The Public Health Value of Vaccines Acceptance

CDC Director Tom Frieden on Vaccines Acceptance, Public Health Value

09.15.13 | By Karl Uhlendorf

So far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 159 cases of measles have been reported in 16 states  – 36 percent of those occurring in children less than five years of age. It’s the second largest number of cases since 2000 – a sobering statistic that should serve as a wake-up call about the importance of parents and healthcare professionals adhering to the CDC’s guidelines and recommendations for the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Given this news that was brought into the national spotlight on Thursday by the CDC, I wanted to draw attention to our current “Conversations” question and the responses from CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden and others.

As our President and CEO John Castellani said earlier this week, “Vaccines…are essential public health resources that have both helped save millions of lives around the world and are giving hope to millions for a healthier future.” Unfortunately, as Dr. Frieden noted in his “Conversations” response, one of the biggest health challenges facing the U.S. is vaccine acceptance because parents today may not see first-hand the devastating impacts of diseases preventable by vaccines.

This point is something that not only Dr. Frieden discussed, but many of the other “Conversations” participants as well. It’s an important issue and I encourage you to read their responses and provide your own thoughts in the comments section.

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