaccines.

“I want to personally recognize the hard work of doctors and nurses coping with many challenges in the course of clinical work, and commend parents who, despite competing responsibilities, continue to prioritize immunization to keep their children healthy and safe,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a statement. “These people are central in keeping young children healthy by ensuring they receive the recommended vaccines on schedule.”