Last month, CDC released the 2016 National Immunization Survey (NIS) Child report, which provides the latest estimates of childhood vaccination rates in the United States.

We are proud to say that Massachusetts has some of the highest vaccination rates in the country, according to the data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the NIS. For children 19-35 months of age, Massachusetts ranks first in the nation in in immunization coverage rates for MMR, DTaP, Polio, Varicella and pneumococcal conjugate (PCV) vaccines, as well as for the series of seven vaccines (listed in table below) recommended for children before they turn two years of age.  The attached pdf outlines NIS-Child as well as NIS-Teen data and shows the Massachusetts rank for each vaccine.

NIS Child – 19-35 Months of Age, 2016
MA US
4+ DTaP 94%* 83%
3+ Polio 100%* 92%
1+ MMR 99%* 91%
Hib (Full series) 93%* 82%
3+ Hep B 97%* 91%
1+ Varicella 97%* 91%
4+ PCV 95%* 82%

*Surpasses the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90%.

While Massachusetts has some of the highest immunization rates in the country, local data can vary widely. Since immunization rates are not uniform across the state, school immunization data highlight areas that may be more susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases. These data also show the importance of maintaining high immunization rates. There are pockets of higher exemption rates in areas of Massachusetts, including the western portion of the state as well as the southeast, particularly the Cape and the Islands. Areas with higher exemption rates may be more susceptible to disease outbreaks as these students are not fully protected. Please visit the School Immunizations page for more information on these data and guidance on related maps.


MDPH is collaborating with many partners to target education to address the “exemption hot spots” and increase vaccine confidence. If you are interested in participating in this educational effort, please contact me (rebecca.vanucci@state.ma.us) or Cynthia McReynolds (cmcreynolds@mms.org).

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