Over the last 20 years, vaccinations have prevented an estimated 731,700 premature deaths, 21 million hospitalizations and 322 million diseases, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

Vaccines administered during the past two decades in the Vaccines for Children program also has saved the United States $1.7 trillion.

But work is far from over, the agency warned. In its report, CDC researchers said that when Americans get complacent about, or resist, vaccinations, years of battling diseases — such as measles — can be undone.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.