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Number of vaccinations up in La., still below average

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BATON ROUGE - The number of vaccinated 2-year-olds has gone up in Louisiana, but the state still remains under the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In 2009, 56.9 percent of 2-year-olds were vaccinated in Louisiana. That percentage grew to more than 71 percent in 2013. However, the 71.3 percent is under the 74 percent national average.

Pediatricians in the Baton Rouge area are happy to see a growing number of vaccinations, but they say there is still more work to be done.

"Well it tells me that we as pediatricians still have a job to do," said pediatrician Mindy Calandro. "We need to make sure parents understand why it's so important to vaccinate children, not only for their children but for other children that are around them in school systems and various other settings where there's a lot of children. We've got to protect everybody."

Calandro says it is vital to keep children vaccinated.

"They prevent so many types of illnesses that some of them we don't really see anymore," she said. "There are hundreds of thousands of children who get these vaccines, and then they don't have any risks of coming in contact with these illnesses that can kill children every year."

Calandro says children should have eight scheduled check-ups from 2-months-old to 2-years-old.

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