- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Maine’s toddler immunization rate has surged from below average to the highest in the nation.

The agency said Thursday that Maine’s rate for seven vaccines that protect against 11 diseases was 84.7 percent for 19- to 35-month-old children in 2014. The national average was 71.6 percent. Maine’s increase of 16.7 percentage points from 2013 was enough to carry the state from slightly below the 2013 national average of 70.4 percent.

Maine Center for Disease Control Director Kenneth Albert calls the state’s improvement a “cause for celebration” owed in part to partnerships between the state, doctors and educators.

Maine’s sole border state, New Hampshire, was third highest in the nation. The lowest rate in the nation was in West Virginia.

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