Childhood immunizations are one of the most cost-effective health prevention activities for children and are associated with the successful delivery of other pediatric health services. Unfortunately, there is evidence of increased vaccine refusal and delay in the United States. Maine's childhood immunization rate has decreased to 76.2% in 2008, its lowest rate since 2001.
To read more about the issue of childhood immunizations in Maine, including challenges and opportunities for improvement, please see MaineHealth's Call to Action Paper "Improving the Rate of Childhood Immunizations".
MaineHealth's Child Health Program
The program is currently focused on increasing rates of child immunizations within the MaineHealth system and statewide through clinical, community and policy interventions. MaineHealth is in a unique position to work with internal and external partners to identify strategic opportunities that can significantly increase childhood immunizations for a large proportion of Maine children over the next several years.
The goal of the Childhood Immunization Initiative is to improve immunization rates for children and young adults so that Maine is ranked number one for childhood immunization coverage in New England by 2016.
Maine's Universal Childhood Immunization Program:
This program allows all children, regardless of whether they are commercially or publicly insured, to receive all recommended vaccines for free. The Maine Vaccine Board oversees the new Maine Universal Childhood Immunization Program and annually determines the list of vaccines available through it.
To help practices understand the law and its effects on their work, MaineHealth and the Maine CDC's Immunization Program created a training to cover:
- Basic information on the law and its benefits
- Vaccine ordering and management
- Use of ImmPact2 (Maine's immunization information system)
- Reducing private stock
- Other office procedures
- Commonly asked questions
To view the training online, click here.
For more information on the law, please visit the Maine Vaccine Board website or email the Board.
Please click here to view or download a poster that covers the basics of the law with patient families. Contact Cassandra Cote Grantham to request free copies of this poster.
Staff Contact Information
Jonathan Fanburg, MD, MPH
Cassandra Cote Grantham, MA