Report shows 20-year US immunization program spares millions of children from diseases : recent measles outbreaks underscore importance of sustaining high vaccination coverage : press release embargoed until: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 1:00 p.m. ET
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Report shows 20-year US immunization program spares millions of children from diseases : recent measles outbreaks underscore importance of sustaining high vaccination coverage : press release embargoed until: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 1:00 p.m. ET

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      The CDC estimates that vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years (see Benefits from Immunization during the Vaccines for Children Program Era — United States, 1994-2013, MMWR). Despite the U.S. immunization program’s success, according to CDC officials, 129 people in the U.S. have been reported to have measles this year in 13 outbreaks, as of April 18. In 1994, the Vaccines for Children program (VFC) was launched in direct response to a measles resurgence in the United States that caused tens of thousands of cases and over a hundred deaths, despite the availability of a measles vaccine since 1963. The VFC program provides vaccines to children whose parents or caregivers might otherwise be unable to afford them. This year’s 20th anniversary of the VFC program’s implementation is occurring during an increase in measles cases in the U.S. In 2013, 189 Americans had measles. In 2011, 220 people in the U.S. were reported as having measles–the highest number of annual cases since 1996.
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