Childhood Immunizations and the Vaccines for Children Program
James M. Lyznicki, MS, MPH;
Robert C. Rinaldi, PhD
Arch Fam Med. 1994;3(8):728-730.
The use of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases is a hallmark of modern preventive medicine and public health. During this century, improvements in immunization practices have dramatically reduced the number of reported cases of potentially serious diseases such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, and tetanus.1 Yet, despite such reductions, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases continue to occur. Recent outbreaks of measles and pertussis, particularly in underimmunized and unimmunized children, raise concern regarding the effectiveness of existing childhood immunization practices. Such concern is stimulating action from policymakers, physicians, and public health professionals to improve childhood immunization programs in this country. This article discusses one of these programs, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which is part of a new federal initiative to improve childhood immunization levels. Enlisting the support and participation of private physicians is crucial to the success of this national immunization strategy.
From the Division of Health Science, American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.
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