Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Extraimmunization is the receipt
by a child of at least 1 vaccine dose in excess of Advisory Committee on Immunization
Practices recommendations. In the only published national-level study of extraimmunization
in the United States, Feikema et al1 found
that, in 1997, 21.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.2%-22.0%) of US children
aged 19 to 35 months were extraimmunized with at least 1 antigen; this represented
approximately 1 839 107 unnecessary doses. This estimate obviously
affects perception of the efficiency with which immunizations are administered.
Extraimmunization represents wasted vaccine, money, and time, as well as unnecessary
discomfort and increased risk of adverse reactions.
Strine TW, Barker LE, Jain RB, Washington ML, Chu SY, Mokdad AH. Extraimmunization in Children Through 2000. JAMA. 2002;287(5):588-589. doi:10.1001/jama.287.5.583