Educate young children about vaccines
Don’t leave young children out of the conversation. Vax-Force is a children’s book that explores how vaccination works inside the human body. Dr. Vaxson the pediatrician explains how trusted doctors and scientists made Vicky the Vaccine. Her mission is to tell Willy the White Blood Cell and his Antibuddies how to find and fight bad-guy germs like measles, tetanus, and polio. The book was written by Kelsey Rowe, MD, while she was a medical student at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Rowe, now a pediatric resident, notes, “In a world where anti-vaccination rhetoric threatens the health of our global community, this book’s mission is to teach children and adults alike that getting vaccinations is a safe, effective, and even exciting thing to do.” The book is available for purchase at, and a small part of every sale is donated to Unicef USA.
Consider vaccination advocacy in your communities
Vaccinate Your Family, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases, suggests that health care providers need to take an active role in raising immunization rates, not just in their own practices, but in their communities. One way to do this is to submit an opinion piece or letter to the editor to a local newspaper describing why it’s important for parents to make sure their child’s immunizations are current. Those who have never written an opinion-editorial should look at the.
How are we doing?
Early data suggest a rebound in immunization rates in May and June, but that is unlikely to close the gap created by disruptions in health care delivery earlier in the year. Collectively, we need to set ambitious goals. Are we just trying to reach prepandemic immunization levels? In Kentucky, where I practice, only 71% of kids aged 19-45 months had received all doses of seven routinely recommended vaccines (≥4 DTaP doses, ≥3 polio doses, ≥1 MMR dose, Hib full series, ≥3 HepB doses, ≥1 varicella dose, and ≥4 PCV doses) based on 2017 National Immunization Survey data. The Healthy People 2020 target goal is 80%. Only 55% of Kentucky girls aged 13-17 years received at least one dose of HPV vaccine, and rates in boys were even lower. Flu vaccine coverage in children 6 months to 17 years also was 55%. The status quo sets the bar too low. To see how your state is doing, check out thedeveloped by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Are we attempting to avoid disaster or can we seize the opportunity to protect more children than ever from vaccine-preventable diseases? The latter would really be something to celebrate.
Dr. Bryant is a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases at the University of Louisville (Ky.) and Norton Children’s Hospital, also in Louisville. She said she had no relevant financial disclosures. Email her at.