The Executive Board of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in a recent session, unanimously approved a resolution supporting Immunization Action Month, October 1974, in order to stimulate a more widespread immunization of American children against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, rubella, mumps, pertussis and tetanus. It is completely appropriate, therefore, that the Academy take an active role in a nationwide effort to make October 1974 a month for emphasis and promotion of childhood immunization. Joining with the Academy in this effort are the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, National Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Nurses Association, American League of Nursing, five major service organizations and five manufacturers of biologics.
The entire campaign is initiated and coordinated by the Center for Disease Control. The aims of this national effort are twofold: (1) "to motivate parents to check the immunization status of their children with their family doctor"; and (2) "to create receptivity on the part of the physician to these parental inquiries and encourage him and his office nurse to conduct an ongoing office audit of the immunization record of every child he sees." A third goal should be to make every effort to reach those indigent and other disadvantaged groups who do not receive consistent health care.
Why is such a campaign necessary? The striking reductions in the numbers of reported cases of diphtheria, tetanus, pentussis, poliomyelitis, and measles attest to the remarkable efficacy of the vaccines in the prevention of these diseases. Disquieting information has arisen from two sources: (1) the surveillance reports of infectious diseases; and (2) the surveys of the immunization levels of preschoolers and those children at the time of school entry.1
- Copyright © 1974 by the American Academy of Pediatrics