My IDSA Contact Us
IDSA NewsPrint-Friendly Newsletter
Forward to a Friend
Search Back Issues
 
Education & Training Resources Practice Guidelines Journals & Publications Policy & Advocacy Meetings About IDSA
March 2015
From the President
Regaining Ground on Measles Eradication: The Role of the ID Specialist
Merely a decade ago, measles was thought to be eliminated from this country. Today, we find ourselves in the midst of an outbreak with nearly 200 cases in 17 states. The cause of the outbreak has been much discussed and debated with even comedians and politicians weighing in. While the causes are multi-faceted, the public’s misunderstanding of the safety of vaccines is undoubtedly a major contributor. Our role as leaders in infectious disease is to send a strong, clear message not only about the safety of vaccines, but of the importance of universal vaccination in order to protect the most vulnerable, including those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

A recent study in Pediatrics found that more than 70 percent of pediatricians have agreed to parents’ requests to delay vaccinations, even though most believe that straying from the recommended immunization schedule puts children at risk. If even our colleagues in the medical community are feeling pressure to veer from the recommended vaccine schedule, it’s clear that as infectious diseases specialists, we must continue our efforts to spread scientifically sound information to members of the public. Parents are bombarded with information about vaccination from multiple sources including friends, the internet and social media. Some of the information is correct, but much of it is not, and unfortunately, we continue to see the spread of misinformation from studies that have been debunked and refuted over and again.

IDSA supports universal immunization of children, adolescents, and adults, on a schedule in accordance with recommendations and standards established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further, IDSA strongly encourages states to enact and enforce laws requiring children to be fully immunized as a requirement for school or day care, with exemptions allowed only for validated medical contraindications. Most states currently allow religious and personal belief exemptions; in those states, physician counselling on the safety and efficacy of vaccines is the most important tool to encourage vaccine uptake. 

I encourage you to communicate with your colleagues in pediatrics and primary care about the importance of ensuring that parents make an informed choice based on the best medical and scientific evidence. As leaders in infectious diseases, we should raise our voice and lend our assistance to counter false and misleading information. The ongoing measles outbreak presents a stark reminder of the pre-vaccine era. It is up to all of us to ensure that children continue to enjoy protection against measles and other scourges of the past. It would be a tragedy to let unsubstantiated fear trump the continued promise of one of medicine’s most powerful tools to protect the lives and health of our children.


< Previous Article | Next Article >

Post a comment

Your name:

Your comment:


PATIENT CARE AND SCIENCE
Public Comment Period for IDSA/AAN/ACR Lyme Guideline Project Plan Closes April 9
FDA Approves New Drugs, Cresemba and Avycaz
NIH Training Opportunity: Biosafety Officer in High-Containment Facility
CLINICAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
IDSA Joins the “Choosing Wisely” Campaign to Cut Back on Unnecessary Medical Care
New Forum for Contracting and Negotiations Information Exchange
POLICY AND ADVOCACY
IDSA Advances Priorities in 21st Century Cures Legislation
HIVMA Receives CAEAR Coalition Partnership Award
New Statement on Criminalization of HIV and other Communicable Diseases
ID Funding Highlighted on Capitol Hill
Laboratory Developed Tests: Regulation Should Keep Pace With ID Patient Needs
IDSA Responds to NIH on Proposed Regulatory Process for Multi-Site Research Trials
NIAID Launches ClinRegs Website on International Clinical Research Regulations
GLOBAL ID
Science Speaks: Coverage of CROI 2015
Education and Resources
ABIM MOC Changes
Free IDSA Hepatitis C MOC Module
IDSA to Offer Infection Control MOC Pre-Meeting Workshop at SHEA Spring Meeting
OFID is Now Indexed in PMC
YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES
Apply Now for IDSA Fellow Advancement
IDSA Begins Search for CID Editor-in-Chief
Members on the Move
New Members
From the President
Regaining Ground on Measles Eradication: The Role of the ID Specialist
Top Stories
Clinicians: Here’s How to Avoid a Payment Penalty in 2017
IDWeek Advance Registration Now Open for IDSA Members
IDSA Journal Club
IDSA | 1300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300 | Arlington, VA 22209 | Phone: (703) 299-0200
To ensure delivery, please add 'info@idsociety.org' to your email address book or Safe Sender List.
If you are still having problems receiving our communications,
see our white-listing page for more details.