By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is racking up high numbers when it comes to the number of children being immunized.

Philadelphia’s vaccination rates are high, routinely surpassing state and national goals according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Kristen Feemster, medical director of the immunization program at the city’s Department of Public Health says vaccinating children is essential.

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“High immunization rates really are key to protecting communities,” Feemster said, “so being immunized protects children but it also helps protect everyone else around them decreases chances of outbreak, really important for a healthy community.

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She says city officials spend a lot of time educating the community and physicians about the vaccination schedules and the need for protection.

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“Certainly there is outreach to the community to provide education about recommended vaccines, the importance of vaccinations,” she said. “There is also outreach and support to providers and then also implement program to distribute vaccines at no cost to providers.”