Mission & Goal
At the Center for Immunization Research and Education (CIRE, pronounced seer-ee), we address trends in vaccine coverage through research and education and find ways to improve vaccine acceptance and immunization rates in both children and adults. Our goal is to have no one in our region suffer from a vaccine-preventable disease.
Immunizations are among the most important public health advances in the last century, protecting children and adults from diseases that can cause serious illness or death. Successful immunization programs have helped eradicate smallpox, nearly eradicate polio, and markedly reduce diseases like tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella. Nevertheless, many vaccine-preventable diseases persist in the United States and around the world. Vaccination rates are simply not as high as we would like them to be.
Vaccines are among the safest and most effective therapies we possess. They save lives, prevent outbreaks of disease, and protect those who cannot be vaccinated. Despite this, vaccine acceptance has declined, leading the World Health Organization to consider vaccine hesitancy a top threat to global health.
The seriousness of many vaccine-preventable diseases has faded from collective memory, vaccine misinformation is prolific, and some people fear the rare or imagined adverse effects of vaccines more than the disease itself. Some parents opt not to fully vaccinate their children. As a result, we are seeing a return of outbreaks from diseases that had largely disappeared a decade ago, such as measles and pertussis. Similar unfounded fears and multiple systemic barriers lead to poor uptake of recommended vaccines in adults, significantly limiting the full potential of vaccine benefits in this group as well.
At CIRE, we are committed to providing evidence-based information and services that improve the health and wellbeing of those living in our region. CIRE is housed under the NDSU Department of Public Health.