INDIANAPOLIS — In February, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb sent $1 million to Indianapolis and Gwinnett counties to establish a collaborative way for them to fund a new immunization program. It received a lot of attention on social media.
Why? Because the co-author of a widely cited report on immunization statistics and death rates did not see that the state’s immunization rates were rising in the black and white. Because the report the governor sent to the CDC was arguably misleading at best. He was sending it out to central Indiana, which is the data intensive state.
The state was then reimbursed for its efforts, and the CDC put out a statement in full disputing the data.
Here’s an excerpt from an announcement from Governor Holcomb’s office:
“It’s been clear for a long time that Indiana’s immunization rates are actually being eroded. These rates decreased in 2014 (significantly lower) and will continue to decrease in the coming years. The immunization rates that we have seen this year increase our ability to reach the most vulnerable kids – particularly African American children, and especially disadvantaged children – of all ages. When we make vaccines more affordable to our school-aged children – particularly to African American and Hispanic children – that benefit many more kids. When we improve the strength of our (close to) one million public school teachers – we improve the opportunity for many more kids. When we expand our “first-in-the-nation” faith-based health initiatives and dramatically increase our immunization rates – we strengthen the state’s importance to keeping children healthy and safe. This shows that without political pressure to help close health gaps, we can innovate and take bold steps in Indiana that will improve Hoosier children’s health.”
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