HOW TO OBTAIN CME CREDITS BY READING THIS ISSUE
Pediatricians can receive Category 1 credits for the Physician's Recognition Award of the American Medical Association by reading the following articles and successfully completing the quiz at the end of the issue. Complete instructions are given on the quiz pages.
The pretest below has been prepared to assist you in studying the following material. It indicates some of the areas to be covered and will make it possible for you to challenge your current knowledge of the material before reading further.
At the end of the last century, much was made of the tremendous technological advances humankind had achieved and die consequent improvements in quality of life. A graph of the earth's population indicates a tremendous explosion of growth coincident with these advances. Yet the single most important development that led to improved quality of life worldwide was not air travel, space exploration, or nuclear power, but simply the introduction of routine childhood vaccination programs.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it was quite likely that any child in America would have a 50% chance of growing to adulthood with their sibling. Improvements in immunization techniques and public healüi programs to optimize delivery have changed tfiose odds dramatically. Indeed, perhaps the job has been done too well; few parents today have seen some of the diseases we have worked so hard to prevent, and they are losing die drive to actively vaccinate their children whenever the opportunity arises.
As vaccine technology improves die ability for physicians to prevent more childhood illnesses, the challenge becomes how to deliver all of these antigens in a palatable fashion. Offices simply cannot afford to have walk-in refrigeration units to store a smorgasbord of vaccines. Families will not accept the confusion that may ensue when vaccines cannot be interchanged. This issue of Pediatric Annals, part one of a two-part series on immunization, provides five excellent reviews on those issues and allows practicing physicians to improve the focus of their vaccine delivery programs.