Goals Of Immunization, Immunization Success, Universal Immunizations, Controversy Over VaccinationSelected Immunizations, Impediments to Vaccination, The Future
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.
See also: BIRTH DEFECTS; RUBELLA
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [web site]. Atlanta, GA, 2001. Available from http://www.cdc.gov; INTERNET.
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