Immunizations, also called vaccinations, help prevent diseases like measles, chickenpox, and the flu.
Public health professionals track immunization data in order to identify areas of need and plan disease prevention efforts.
Below are frequently asked questions on the immunization data we host.
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What are immunizations?
Immunizations, or vaccinations, improve our bodies' ability to fight off disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further explain how vaccines prevent diseases on their website.
How are immunizations related to environmental health?
One aim of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network is to host data that researchers can use to better understand potential links between the environment and disease. Some diseases that are preventable by vaccines have clear links to the environment and to environmental health. For example, tetanus (lockjaw) is caused by bacteria found in soil and dust. Additionally, people living with asthma are at higher risk for severe disease and complications from influenza (flu), therefore, vaccination with the flu vaccine is especially important for this population.
Offering easy access to immunization data will allow researchers to identify and better understand the relationship between the environment and vaccine-preventable diseases and how immunization impacts these relationships.
How can tracking immunizations improve public health?
Tracking immunization rates gives public health professionals a better understanding of how many people in a county have had their recommended vaccines. With Environmental Public Health Tracking, we can monitor what percentage of people have their recommended vaccines and can use that information to educate our communities and plan prevention efforts.
What is the data source?
The source of the data is the Wisconsin Immunization Registry. The Wisconsin Immunization Program uses data from the Wisconsin Immunization Registry to tabulate rates by each type of immunization and sends this information to the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program.
Which immunizations does Wisconsin Tracking have on the data portal?
The portal includes data on the following vaccines:
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine. Protects against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough) and is for children under seven.
- Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine
- Hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccine
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Influenza (flu) vaccine
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
- Meningococcal (MenACWY) vaccine. Protects against meningococcal disease (a cause of meningitis and bacteremia) caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y.
- Pneumococcal (PCV13 and PPSV23) vaccine. Protects against pneumococcal disease (a cause of pneumonia, otitis media, and other diseases) in children (PCV13) and adults (PCV13 and PPSV23).
- Polio vaccine
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. Protects against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough) and is routinely recommended for those age 11 years and older.
- Varicella vaccine. Protects against chickenpox.
- Zoster vaccine. Protects against shingles.
- 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 Childhood Vaccination Series. This vaccine series includes the vaccines that a child needs by the time they are two years of age. For a two year old to be up-to-date with their vaccines, they should have—at a minimum—the following vaccines: four doses of DTaP, three doses of polio, one dose of MMR, three doses of Hib, three doses of Hepatitis B, one dose of varicella, and four doses of PCV.
What are some considerations for interpreting the data?
The data source is the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR). Border counties with residents who receive immunizations in states that do not share data to the WIR might have higher immunization rates than reflected.
Where can I learn more about immunizations?
Where can I learn more about the diseases prevented by immunizations?
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Vaccine Preventable Diseases
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - 14 Diseases You Almost Forgot About (Thanks to Vaccines)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Vaccines by Disease
- The Gates Foundation - How Can Data Help Fight Disease? (YouTube video)