Charleston Gazette-Mail Op-Ed by Michael Brumage, Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice at the WVU School of Public Health and Executive Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
Jan. 15 was “Health Freedom Day” at the state Capitol, another attempt to legitimize one of the most dangerous and deadly attacks on rational and life-saving public health policy: the anti-vaccine movement.
The prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases is one of the 10 greatest public health achievements in the United States of the 20th century.
Why is a small but visible group of people attacking these life-saving interventions?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 42,000 childhood deaths and 20 million cases of disease were prevented at a cost savings of $14 billion in direct costs and $69 billion in total societal costs through the vaccination of each birth cohort in the United States with the current childhood immunization schedule.
If childhood vaccines are so beneficial, why is a small but visible group of people attacking these life-saving interventions? The arguments of the anti-vaccine groups rest on two main pillars of thought: the harm done by vaccines outweighs the benefits of using them and the rights of parents to choose what is best for their children.
Through a disinformation and misinformation campaign, groups seek to inflate the harm associated with vaccines by calling attention to adverse reactions, as well as additives and adjuncts to vaccines that have been proven safe in several extremely large studies…
Read the full story at www.wvgazettemail.com
2016 Adolescent Vaccination Coverage Data Released
Results from the National Immunization Survey
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination
Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13-17 Years-United States, 2016 in MMWR.
Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors Endorses Promotion of the HPV Vaccine to Reduce the Risk of HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancers
On July 10, the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD), a national nonprofit organization that represents the directors and staff of state public health agency programs for oral health, published a white paper on human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal cancer in which they endorsed promotion of the HPV vaccine to reduce the risk of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. ASTDD emphasized that:
“State oral health programs (SOHPs) can play a critical role in facilitating evidence-based state and community practice interventions and messaging campaigns aimed at effectively promoting the HPV vaccine. Through external and internal partners, SOHPs can help develop collaborative partnerships and referral networks that can empower an interprofessional workforce of dental and medical practitioners to promote use of the HPV vaccine for their patients and increase the rates of completion of the HPV vaccination series.”
In addition, ASTDD recommended incorporating HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer awareness strategies into oral health promotion efforts and healthcare professional academic curricula.
The ASTDD white paper is available to download at www.astdd.org; scroll to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Oropharyngeal Cancer (July 2017).
For More Information
In the United States, vaccines have greatly reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases that can be harmful or deadly for adults. Vaccines are even more important for people with diabetes.
Your patients with diabetes—type 1 or type 2—may not know that they are at higher risk for serious problems from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Talk to your patients about the importance of staying up to date with their vaccines to avoid developing serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has information about the different vaccines your patients need. You can also share the What You Need to Know About Diabetes and Adult Vaccines fact sheet with your patients with diabetes, which includes more information about why vaccines are important for them.
Are your patients concerned about vaccine safety?
Let your patients know that vaccines are safe. Here are three quick facts you can share with them:
Vaccines are tested and monitored.
Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect their health.
Vaccine side effects are usually mild and go away on their own in a few days.
If your patients have any diabetes management questions, use resources from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) at CDC to let them know what they can do to improve their health.
Sign up to get more information about diabetes from the CDC and NDEP. Select “Diabetes Education Materials” from the subscription options.If your patients have any diabetes management questions, use resources from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) at CDC to let them know what they can do to improve their health.
Photo: West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services
West Virginia health and education officials say immunizations for children are available at more than 380 Vaccines for Children provider locations, including local health departments.
Click here for a list of Vaccines for Children provider locations in West Virginia.
They say uninsured or underinsured children can get free vaccinations at those sites.
Routine childhood vaccines protect against 14 diseases including diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, rotavirus, haemophilus influenzae type B, tetanus, mumps, whooping cough, pneumococcal disease, polio, rubella, meningococcal disease and chickenpox.
More information about the Vaccines for Children Program at www.dhhr.wv.gov