Health Policy Researcher Studying Opportunities and Barriers to Improving Vaccination Rates Among Medicaid-covered Children

Ali Moghtaderi, PhD, MBA, a professor of health policy and economics at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) is an active participant in a new project exploring opportunities and barriers to improve immunization rates among Medicaid-covered children and pregnant women. Funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal-state partnership is a joint project by AcademyHealth, the National Academy for State Health Policy, and the Colorado Children's Immunization Coalition.

Moghtaderi, who is on the new project’s steering committee, also was a coauthor of a recent first-of-its-kind analysis published by Milken Institute SPH researchers. The study found that a 2016 California vaccine law boosted protective coverage against measles and other serious childhood diseases compared to states that acted as statistical controls.

“People forget that measles was and still is a deadly disease, one that could surge again if we do not maintain high vaccination coverage,” said Avi Dor, PhD, the Milken Institute SPH professor of health policy and economics who served as the study’s principal investigator and senior author.

The study was published as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and involved a unique dataset of county-level vaccination rates which the researchers used to compare California to 15 states that served as controls because they still allowed nonmedical exemptions such as a waiver for religious or personal beliefs.