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Immunizable Disease Occurrence and Prevention in Seattle: 1890-1964

Reimert T. Ravenholt, Mary Jo Levinski, Mary Johnson and Astrid M. Ravenholt
Public Health Reports (1896-1970)
Vol. 80, No. 11 (Nov., 1965), pp. 981-993
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/4592590
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4592590
Page Count: 13
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Immunizable Disease Occurrence and Prevention in Seattle: 1890-1964
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Abstract

The secular experience of the Seattle-King County community with the occurrence of immunizable diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, influenza, and measles, with related preventive activities, is reviewed. The findings of the study indicate that eradication of these and other diseases by means of immunization is especially dependent on thorough immunization of children of all socioeconomic, cultural, and neighborhood groups within the community, rather than on the general level of immunization. For this reason three routine or periodic roll-call surveys of immunizations and reasons for nonimmunization (at first birthday, on entry to elementary school, and when moving into public housing) are recommended for ascertaining and improving the status of immunization in every community. Such a roll-call, or roster, survey of all (6,595) second-grade school children in a representative one-third sample (87) of the elementary schools in Seattle and King County during 1960 revealed that 84 percent of all the children were fully immunized with all recommended vaccines, 14 percent were incompletely immunized, and 1.1 percent had never been immunized with a vaccine. In the upper socioeconomic neighborhoods, immunization was deficient mainly because of religious beliefs. In the lower socioeconomic neighborhoods, neglect, procrastination, and fear of immunization, rather than religious belief, were the main reasons for nonimmunization.

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