The immunization of children against a vast number of life-threatening infectious agents has been hailed as one of the greatest public health interventions of the twentieth century. In America, the morbidity and mortality associated with many common childhood infectious diseases has all but vanished. State-based school entry vaccination laws play a significant role in achieving high immunization rates among children and adolescents. Alarmingly, there is no consistent regulation in place to monitor the immunization status of the ever-growing home-schooled population. It is widely unknown whether the nearly 2 million home-schooled children are adequately immunized. As the home schooling movement continues to gain ground in the United States, pediatric nurse practitioners in the primary care setting will play an important role in protecting the health of these children, as well as the public's health.
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Bonnie K. Choi, Nurse Practitioner, Division of Otolaryngology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.
Mary Lou Manning, Associate Professor Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA.
Published online: April 13, 2009
© 2010 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.