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February 1993

The Children's Vaccine Initiative

Author Affiliations

From the School of Public Health, Boston (Mass) University School of Medicine. Dr Robbins is currently with Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(2):152-153. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160260042019

In November 1991, the United Nations declared and celebrated the success of its universal childhood immunization campaign. Seventeen years after the Expanded Program on Immunization began by capitalizing on investments in the global smallpox eradication campaign, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) achieved their goal. Over 80% of children born in the world in 1990 received the six standard vaccines (against tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and measles). The United Nations Children's Fund estimates that over 3.2 million children's lives are saved annually.1 Yet infectious diseases continue to kill children in developing countries. We are not getting the full benefits of the six Expanded Program on Immunization vaccines. Measles account for the death of almost 1 million children each year. There are 500 000 neonatal deaths related to tetanus each year and 400 000 to pertussis according to UNICEF. In Africa, Latin America, and

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