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September 16, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;229(12):1557-1570. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230500001001

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Immunization vs complacency: are we ready for the challenge?  "I've worked as a public health officer in a couple of areas where they've compared levels of immunization of pet animals with the immunization levels of children—and the animals always came out much better immunized than the kids."So says Jack Kirby, chief of the program operations branch of the Immunization Division, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta. He and his colleagues talked to Medical News recently about Immunization Action Month—October 1974—when CDC and a dozen-and-a-half other organizations will try to reverse an alarming national trend: the recent, yearly decline in immunization levels among preschool children.The basic reason seems to be the success of previous immunization programs. Polio, for instance, is now extremely rare. It's hard to scare parents into doing more than complying with school entrance requirements—and they may very well put off even that until the child is ready