Disease May Be Only a Plane Ride Away

Without vigilant adherence to childhood immunizations, outbreaks could return, experts say

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"The recommended schedule works in concert with the child's immune system to achieve a maximum response," she said.

Another obstacle involves the sheer effectiveness of vaccination. "When vaccination coverage is high, these diseases go away and aren't visible," Rodewald said. "They don't serve as a reminder to parents of why their children need to be vaccinated."

That's the point of the pediatric group's Protect Tomorrow campaign. As part of the effort, older Americans share their tales of times before widespread immunization, when people were afraid to go out in public or congregate lest they catch some terrible disease.

"If we're not vigilant about vaccination, we're going to go back to the past," Levine said. "The point of this campaign is to protect our children's tomorrows."

More information

The Nemours Foundations has more on immunizations.

For more on the risks of not being vaccinated, read about one teen's story.

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