Prospects for childhood immunization in the next decade.
Prospects for vaccine research, development, and use over the next decade are extraordinarily optimistic. Innovative investigative programs promise new vaccines with reduced numbers of injections, combinations of multiple antigens, and confinement of administration to the early weeks or months of life. Enhanced attention to the infrastructure and support of immunization programs should rapidly augment coverage to more than 90% of the US infant population in the first 2 years of life with all the recommended vaccines. Programs of the WHO and CVI should extend protection from morbidity and mortality of diseases preventable with vaccine to children of all nations. Adjustments and realignments of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program should reduce to realistic dimensions the finances of benefits for children who suffer the rare, true adverse responses to required immunizations. In order to maintain familiarity and leadership in childhood immunization, pediatricians will need to maintain careful attention to and familiarity with all these emerging developments.
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