The vaccination rate of Korean infants and toddlers stayed above 90 percent in 2017, government data showed. In detail, the rate was 96.6 percent in 12-month old infants, 94.1 percent in 24-month old babies, and 90.4 percent in 36-month toddlers, government data showed.
In particular, 96.8 percent of the children aged between 12 and 36 months had pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) in 2017, up more than 17 percentage points from 79.2 percent in 2014 when the vaccine became free.
According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the vaccination rate at 17 cities and provinces stood at 94.9-98.1 percent in 12-month-old babies, 92.3-95.8 percent in 24-month babies, and 99.9-93.2 percent in 36-month toddlers.
The vaccination rates of Korean children are 2-9 percentage points higher than those in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. that disclose the state’s vaccination rates.
“The high vaccination rates resulted from the expansion of free vaccination-available institutions including public health centers and private medical institutions starting from 2014. The government gave out individual messages to notify the time or delay of inoculations to guardians,” the KCDC said. “The government also checked immunizations of children when they entered elementary schools or junior high schools, encouraged vaccinations for those who missed them.”
The KCDC had the survey on 1.29 million children who were born between 2014 and 2016 and analyzed the vaccination data registered in its vaccination management system as of June 30, 2018.
“The high vaccination rate of Korean children means that they have a high level of collective immunity protection to prevent an epidemic caused by community life,” said Kong In-sik, an official at the KCDC’s vaccination management department.
To maintain the high vaccination rate, the government will check the inoculation of low-income households and multicultural families, Kong said.
The KCDC will also find out why some people refuse immunization and who have missed vaccinations, and enhance the management system, he added.
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