Washington, D.C. - The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) recommended today research priorities that aim to encourage the development of new vaccines and increase immunization rates. Developing new combinations of vaccines and needleless vaccine delivery systems are among the key recommendations. If implemented on a population-wide basis, such improvements would increase immunization rates by reducing the inefficiency of multiple injections and by minimizing the emotional and physical trauma in children.
According to Dr. Yemisi Adetunji, the lead author of ACPM's recommendations, "Despite the incontrovertible evidence that vaccines are an efficient and cost-effective means of reducing morbidity and mortality, immunization delivery remains suboptimal among young children.
Immunization rates in areas of poverty and many metropolitan areas with large populations of low-income residents remain below national levels. We can do better to protect our children's health."
Other research priorities from ACPM address issues of vaccine supply, the effectiveness of recommended interventions, and better funding for immunization programs. In addition to its research priorities, ACPM recommends that all children and adolescents without established contraindications receive immunization against 11 diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, H. influenza b (Hib), hepatitis B, varicella (i.e., chickenpox), and S. pneumoniae. The ACPM recommendations are in accordance with the schedule of childhood immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
ACPM's recommendations on childhood immunizations appear in the August 2003 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The statement can be viewed at http://www.acpm.org
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Contact: Jennifer K. Bretsch
American College of Preventive Medicine
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