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MNAAP Newsletter

Suffrage and Immunizations — Major Public Health Tools

By Ed Ehlinger, MD, MSPH Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health

North Dakota has been dramatically changed by the oil boom in the state’s Williston Basin. The influx of people to work in the Bakken oil fields has generated numerous social, economic, and public health issues.

While environmental concerns, violence, prostitution, housing shortages, and railroad safety have garnered most of the attention, it is the potential disruption of a core public heath function that prompted the North Dakota Department of Health to ask for help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The issue? How to keep track of the immunization status of the thousands of people moving to ND from all over the country.

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