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Population-Based Immunization Rates

How does your county measure up?

What are PBRs?: Population-Based Rates (PBRs) provide year-to-year assessment of immunization coverage for Oregon two-year olds. PBRs are estimated from vaccinations reported to the Oregon ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS), which receives reports from over 89% of Oregon immunization providers, including 100% of all public health care clinics. This high rate of coverage helps the Oregon Immunization Program (OIP) provide very accurate state, county and census tract immunization coverage information.

Why are they important?: According to the US Department of Health and Human Servicies, for each U.S. birth cohort, routine vaccination during childhood prevents approximately 33,000 deaths and 14 million cases of vaccine-preventable disease, reduces direct health care costs by $9.9 billion, and saves $33.4 billion in indirect costs.

Recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and pertussis, or whooping cough, have been tied to low rates of vaccination. Here in Oregon, it is important for public health workers and the communities they serve to know the status of protection against vaccine-preventable disease so that they can address gaps in access and support local intervention efforts.

High vaccination rates help support community immunity (or “herd immunity”), which is the level of immunization required to keep an infectious disease from spreading. Maintaining community immunity is most important for infants too young to receive vaccinations, those who have medical contraindications against vaccines and therefore cannot be immunized, and those whose immune system does not build a strong enough immune response from vaccination.

Who uses PBRs? Anyone who has a stake in their county’s protection against vaccine-preventable diseases can make use of PBRs:

  • The Oregon Public Health Division uses these data to gauge community immunity levels across the state and to target interventions and outreach to keep Oregonians healthy.
  • Local health departments or community organizations can access these data for use in a number of applications, from grant writing to needs assessments and program evaluations to legislative activities.
  • Federal programs that support access to vaccines such as Vaccines for Children (VFC) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) use PBRs to measure success and assess need.
  • Academicians and college and university students use PBRs for public health research.
  • The general public can also use PBRs to learn about vaccination coverage within their county and the state.

Need even more detail?If you would like to get a detailed summary of immunization rates by census tract, or if you have any other questions, please contact Scott Jeffries at

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