Vaccination Rates By State 2019

Vaccination is the administration of a vaccine to help the immune system develop protection from disease. Vaccines contain a weakened microorganism or virus, or proteins or toxins from an organism, not strong enough to infect someone but to help build a tolerance to the disease.

Unlike in some countries around the world, vaccines are easily accessible in the United States. The seasonal influenza vaccine, or flu shot, is often offered for little to no cost at clinics across the United States every year during flu season. Many of these wide-available vaccines are for some of the most aggressive contagions that can be particularly harmful to children, the elderly, and people with autoimmune disease. Vaccines not only protect the individual receiving the vaccine, but also the community preventing the spread of these diseases.

Around the world, more and more people are receiving life-saving vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a thorough list of vaccines used in the United States. An emphasis is placed on children between the ages of zero to 10 to receive a specific list of vaccines: hepatitis A (HepA); hepatitis B (HepB); diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP); Hib, PCV13; inactivated poliovirus (IPV); inactivated influenza (IIV) or live-attenuated influenza (LAIV); measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); and varicella (VAR).

While there are no federal laws regarding the requirement of vaccinations, all 50 states have legislation requiring children attending public school to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP); polio (IPV); measles and rubella (MMR); and varicella (chickenpox). All states and the District of Columbia, however, allow medical exemptions for children who have a medical condition preventing them from receiving a vaccine.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, routine immunizations for children are vital for both individual and society health. Because immunization rates vary from state to state, some communities have recently experienced outbreaks of preventable diseases due to a lack of vaccinations. Low vaccination rates can be affected by medical exemptions, parents’ choice (anti-vaccination movement), or by lack of health care or health insurance.

The ten states with the highest rates of childhood vaccinations are:

  1. Massachusetts (92.60%)
  2. Virginia (92.10%)
  3. Maine (88.30%)
  4. New Hampshire (87.80%)
  5. Rhode Island (87.50%)
  6. Delaware (87.20%)
  7. Tennessee (86.70%)
  8. North Dakota (86.10%)
  9. Nebraska (85.70%)
  10. New Mexico (85.70%)

Massachusetts has the highest vaccination rates in the United States. According to the director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s immunization program, it is likely attributed to the facts that the state has a strong provider network and most children receive care in a primary care practitioner office. Additionally, “Massachusetts has had essentially universal healthcare for children longer than what’s been happening nationally.”

Alaska has the lowest vaccination rate in the United States. Officials say that vaccination rates in Alaska are improving, but that more efforts are needed to maintain herd immunity.

Below is a table of each state’s vaccination rates.

State Vaccination Rate 2019 Pop.
Alaska74.20%735,720
Missouri75.50%6,147,861
Wyoming76.90%572,381
Colorado77.30%5,770,545
Oklahoma77.60%3,948,950
Oregon78.00%4,245,901
Kansas78.50%2,910,931
Indiana78.60%6,718,616
Montana78.70%1,074,532
Georgia78.80%10,627,767
Washington78.90%7,666,343
Louisiana79.00%4,652,581
Hawaii79.20%1,416,589
Arkansas79.40%3,026,412
New Jersey79.40%8,922,547
South Carolina79.40%5,147,111
Utah79.50%3,221,610
South Dakota79.80%892,631
Texas79.90%29,087,070
Nevada80.40%3,087,025
Ohio80.50%11,718,568
Wisconsin80.70%5,832,661
California80.90%39,747,267
Arizona81.00%7,275,070
Michigan81.00%10,020,472
Alabama81.20%4,898,246
Idaho81.20%1,790,182
Minnesota81.40%5,655,925
Mississippi81.50%2,987,895
New York81.70%19,491,339
West Virginia81.80%1,791,951
Maryland81.90%6,062,917
Pennsylvania82.50%12,813,969
Illinois83.00%12,700,381
District of Columbia83.40%711,571
Iowa83.50%3,167,997
Vermont83.50%627,180
Kentucky84.30%4,484,047
Florida85.20%21,646,155
North Carolina85.30%10,497,741
Connecticut85.50%3,567,871
Nebraska85.70%1,940,919
New Mexico85.70%2,096,034
North Dakota86.10%760,900
Tennessee86.70%6,833,793
Delaware87.20%975,033
Rhode Island87.50%1,056,738
New Hampshire87.80%1,363,852
Maine88.30%1,342,097
Virginia92.10%8,571,946
Massachusetts92.60%6,939,373