Immunization Rates in America

Vaccines are the success story of modern medicine. Routine childhood immunizations are crucial to both individual patient health and for public health. Due to philosophical and religious exemptions and lack of access to care, immunization rates vary across the country. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that some communities have already experienced preventable disease outbreaks. Children who are too young to be vaccinated and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons are at higher risk when immunization rates are low. As a result, increasing immunization rates is a crucial priority for adolescent health and development. (AAP)

The Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR)

We are fortunate in our state to be served by the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR), a robust system of reporting vaccination data for each patient. WIR, released statewide in 2000, is a confidential, secure online database administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Immunization Program. Responding to the advent of multiple electronic medical records in use by large healthcare systems, interfaces are readily available to communicate data back and forth on a consistent basis to maintain the integrity and timely recording of information.

WIAAP’s WIR position statement expands on our commitment to work with public health officials to provide the education and outreach necessary to keep our patients fully immunized, according to the Bright Futures periodicity schedule.

Adolescent Immunizations

Adolescents aged 7 to 18 years require additional vaccinations because protection from childhood vaccines can wear off over time and leave them more susceptible to infection. HPV aside, adolescent immunizations are often challenging to keep on schedule owing to the decrease in well visit appointments kept as patients grow older. Checkups for sports physicals are an excellent opportunity to “catch up” on a teen’s vaccination schedule if necessary.

Vaccine-preventable diseases include:

  Pertussis (whooping cough)

  Hepatitis B
  Hepatitis A


A common misperception about the flu is that healthy children are not at risk of serious complications. According to one CDC study published in the journal Pediatrics, half of the flu-related deaths in children were in good health prior to contracting the illness between 2010 and 2016. Just last flu season (2017-2018), more children died from influenza than ever before – a shocking 172 lives were lost.

These statistics serve as a startling reminder that all children over the age of six months should be vaccinated annually. Children younger than five years (and especially those under age 2), and any children with long-term chronic health problem are particularly at risk. Those conditions may include heart disease, asthma or other lung disorders and neurologic or neurodevelopmental disorders.

The flu shot not only may keep your child from getting sick with the flu, it also protects people around them (like grandparents, babies and those more vulnerable to infection).

HPV Statistics

79 million

people have been infected with HPV in the US, by approximation.

14 million

new HPV infections occur every year.


of sexually active people will contract HPV over their lifetime.

27,000 people

in the United States get cancer caused by HPV each year.

Improving HPV Immunization Rates

You are the key to cancer prevention

Make a strong recommendation for adolescent vaccines, including HPV, to boys and girls ages 11-12. Every visit on or after the 9th birthday is an opportunity to recommend the vaccine.

Minimal Side Effects to Prevent Cancer

Since the vaccine was licensed, very few patients reported side effects – and most of those were “non-serious” symptoms such as headache, nausea, and dizziness. Being infected with HPV can lead to cervical cancer, genital cancer, anogenital cancer, throat cancer and genital warts.

Longer Lasting Immunity for 11-12-Year-Olds

A higher level of the protective antibody is generated in the body of 11-12-year-olds after immunization, compared with older adolescents and young adults. This may result in longer-lasting immunity.

WIAAP HPV Quality Improvement Initiative

Improve HPV vaccine rates in your practice. You are the key to preventing HPV-related cancer. Advance your knowledge and competency around HPV vaccination while receiving certification credits. We’re bringing together pediatricians from Wisconsin and Illinois through a self-directed QI program to improve HPV immunization rates in clinics and communities. For more information regarding the HPV Immunization QI program, visit our MOC Programs. The HPV project is currently accepting waitlist names for the next iteration.

Free for providers in Wisconsin and Illinois 

This online quality improvement course is free for providers in Wisconsin and Illinois. Enrollment is encouraged for both practices and individuals. Membership in your state chapter provides additional ongoing education on immunizations and so much more. Not a member? Join Today!

Earn 20 MOC Part IV Credits & 5 CME Credits

Both the quality improvement and continuing education credits will be received before the end of 2018. Read about the program.


Expert Physician Guided Education

Participants navigate challenges together through virtual learning discussions to analyze interventions, results, and opportunities for improvement.

illinois-state-medical-societyThe Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics is accredited by the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics designates this activity for a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The quality improvement project is approved for MOC Part IV credit by the American Board of Pediatrics.