TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Call it one of New Jersey’s medical mysteries.
One of the most affluent states in the country, home to more than a few giants of the pharmaceutical industry, New Jersey also has one of the lowest immunization rates in the nation for babies and toddlers.
The state ranked 42nd last year — and 45th in 2008 — in a telephone survey of parents and pediatricians by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New Jersey’s 64 percent rate for giving infants and toddlers recommended shots for polio, hepatitis B, mumps, measles and rubella and other diseases last year was well below the national average of nearly 71 percent, and the lowest in the Northeast.
Nobody knows for sure why New Jersey’s vaccination rate has slipped so low, but public health professionals and pediatricians have seen it building for several years.
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