CHCC: 95% of NMI students vaccinated

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A large chunk of the CNMI student body—about 95%—is up to date with their vaccinations, based on the numbers of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., resulting in a low risk of an outbreak of most vaccine-preventable communicable diseases in schools.

According to data from the CHCC Immunization Program, the overall coverage rate for required vaccinations in all CNMI schools is at an all-time high of 95% and, in just five years, CHCC was able to improve coverage by 62% and lowered the risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable communicable disease, like measles, from occurring.

Five years ago, the overall coverage rate for required vaccinations in all CNMI schools combined was only at 33%. That means only 33% of all CNMI students were up to date with required vaccines for school entry.

The CHCC Immunization Program attributes the increase in coverage rate to CHCC’s enforcement of public health laws in CNMI schools, as well as the collaborative efforts of CHCC’s Public Health, the Public School System, and all the private schools. Partnership with parents was also a factor.

There are currently multiple measles outbreaks across the Pacific and Asia as well as the United States.

Although coverage against measles is high among CNMI children, only about 50% of adults born after 1957 are vaccinated against measles.

CHCC continues to encourage all adults in the CNMI who were born after 1957 to get the measles vaccine, especially those travelling abroad or those who interact with foreign visitors often.

For more information about measles or the vaccine, call CHCC’s Division of Public Health Immunization Program at 236-8745 on Saipan, 433-9233 on Tinian, and 532-8700 on Rota.

All immunization clinics are open Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 4pm, including lunchtime, and no appointments are needed.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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