The MNAAP Immunization Taskforce is committed to increasing infant, child, and teen immunization rates and decreasing barriers to vaccination. The task force is currently co-chaired by Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, MPH and Vijay Chawla, MD, FAAP.
Only three in four Minnesota children are up to date on their immunizations. Not only do immunizations save lives, but they also save on health care costs with every $1 spent yielding an estimated $10‐$14 in saved expenditure.
Improving the MN pediatric immunization rates is one of the four strategicpriorities of the MNAAP Board for 2017-2020. The MNAAP Immunization workgroupmeets by conference call on a monthly or “as needed” basis and welcome new members. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Immunization advocacy at state legislature and in administrative hearings/policy;
Supports professional education;
Partners closely with the MDH and updates to Minnesota Childcare and School Immunization Laws;
Implements grant-funded projects to increase immunization education supports clinics with immunization resources and funding;
MOC4 projects for pediatricians on improving immunization rates and outreach; and
Educational scholarships to support bilingual Community Health Workers and foreign-trained physicians to increase immunization outreach and education.
Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) Over 90 percent of Minnesota children less than 18 years of age are enrolled in the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC). More than 3,000 organizations use MIIC, including primary care clinics, specialty providers, schools, childcare facilities, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, pharmacies, and hospitals.
Immunization Action Coalition The Immunization Action Coalition is a St. Paul-based, independent, not-for-profit with a national reputation for accurate and helpful vaccine info.
CDC The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention post here the official ACIP schedule as well as recommendations, educational materials, and more.
AAP Provider Resources American Academy of Pediatrics website includes resources for pediatricians regarding vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
What’s the science about whether vaccines might cause autism?
Dozens of studies have been performed in the United States and elsewhere. These studies do not show any link between MMR vaccine, thimerosal, and autism.
The increasing rate of the diagnosis of autism has occurred independently of the rates of vaccine use and has persisted even in countries that stopped MMR vaccination.
One study published in 2010 deserves special attention. It found infants who followed the recommended vaccine schedule performed better on 42 different neuropsychological outcomes years later than children who delayed or skipped vaccinations.
What’s the science about whether vaccines are necessary?
Vaccine-preventable diseases can have dangerous consequences, including seizures, brain damage, blindness and even death, but because of the success of the national immunization program, many young parents today have never seen a case of one of these illnesses.
Measles, meningitis, chickenpox, pertussis and other diseases exist in the world and would re-emerge here if immunization rates fell. For example, recent outbreaks of measles in the U.S. were traced to unvaccinated children who became infected while traveling in Europe. Likewise, it would only take one case of polio from another country to bring the disease back to the U.S. if children are not protected by vaccination.
The rates of infants under 2 who are hospitalized due to influenza equals the rates in the elderly, and more than 40% of school children get influenza on average every year. The vaccine reduces that risk by 45 to 90% depending on the year.
What’s the science about whether vaccines should be delayed or spread out to prevent vaccine overload?
Infants and children are exposed to many germs every day just by playing, eating, and breathing. Their immune systems fight those germs, also called antigens, to keep the body healthy. The amount of antigens that children fight every day (2,000-6,000) is much more than the antigens in any combination of vaccines on the current schedule (150 for the whole schedule). So children’s immune systems are not overwhelmed by vaccines.
Some of the vaccine-preventable diseases put babies at risk early in infancy and if not prevented lead to hospitalization and death.
Alternative schedules that delay vaccines have not be tested for safety or effectiveness.