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September 8, 1993

Giving Pediatric Immunizations the Priority They Deserve-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Health and Human Services Washington, DC

JAMA. 1993;270(10):1200. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510100049031

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In Reply.  —The purpose of the "Standards for Pediatric Immunization Practices" is to ensure that health providers reduce barriers impeding the provision of services and take advantage of every health visit to immunize eligible children. This is critical if we are to improve our dismal preschool immunization rates and prevent the spread of contagious diseases.But let's be clear: the standards do not advocate immunization at every opportunity at the expense of properly informing a child's parents or guardians. The standards explicitly state that parents must be informed about the benefits and risks prior to immunization.Recently, concern has been expressed about the legally mandated vaccine information pamphlets containing this benefit-risk information; the Comprehensive Child Immunization Act, currently before Congress, contains provisions aimed at simplifying these requirements, while still providing essential information to parents.In regard to Drs Freedman and Polin's concerns, we at the Department of Health and Human