Background: Immunizations are an important component to pediatric primary care. New Mexico is a relatively poor and rural state which has sometimes struggled to achieve and maintain its childhood immunization rates. We evaluated New Mexico's immunization rates between 1996 and 2006. Specifically, we examined the increase in immunization rates between 2002 and 2004, and how this increase may have been associated with Medicaid enrollment levels, as opposed to changes in government policies concerning immunization practices. Methods and Findings: This study examines trends in childhood immunization coverage rates relative to Medicaid enrollment among those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in New Mexico. Information on health policy changes and immunization coverage was obtained from state governmental sources and the National Immunization Survey. We found statistically significant correlations varying from 0.86 to 0.93 between immunization rates and Medicaid enrollment. Conclusions: New Mexico's improvement and subsequent deterioration in immunization rates corresponded with changing Medicaid coverage, rather than the state's efforts to change immunization practices. Maintaining high Medicaid enrollment levels may be important for achieving high childhood immunization levels. © 2008 Schillaci et al.
Schillaci, M. A., Waitzkin, H., Sharmen, T., & Romain, S. J. (2008). The impact of changing Medicaid enrollments on New Mexico’s Immunization Program. PLoS ONE, 3(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0003953