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November 10, 1993

Vaccination in Pediatric Emergency Departments

JAMA. 1993;270(18):2222-2223. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510180092041

Many characteristics of inner-city pediatric emergency departments (EDs) make them seem well suited to administer vaccines. They avoid the need for appointments and the inconvenient hours cited as impediments to vaccination,1 and they have the equipment, drugs, and personnel needed to deal with severe adverse reactions.2 In addition, a large proportion of the children seen in inner-city EDs are underimmunized. Two studies reported in this issue of THE JOURNAL give examples. In one,3 36% of children 3 months to 5.5 years old had not received all age-appropriate immunizations according to their accompanying adults, and 47% had not received all immunizations according to their clinic records. In the other study,418% to 29% of children 6 months to 5 years old needed measles vaccination and had no contraindication to receiving one during a measles epidemic.

At the same time, these two articles3,4 highlight problems with the