By Nancy Derringer

On the subject of vaccines, medical opinion is widespread and settled: They are among the triumphs of public-health medicine, preventing thousands of deaths every year -- not to mention millions in lost sick time and other productivity.

And yet, getting a fully vaccinated populace, from infants through senior citizens, remains an elusive goal for doctors and public health officials. They blame lack of access, inattention (on the part of both patients and doctors) and a small, but outspoken, cadre of vaccine objectors for the gap.

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