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July 1988

Incomplete Immunizations, Hospitalization, and Specialty Care: An Opportunity to Improve the Immunization Status of Very Young Children

Author Affiliations

PO Box 43700 Tucson, AZ 85733

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(7):704. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150070018013

In this issue of AJDC, Tifft and Lederman1 report what every infectious disease consultant in pediatrics knows... that children who are hospitalized are found to be deficient in immunizations. These authors documented at least 19% of such children in their survey, but the number is much larger. They note that interns report "up to date" as their assessment of immunization status for 41% of the children. As an attending pediatrician, whenever I discovered such a note, and queried the individual who made it, I often discovered that an incomplete or uninformed inquiry had been made and that the parent's report of "he's had all of his shots" was taken to mean up to date. Of greater concern was the individual who simply said, "he's had all of his shots, hasn't he?" and accepted "yes" to mean that the infant had received all immunizations at the time recommended and in

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