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Health Soc Work. 1996 May;21(2):105-14.

Immunization among African American children: implications for social work.

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  • 1School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


Although childhood immunizations have proved to be one of the most effective means of preventing and controlling the spread of infectious and communicable diseases, thousands of preschool children, particularly children from urban African American poor families, are not being immunized. This article discusses the critical problem of low rates of immunization for this population and identifies ways social workers can play an active role in ensuring that more children are immunized. Immunization of preschool children is a function of the interrelationship among health-seeking behavior of parents, financial and nonfinancial barriers to health care, and provider practices that inhibit appropriate immunization. Improving access to existing public programs, facilitating community organization efforts, assisting communities through self-help and mutual-aid initiatives, and supporting national efforts can improve immunization status among poor children.

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