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The States Where the Most People Get Vaccinated

Vaccines prevent a lot of deaths, and the challenge of distributing them is compounded by the pandemic.

A coronavirus vaccine will only be effective if people get it.

Before there was a vaccine for measles, almost every child caught this highly infectious disease, and thousands of children died from it, according to OnHealth. While it was declared “eliminated” 20 years ago, measles has come back in a big way with more than 1,200 cases reported in 2019, and most people who get it are unvaccinated.

The World Health Organization estimates that vaccines prevented at least 10 million deaths worldwide just between the years of 2010 and 2015 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found vaccines prevented 732,000 deaths in the U.S. between 1994 and 2013, as well as eliminated $1.38 trillion in total societal costs that those diseases would have caused, WalletHub reports.

Vaccine resistance is a top global health challenge, the WHO says. The Covid-19 pandemic has compounded the problem with the many delays in preventative health care, and childhood vaccination is one of those delays, says Dr. Matthew L. Boulton, Senior Associate Dean for Global Public Health at the University of Michigan.

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“I think it will easily take more than a year for us to catch up in the U.S.,” Boulton told WalletHub, “and literally years before we can catch up on delivering essential vaccination services to children worldwide, particularly in low and middle-income countries.”

For this list of states that vaccinate the most, personal finance site WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia on immunization rates of children and teenagers for common vaccinations (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps, Rubella, influenza, HPV, and other common vaccinations) as well the rates for adults, including the elderly, for influenza, pneumonia, tetanus and Zoster. They also looked at the state requirements for vaccinations.

The third data point in the study, "immunization uptake disparities and influencing factors," considers the change in kids’ immunization rates over a five-year period, as well as poverty rates, health insurance coverage, immunization education and other factors.

Based on WalletHub’s study, these are the states that vaccinate the most.