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Immunization - Goals Of Immunization, Immunization Success, Universal Immunizations, Controversy Over Vaccination - Selected Immunizations, Impediments to Vaccination, The Future

infectious diseases american vaccines

Immunization is recognized as one of the greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century. The widespread use of immunization is responsible for dramatic reductions in, and in some cases the elimination of, specific infectious diseases.

Selected immunizations are directed at high-risk populations. These populations include: (1) individuals with underlying immune system disorders, (2) individuals with chronic underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible to severe infection, and (3) individuals with increased risk of contracting infection.

The success of universal immunization campaigns requires high rates of immunization. Factors that interfere with the delivery of immunizations include: (1) lack of access to health care, (2) lack of knowledge about appropriate immunizations for children, (3) misconceptions about contraindications to vaccination (reasons that vaccination may be inadvisable), and (4) missed opportunities for immunizations.

The immunization schedule is constantly evolving. Future changes include vaccines against additional diseases, new vaccine combinations, and novel approaches to immunization. New routes for vaccine administration (e.g., nasal vaccines, vaccines incorporated into foods) are also being evaluated.



American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Infectious Diseases. Red Book, 2000: Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 25th edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000.

American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Infectious Diseases. "Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule: United States, January-December 2001." Pediatrics 107, no. 1 (2001):202-204.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Achievements inPublic Health, 1900-1999: Impact of Vaccines Universally Recommended for Children—United States, 1990-1998." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48, no. 12 (1999):243-248.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [web site]. Atlanta, GA, 2001. Available from http://www.cdc.gov; INTERNET.

Dales, L., S. J. Hammer, and N. J. Smith. "Time Trends in Autism and in MMR Immunization Coverage in California." Journal of the American Medical Association 285, no. 9 (2000):1183-1185.

Radetsky, Michael. "Smallpox: A History of Its Rise and Fall." Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 18, no. 2 (1999):85-93.

Taylor, Brent, Elizabeth Miller, C. Paddy Farrington, Maria-Christina Petropoulos, Isabelle Favot-Mayaud, Jun Li, and Pauline A. Waight. "Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiologic Evidence for a Causal Association." Lancet 353 (June 12, 1999):2026-2029.

Wakefield, A.J., S. H. Murch, A. Anthony, J. Linnell, D. M. Casson, M. Malik, M. Berelowitz, A. P. Dhillon, M. A. Thomson, P. Harvey, A. Valentine, S. E. Davies, and J. A. Walker-Smith. "Ileal-Lymphoid-Nodular Hyperplasia, Non-specific Colitis, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder in Children." Lancet 351 (February 28, 1998):637-641.

Alan Uba

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