by Eric E. Mast, Stephen L. Cochi, Olen M. Kew et al.
Public Health Reports, 2017, Vol. 132(1) 18-26
On November 23, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson announced plans for a 5-year smallpox eradication and measles control program in West Africa that enabled the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a Smallpox Eradication Program in January 1966. Since then, CDC’s global immunization endeavors have encompassed global smallpox eradication, the establishment and growth of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) to strengthen national immunization programs, global efforts to eradicate polio and eliminate measles and rubella, and vaccine introduction into national immunization schedules beyond the original 6 EPI vaccines. This article marks the 50th anniversary of CDC’s global immunization leadership, highlights key historical events, and provides an overview of CDC’s future directions.