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Immunization Newsletter: Over 30 Years Reaching Every Corner of the Americas

Launch of Electronic Book that Compiles 2,500 Articles Published in the Newsletter Since 1979

Washington, D.C., 11 July 2011 (PAHO/WHO)–In its over 30 years of existence, the Immunization Newsletter of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has managed to reach thousands of health workers in the most remote locations in the Americas to share information on the vaccination programs with them. To celebrate its more than three decades, the e-book “Thirty Years of the Immunization Newsletter: History of the Expanded Program on Immunization in the Americas” was launched on 8 July. This book compiles over 2,500 articles on debates, new developments, projects, and research related to immunization.

These notes, published from 1979 to the present, describe each stage of implementation of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in the Americas, a program that is considered to be one of the most successful in the world. The notes are also a testimony of the lessons learned about the subject of immunization during these years, as well as the efforts being made to introduce new vaccines in the region.

“It is a witness to the milestones achieved in the history of immunization of a continent that is highly diverse, but united in a spirit of equity and solidarity, or Pan-Americanism, in order to achieve common goals in seeking to control and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases,” stated the Director of PAHO/WHO, Dr. Mirta Roses, in the preface of this book.

The Immunization Newsletter e-book describes step-by-step how the countries in the Americas have been leaders on the worldwide level in elimination or reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. The different notes describe the advances and challenges the region faced in elimination of polio, which was achieved in 1991.They also show the efforts to combat other diseases: the last endemic case of measles was reported in 2002 and the last endemic case of rubella was reported in 2009. Although imported cases are still recorded, mass vaccination has prevented their expansion. Therefore, it is considered to be essential to maintain elimination of these diseases.

The Immunization Newsletter is prepared by the PAHO/WHO Comprehensive Family Immunization Project. It is the oldest newsletter in the world, which is published every two months in Spanish, English, and French. It has been published in French since 2003. The newsletter reaches over 7,500 people in the region and in the world free of charge. Since it began, its purpose has been to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information on the vaccination programs implemented in the region, so that more people in the health sector learn about the problems and possible solutions that have been attempted in other places.

Up until the present the aim has been for the Newsletter to reach all people that are in some way associated with or work with the subject of immunization: from vaccination program managers, pediatricians, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, and nurses to health workers that provide vaccines in remote or isolated areas of the Americas. For a long time, the print version of the newsletter has reached the most remote zip codes in the Americas by subscription. At present, it can also be accessed electronically.

With publication of this e-book, the Immunization Newsletter relaunches its electronic and paper subscriptions for all those who are interested in knowing about the advances and challenges of vaccination in the Americas.

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Leticia Linn, PAHO/WHO Media and Communication, Telephone: 202-974-3440; Mobile phone: 202-701-4005; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it –www.paho.org

 
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