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Much of the historic decline in the incidence and fatality rates of infectious diseases is attributable to public health measures—especially immunization, improved sanitation, nonpharmacologic interventions (eg, mask-wearing to prevent respiratory-transmissible conditions), and better nutrition. This observation has been reinforced by the experience during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Immunization remains the best means of preventing many infectious diseases. Recommended immunization schedules for children and adolescents can be found online at, and the schedule for adults is at (see also Chapter 30 and Chapter 32). In addition to the severe toll in morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, substantial morbidity and mortality continues to occur from vaccine-preventable diseases, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumococcal infections. The high incidence and mortality rates from COVID-19 and other recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States highlight the need to understand the association of vaccine hesistancy or refusal and disease epidemiology and methods for overcoming it.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for the following vaccines appears in Table 1–3: influenza; measles, mumps, and rubella; 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine; tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis; hepatitis B; and HPV.

Table 1–3.Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices vaccine recommendations, 2021.

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