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The Red Book, now in its 32nd edition, has been a unique and valuable source of information on infectious diseases and immunizations for pediatric practitioners since 1938. In the 21st century, with the practice of pediatric infectious diseases changing rapidly and the limited time available to the practitioner, the Red Book remains an essential resource to quickly obtain current, accurate, and easily accessible information about vaccines and vaccine recommendations, emerging infectious diseases, diagnostic modalities, and treatment recommendations. The Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the editors of the Red Book, and the 500 Red Book contributors are dedicated to providing the most current and accurate information available in the concise, practical format for which the Red Book is known.

As with the 2018 edition, the print version of the Red Book will be provided to every AAP member as part of their member benefit. This commitment reflects the Academy’s strong interest in its members’ needs. In addition, AAP members also will continue to have access to Red Book content on Red Book Online (www.aapredbook.org). AAP policy statements, clinical reports, and technical reports and recommendations endorsed by the AAP are posted on Red Book Online as they become available during the 3 years between Red Book editions, and online chapters are modified as needed to reflect these changes. The Outbreaks section of Red Book Online is a new resource that concisely summarizes current infectious disease outbreaks that affect the pediatric population and that have been identified in multiple US states; other outbreak types may be covered occasionally as situations warrant. Red Book users also are encouraged to sign up for e-mail alerts on www.aapredbook.org to receive new information and policy updates between editions.

Another important resource is the visual library of Red Book Online, which is continually updated and expanded to include more images of infectious diseases, examples of classic radiologic and other findings, and recent information on epidemiology of infectious diseases. The Committee on Infectious Diseases relies on information and advice from many experts, as evidenced by the lengthy list of contributors to the Red Book. We especially are indebted to the many contributors from other AAP committees, sections, and councils; the American Academy of Family Physicians; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American Thoracic Society; the Canadian Paediatric Society; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the US Food and Drug Administration; the National Institutes of Health; the National Vaccine Program Office; the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society; la Sociedad Latinoamericana de Infectología Pediátrica; the World Health Organization; and many other organizations and individuals who have made this edition possible. In addition, suggestions made by individual AAP members to improve the presentation of information on specific issues and on topic selection have been incorporated whenever possible.

Most important to the success of this edition is the dedication and work of the editors, whose commitment to excellence is unparalleled. This new edition was made possible under the able leadership of David W. Kimberlin, MD, Editor, along with Associate Editors Elizabeth D. Barnett, MD, Ruth Lynfield, MD, and Mark H. Sawyer, MD. We also are indebted to H. Cody Meissner, MD, for his untiring efforts to gather and organize the slide materials that make up the visual library of Red Book Online and are part of the electronic versions of the Red Book, and to Henry H. Bernstein, DO, MHCM, for his continuous efforts to maintain up-to-date content as Editor of Red Book Online.

As noted in previous editions of the Red Book, some omissions and errors are inevitable in a book of this type. We ask that AAP members continue to assist the committee actively by suggesting specific ways to improve the quality of future editions. The committee membership and editorial staff hope that the 2021 Red Book will enhance your practice and benefit the children you serve.

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