According to the Center for Disease Control, the number one public health achievement in the twentieth century has been vaccinations. In the last century, we have seen dramatic decreases of 99-100% in smallpox, diphtheria, measles, polio, rubella, and varicella. Vaccines have had a significant impact in decreasing meningitis, Hemophilus influenzae, and pertussis. It has been estimated that vaccines prevent 3 million deaths in children annually worldwide. The conclusion that vaccines are successful cannot be questioned.
There is still a need for health care providers to remain vigilant and make high immunization rates a priority. With the exception of small pox, the organisms that cause vaccine-preventable diseases are still in existence in the US and other parts of the world. In some ways, however, the success of vaccines has provided a false sense of security among the public. With the near eradication of many of these terrible diseases, the public and many health care providers have not seen first-hand the effects of these diseases. Who could forget a child presenting in shock with H. Flu meningitis or an infant die in the throes of pertussis? We are seeing a growing trend among the public and even a few health care providers that question the need for vaccines.
It is a challenge for health care providers to convince an increasingly skeptical public that high immunization rates must continue to be a priority. More and more of the time spent during preventative care visits is being spent discussing vaccines. In addition, as new vaccines are developed and the amount of vaccine related research continues to expand dramatically, health care providers struggle to keep themselves updated. This may seem a daunting task to health care providers who are already being asked to do more with less time.
Over the years as new vaccines are developed and become available, the task of administering vaccines has become more involved. Schedules which used to involve relatively few vaccines are now more complex. Proper storage of thousands of dollars worth of vaccines takes on a new priority.
The role of providers in increasing overall vaccine rates is significant. When children and parents are sitting in the office feeling skeptical about the necessity or safety of a vaccine, you are the ones that have the opportunity to educate them about the importance of vaccines. You get the chance to remind them of the dangers diseases like HPV and polio can present to their long term health and well-being, and as a professional they will be interested in hearing what you have to say. Communicating this message is key, which is why we have dedicated much of this initiative to providing helpful resources for you.
The resource architecture is credited to the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The resources are an attempt to help health care providers deal with the ever changing immunization milieu. Materials were written by health care providers in practices that are providing immunizations to their patients. The purpose of these resources is to provide a coalescence of the large amount of information available, and present it in a concise and easy to read source for the busy health care provider.
Materials can be reproduced for office usage or as handouts and are to be credited to the Kansas Chapter and the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We would like to thank the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for providing exceptional resources and information to enhance Michigan’s immunization education initiative.
Note: Due to YouTube’s terms of service, each video may contain links to other videos that contain similar or related content. Users should be aware that some of these videos may contain anti-vaccine content consisting of false information with no scientific evidence. These videos are designed to scare viewers away from vaccines. We are in no way affiliated with these conspiracies and hoaxes, and encourage pediatricians, parents, and patients to view such videos with caution and to use sensible judgment when confronted with information of this kind.