New Mexico Works To Improve Child Health

New Mexico – The state Department of Health is using recommendations from parent focus groups to improve immunization rates for toddlers across New Mexico.

The Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says New Mexico immunized 70.2 percent of toddlers in 2009. The national rate was 70.5 percent.

The Health Department worked with focus groups to determine barriers to getting children immunized.

Barriers include lack of transportation, children being sick when scheduled for immunizations, parents' work schedules, concern about side effects, language differences and availability of providers.

The 2009 immunization rates cannot be compared to previous years because those years include Hib vaccine but 2009 does not.

That's because the vaccine was in short supply.

It protects against a bacterial disease that strikes young children.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.