Immunization Strategies and Practices: Pediatric Collection
Immunizations are a cornerstone of pediatric healthcare. The introduction of immunizations for the prevention of life-threatening infections was an important driver of improvements in infant and childhood morbidity and mortality in the 20th century. Modeling of vaccine impact demonstrates that routine childhood immunizations in the 2009 US birth cohort would prevent approximately 42,000 deaths, 20 million cases of disease, and save $13.5 billion in direct health care costs and $68.8 billion in societal costs. Paradoxically, the reduction or elimination of vaccine preventable infections in the United States has been postulated to be a factor associated with an increase in vaccine hesitancy in the 21st century. Parents who have not experienced vaccine-preventable infection may not be able to accurately assess the risk of these infections pose to the health of their children.
The vision of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases (COID) is to support the optimal health of all children by diminishing the adverse health effects of infectious diseases. Naturally, access to vaccines and vaccine uptake in the United States play large roles in achieving this vision. The COID works in partnership with many organizations to ensure vaccine policies support the health of all children. For example, the COID works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has members on all CDC immunization work groups to represent the interests of infants, children, and the pediatric providers who care for them as vaccine policies are developed. This work involves weighing the risks and benefits of vaccines and ensuring that the best data are communicated to providers, parents, and others who care for children. Transparency, especially in the age of social media is vital to increasing confidence in vaccines.
The COID is grateful to the AAP for developing this collection of policies and AAP articles addressing vaccine schedules, the safety of vaccines, and methods for addressing vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine delivery is a substantive portion of pediatric practice, and addressing vaccine hesitancy is time-consuming. This collection of articles will assist providers by providing vaccine information and policy statements in a single, easily accessible platform. Combined with other AAP COID resources, such as the Red Book and Red Book Online, we hope to support vaccine confidence and increase immunization of infants and children.
Carrie Byington, MD, Chairperson
Yvonne Maldonado, MD, Vice Chairperson
AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases