Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Health Promotion Issues
They're Back!: The Diseases We Thought Time Forgot
Linda Sullivan, RN, BC, DSN, FNP/PNP, Graduate Nursing, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
Learning Objective #1: identify current global recommendations for immunizations for children and adults
Learning Objective #2: analyze the resurgence of preventable disease worldwide and the relationship of this phenomenon to resistance to immunizations by segments of the population

Every day, both in the United States and abroad, children die needlessly from easily preventable diseases. In order to improve the health of children everywhere, it is important that health care providers are aware of what immunizations are currently recommended and available for children today. Advances in children's immunizations have all but eliminated a multitude of diseases that were once common among the children and youth population of the world but this trend could change. Studies show that both the public and many health care professionals are often misinformed about the vaccines and do not appreciate the seriousness of the diseases or the consequences of letting down our guard against these illnesses. Further hampering immunization efforts are a multitude of barriers for both health care providers and the child such as cost, availability and the lack of a medical home. Too often, the first efforts to immunize a child become redoubled only when a child is about to enter school and suddenly discovers that they are either not immunized at all or incompletely immunized against a myriad of diseases. This talk will look at the current immunization schedules and practices throughout the world, the availability of vaccines, and ways to improve knowledge regarding immunizations for both the health care professional and the public. Myths and misinformation will be discussed and the latest strategies to improve immunization rates in both developed and undeveloped countries will be presented. The consequences of immunization refusal will be discussed and a review of the most current literature regarding vaccine safety being presented as well.