The goal of immunization of population groups is the eradication of disease. The goal of immunization in any one individual, e.g., an oral healthcare provider, is the prevention of disease. The decision to immunize OHCP against a specific pathogen is based on:
an assessment of the risk of infection,
the consequences of natural unmodified illness,
the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, and
the duration of immunity.
The cost-effectiveness of disease prevention by immunization rather than by disease treatment is unequivocal. This should prompt an acute interest in developing and implementing immunization strategies in all oral healthcare settings.