Future progress in vaccination will be significantly advanced by application of emerging technologies for immunization of mucosal surfaces. It should now be possible to maximize the antigenicity of many vaccines and facilitate their interaction with appropriate lymphoid tissues to induce protective cellular and humoral responses. Mucosal vaccines requiring no more than two doses are achievable with current technologies. Living vaccines have been among the most promising candidates for mucosal vaccination, but with few exceptions their promise is still to be realized. Development of new microencapsulated delivery systems and adjuvants has made non-living vaccines reasonable options for mucosal immunization. To be practical, such vaccines should be developed as combined agent vaccines, possibly deliverable by multiple mucosal routes. Although strategies to be used for specific mucosal vaccines will depend upon a number of factors pertinent to the disease agent, in concept an adjuvant administered with inactivated but maximally antigenic pathogens or their recombinant adhesive subcomponents could prove to be among the more practical mucosal vaccine options for use globally.