Current Controversies in the USA Regarding Vaccine Safety

Archana Chatterjee; Catherine O'Keefe

Disclosures

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2010;9(5):497-502. 

In This Article

Expert Commentary

Parents today are overwhelmed with the vaccine controversies and the decisions they face regarding their children's health and well being. They are inundated with media reports of profit-driven pharmaceutical companies that cannot be trusted, internet blogs hosted by antivaccine activists and internet misinformation. They are in need of trusted expert advice. Although some parents distrust the experts, a majority identify their healthcare provider as the person with the most influence over their decision to vaccinate their child.[52] Healthcare providers are positioned to correct misconceptions and alleviate anxieties; but first they must recognize and acknowledge parents' fears. They must educate themselves on the latest scientific research that addresses these issues. They also need to dedicate time to discuss concerns regarding vaccine safety with worried parents. To achieve these two things, training programs for healthcare providers need to include coursework on quality communication, and third-party payors need to reimburse immunization providers for education related to vaccination.[3] Providers also need to familiarize themselves with programs such as the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a collaborative effort between CDC's Immunization Safety Office and eight managed-care organizations (MCOs).[107] The Vaccine Safety Datalink project was established in 1990 to monitor immunization safety and address the gaps in scientific knowledge regarding rare and serious events following immunization. Ultimately, it is imperative for all stakeholders to recognize that the overall health and well-being of US children is dependent on a robust vaccination program in which parents and providers are partners, not adversaries.

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