From Infectious Disease Special Edition

Why Do Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks Occur in the US?

James D. Cherry MD, MSc; Kathleen H. Harriman PhD, MPH

In This Article


Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases are occurring in the United States and will continue as long as these diseases circulate throughout the world. The epidemiology of each vaccine-preventable disease is different and vaccine efficacy varies based on the type of vaccine. Therefore, approaches to prevent and control these outbreaks must differ. Several approaches will be useful in the prevention and control of all vaccine-preventable diseases, including keeping immunization rates high; implementing effective control measures when cases and outbreaks are reported; striving to develop more effective vaccines; and working to reduce the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases around the world. The expression “it takes a village” was never more apt.