Immunization: Trends and Challenges in Texas

Early childhood immunization trends

Early childhood vaccination rates among U.S. children covered by traditional health insurance continue to improve: 77 percent of children born in 2013 completed the CDC-recommended vaccines by 2016, versus 69 percent of children born in 2010.

Among all children born in 2013-2016, an estimated 70.5 percent received the CDC-recommended vaccines. Texas lagged behind the national average with 67.8 percent of children receiving the full series, according to the National Immunization Survey, 2017.

Childhood vaccination rates varied among the most populous Texas regions:


Bexar County


City of Houston


Travis County


El Paso County


Dallas County

Nationally, some vaccines remain below optimum levels to ensure herd immunity in the population, including diphtheria, pertussis, and measles. Among children with commercial health insurance, failure to attend routine preventive medical checkups accounted for 62 percent of those under-vaccinated, while documented refusal by a parent or guardian accounted for 6 percent.

Fast Fact: Herd immunity

Diphtheria may need vaccination rates as high as 86 percent to ensure herd immunity in the population. Pertussis and measles may require rates as high as 94 percent. The national vaccine rate for pertussis is 83 percent and measles is 91 percent for infants born in 2013.