Online Article Stirs Controversy over Immunizations

2012-05-23

by Marie-Michèle Léger, MPH, PA-C, AAPA senior director of clinical and health affairs

AAPA is part of the Immunization Alliance, a coalition of professional organizations, immunization advocacy groups and other stakeholders with a common goal of advocating for immunizations and reducing/eliminating the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.

A post was recently placed on the Immunization Alliance listserv alerting users to an article posted on the Discovery Company website, entitled "Why we should not vaccinate our children," authored by Josh Clark. The article contained inaccurate information about immunization. AAPA and other members of the Alliance signed a letter sent to Eileen O’Neill, president of the Discovery Channel, on May 17, 2012 expressing concern about the harm such an article could cause in perpetuating inaccuracies and fears regarding vaccines and their benefits.

Since then, the post has been removed from the Discovery website and on May 23 a piece about the incident appeared in Time magazine.

AAPA has policies advocating for PAs to recommend immunizations and vaccinate all their patients per the recommendations of the CDC Advisory Council of Immunization Practice (ACIP). Please refer to AAPA’s position paper, Immunizations in Children and Adults (Adopted 1994, amended 2004, 2006, and 2011).

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