Improving Adolescent Immunization Rates in Rural America: Okanogan County - A Case in Point
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Immunizations are one of the greatest achievements in medicine. Before availability of vaccines, thousands of children and adults died each year in the United States from diseases. With the advent of modern vaccines in the 1950's millions have been spared the devastating and debilitating effects of once-common diseases such as polio. However, there is evidence that vaccine preventable diseases such as pertussis are on the rise, with over 2300 cases currently in Washington State and a large number of those cases occurring in adolescents. The author will assess adolescent immunization rates, review current literature addressing adolescent immunizations, and identify strategies for meeting Healthy People 2020 immunization goals in rural communities.