AAP endorses report on improving global immunization systems
American Academy of Pediatrics
By Walter A. Orenstein, M.D., FAAP
Immunizations have saved an estimated 2 million to 3 million lives globally and prevent substantial illness and disability every year. Thanks to global vaccine programs, smallpox has been eradicated, polio is on the verge of eradication and measles mortality has decreased by 71% worldwide.
The United States has seen even greater progress, including a 99% decrease in the incidence of nine diseases that we have been vaccinating against for decades and the elimination of indigenous measles and rubella from the Americas.
The United States benefits from a strong immunization system and should support efforts to improve immunizations globally. All countries deserve these same benefits, and it is our duty and in our interest to protect domestic health security.
The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) recently published a report titled Enhancing the Work of the HHS National Vaccine Program in Global Immunizations (www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/reports/) that makes recommendations for supporting and improving global immunization systems and goals. The Academy has endorsed this report.
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