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Challenges of adult immunization in global and regional context

Vaccination of adults—not just children—is a crucial component of countries’ efforts to reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases, said Dr. Jon K Andrus, Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in a presentation this week at the Immunization Annual Conference in August, Maine. Organized by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the conference brought together local, national and international public health experts to review existing and emerging issues in immunization practice at the federal, state and local levels.

Dr. Andrus’s participation focused on the role of adult immunization in global health, the transition from childhood immunization to family immunization, and new challenges in immunization. His presentation took place as 45 countries and territories of the hemisphere were participating in the 10th Annual Vaccination Week in the Americas.

Adult vaccination is critical to protecting both adults and children from diseases including rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, measles, hepatitis B, pneumococcal disease, influenza, and cancers caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Kristine Sheedy, Associated Director of Communication Science, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC, talked about Parental Communication. Andrew Terranella, from the Epidemic Intelligence Service, referred to Pertussis vaccine effectiveness in school-based outbreaks; Mark Grabowsky, Deputy Director of the National Vaccine Program Office, talked about Health Care Personnel flu vaccionations; and Sydney Sewall, Larry Losey, and Linda Glass, talked about Vaccination for Children New to the United States

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