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Vaccines represent the most important medical advance of the twentieth century. The time has passed when large numbers of children and adults suffered serious, life threatening illness from viruses including poliovirus, measles virus, influenza viruses, hepatitis B virus and varicella zoster virus or faced lifelong disability or death from bacterial infections including Hemophilus influenzae, meningococcus and pneumococcus, all infections that can be prevented now by effective vaccines.


This article first appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of West Virginia Medical Journal, the member magazine of the West Virginia State Medical Association, and is reprinted with permission.

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Copyright 2012 by West Virginia State Medical Association