The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) begins a campaign to push back against growing number of parents who question vaccines.
As parents become more educated on the risks of vaccines, more and more are asking tough questions of their pediatricians about the safety of vaccines. The growing trend of vaccines exemptions, and not just “trusting your doctor” is fueled by, activist parents, the rising tide of autism and the growing number of costly, and questionable, vaccines recommended for children. Additionally, It is fueled by a growing concern about the excessive influence on vaccine recommendations of a profit motivated pharmaceutical industry.
The trend of parents focusing on vaccine choice and altering the recommended vaccine schedule, or opting out all together, is growing. Not surprisingly drug based medicine is pushing back. Vaccines, after all, are a cornerstone of modern drug based medicine.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced a multi-pronged program aimed at the public and parents to attempt take back the high ground on vaccinations.
AAP leadership reports that it met with the leaders of 15 allied organizations in Elk Grove, Illinois to discuss the growing refusal of parents to vaccinate their children according to recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and AAP
According to the AAP, the group will formally be known as the Immunization Alliance
and materials should be available by fall 2008.
The campaign is in response to the primary resolution from the Annual Leadership Forum, which stated, “that the Academy lead the development of a coalition of health professional, public health, scientific and other organizations to develop a media campaign to market directly to parents the value of immunizations and the importance of child health recommendations based on credible scientific evidence.”
While this sounds reasonable for an organization where vaccinations are key to their members practice, a sample letter for pediatricians to use with questioning parents, looks like a fear and intimidation campaign, rather than anything “scientific”, according to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) (a large vaccine choice advocacy organization) ,
According to an NVIC email alert, a sample letter to parents refusing or questioning vaccines reads in part, “By not vaccinating your child you are taking selfish advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases. We feel such an attitude to be self-centered and unacceptable…”
The sample letter concludes with a quick boot to parents whole refuse to vaccinate as ordered. “Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. We do not keep a list of such providers nor would we recommend any such physician.”
Should this sample letter be serious, it sounds like fear and intimidation with a bunch of quilt thrown in for measure.
Of course this campaign is directed at what the AAP calls “confused parent”, overwhelmed by vaccine “myths”, who do “not understand the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases”, and have “decreased trust in the government and health care providers.”
Let’s see, arrogant doctors starting a campaign against a growing number of questioning and “confused” parents taking responsibility for their children’s health on the very contentious issue of vaccines.
Were betting on the parents.