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March 19, 1982

Progress in Measles Elimination

Author Affiliations

From the Immunization Division, Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta.

JAMA. 1982;247(11):1592-1595. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360042029

IN APRIL 1977, the then Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now the Department of Health and Human Services), Joseph A. Califano, Jr, announced a nationwide childhood immunization initiative that sought to raise immunization levels in the nation's children to at least 90% by October 1979 and sought to maintain these immunization levels thereafter. In October 1978, encouraged by the impressive initial gains made in the childhood immunization initiative, Secretary Califano announced a new initiative: the elimination of indigenous measles from the United States by Oct 1, 1982. Previous articles1,2 have described the epidemiologic and operational history behind this effort and have presented a detailed analysis of the current features of measles epidemiology in the United States. The purpose of this article is to summarize progress that has been made toward the elimination of measles in the three years since announcement of the initiative.

Present Status of