Leadership Viewpoints

Physicians agree: Vaccination crucial to public health

As physicians, we know the importance of keeping each individual patient as healthy as possible. With the issue of vaccinations getting increased attention in political discourse, now is a good time to review the AMA’s policies so you can talk to your patients using scientific facts.

The AMA has long supported the nation’s science-based immunization policies and recommendations. We have extensive policy on immunizations—voted on by physicians after debate and consideration—but in a nutshell, here are the facts:

  • We endorse the recommendations of both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on how to use vaccines to control diseases in the United States, including the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine for children.
  • We support efforts toward the prevention of childhood disease through immunizations and encourage continued innovation in the development of immunization products.
  • We advocate for resources and the programs necessary, using the recommendations of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee and in accordance with the provision set forth in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, to ensure the optimal prevention of human infectious diseases through vaccine development, and to promote vaccine safety.

We know that vaccinations are safe and effective. We know their benefits far outweigh any risks. And we know that as physicians, we must encourage our patients to listen to the science and facts behind this issue.

Use this list of resources for answering patients’ questions about vaccinations, supported with information from the CDC. In addition, the AAP has more resources on immunization for patients.