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Few medical interventions of the past century can rival the effect that immunization has had on longevity, economic savings, and quality of life. Seventeen diseases are now preventable through vaccines routinely administered to children and adults in the United States (Table 118-1), and most vaccine-preventable diseases of childhood are at historically low levels (Table 118-2). Health care providers deliver the vast majority of vaccines in the United States in the course of providing routine health services and therefore play an integral role in the nation’s public health system.

TABLE 118-1Diseases Preventable with Vaccines Routinely Administered in the United States to Children and/or Adults
TABLE 118-2Decline in Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States Following Widespread Implementation of National Vaccine Recommendations


Direct and Indirect Effects

Immunizations against specific infectious diseases protect individuals against infection and thereby prevent symptomatic illnesses. Specific vaccines may blunt the severity of clinical illness (e.g., rotavirus ...

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