Order code: SP 619
ISBN: 92 7511619 9
Year Published: 2006
Author: Jon Kim Andrus, MD & Ciro A. de Quadros, MD
Thanks to the work of immunization programs throughout the Region’s countries, the peoples of the Americas now live free of indigenous polio and measles; neonatal tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis have been well-controlled; and new vaccines have been added to national immunization programs and their application has been sustained. High coverage levels have been achieved for the diseases originally covered by Expanded Program of Immunization, as well as for hepatitis B, rubella, mumps, and Haemophilus influenzae
This progress, while extraordinary, has not been even, however. Some countries still have significant proportions of their populations living in districts where coverage remains below 95%, putting them at risk for large measles outbreaks when importations of measles virus occur. Clearly, an unfinished agenda needs to be completed. Reaching children and families who live in low-coverage areas will be essential for sustaining the success of measles elimination and for achieving the new targets of eliminating rubella and congenital rubella syndrome. Some countries also will need to seriously consider the introduction of new or underutilized life-saving vaccines. And, immunization programs will need to evolve from targeting just children to including the whole family. Including the whole family will enable countries to attain higher vaccination coverage of adolescents and adults for influenza and human papilloma virus, as well as for human immunodeficiency virus and other diseases when future vaccines against them become available.
The future portends new opportunities to tackle important public health priorities with new technologies, but new vaccines are much more expensive than the traditional vaccines used in childhood immunization programs. Evidence-based, informed decisions will be critical if the success of immunization programs is to be sustained. This second edition of Recent Advances in Immunization could not come at a better time in the evolution of national immunization programs.
The book’s chapters attempt to address some of the enormous technical and programmatic challenges some countries must overcome to complete the unfinished agenda. It is primarily intended to assist national immunization managers and their staff, but many other health professionals and other groups will find it useful. Students of schools of public health, medicine, and nursing; epidemiologists and disease control specialists; experts on surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases; vaccinologists; and infectologists will all likely benefit from this book.