"THE IMMUNIZATION program in the United States is an extraordinary success story," says Alan R. Hinman, MD, director of the Center for Prevention Services. "As a result of widespread use of vaccine in childhood, we are now at record or near-record low levels for most of the vaccine-preventable diseases." Making sure that record stands is the main task of this center, one of the larger ones at the CDC, with nearly 1000 employees and $400 million per year for prevention programs.
More than half the center's employees work outside Atlanta, assigned as public health advisors to state and local health departments. Carrying out research and surveillance of disease patterns across the country helps the center to develop interventions. Through technical and financial assistance, the center helps states and cities to implement the interventions and to coordinate their activities. The center also evaluates the impact of these programs.
"Success in immunization requires an adequate information base," says Walter A. Orenstein, MD, director of the