A Message from AAP CEO/Executive Director Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP

Dear AAP Fellow:

As a pediatrician and a former public health officer, I understand how critically important vaccines are for the health of individual children, and to protect the larger communities where we all live. We have heard from you, our members, about the challenges you face every day as you talk with parents about their concerns surrounding immunizations.

Today the AAP is publishing a clinical report and a policy statement that we hope will help equip you for these conversations with parents, and provide the public-policy support we need for high immunization rates in every state.

The clinical report, “Countering Vaccine Hesitancy,” outlines strategies and approaches to use with parents to help them make the decision to vaccinate their child. We know that one-on-one contact with an informed, caring and concerned pediatrician is the No. 1 influence on parents’ decision to vaccinate. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to guide these conversations. As part of these new resources, I urge you to join the free PediaLink training module on vaccine hesitancy. This course provides strategies to promote vaccine confidence in vaccine-hesitant parents in a time-efficient but effective manner, including case studies on infant vaccinations and MMR vaccination.

The policy statement, “Medical Versus Nonmedical Immunization Exemptions for Child Care and School Attendance,” urges states to eliminate all non-medical exemptions to vaccine requirements for child care and school attendance. High immunization rates are critical to protecting children from dangerous, preventable diseases.

Below are more resources and background on the new recommendations. No child should have to suffer through a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine. With your help, the AAP is committed to achieving this goal.

Best regards,
Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP
CEO/Executive Director

• Clinical Report: Countering Vaccine Hesitancy http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-2146
• Policy Statement: Medical Versus Nonmedical Immunization Exemptions for Child Care and School Attendance http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-2145
• Free PediaLink course: Challenging Cases: Vaccine Hesitancy
• News release: American Academy of Pediatrics Publishes New Policies to Boost Child Immunization Rates
• AAP News article: Eliminate nonmedical immunization exemptions for school entry, says AAP, http://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/08/29/VaccineExemptions082916
• AAP News article: How to address vaccine hesitancy: New AAP report says dismissal a last resort, http://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/08/29/VaccineHesitancy082916
• AAP News article: Facing the dilemma of dismissing vaccine refusers, http://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/08/29/VaccineHesitancySide082916
• Talking points for AAP members on vaccine