Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Federal Health Officials Extol High U.S. Vaccination Rate

continued...

"It's not just one thing. ... It's a lot of little things," Shalala says.

Just last month a report issued by the Institute of Medicine for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee warned that the nation's immunization system was "unstable," particularly in its efforts to reach the poor.

"If the 80% [immunized] is a result of still having those large, much more poorly immunized populations in those pockets, then that's not a good situation," Bernard Guyer, MD, chair of the report panel, tells WebMD.

Still others fear that the high immunization rate itself could be bad news, at least in some cases. Jane Orient, MD, executive director of the politically conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, says public health officials are using coercive tactics to get children vaccinated, ranging from requiring the shots before school enrollment to denying families welfare payments if their children aren't vaccinated.

Orient also disputes the notion of giving hepatitis B shots to newborns, because the infection is rare among the young. However, she concedes that vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are still necessary.

"We should go back to the idea where it was a matter of the doctor making a recommendation to the parents on an individual basis," Orient tells WebMD.

 

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Vaccines and Autism
syringes and graph illustration
What Shots Does Your Child Need?
 
baby getting a vaccine
Vaccine Guide for Parents
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
HPV Vaccine
 

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
Article
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Slideshow
 
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Article
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids
Video
 

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
Video
gloved hand holding syringe
Article
 
infant receiving injection
Tool
pills
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections