CME: The problem with vaccines: public hesitancy and refusal
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Universal vaccination is one of the most important public health initiatives of the last century. The rates of vaccine-preventable illnesses have dropped precipitously with each introduction of an effective vaccine. Vaccinations not only protect the public against specific infectious diseases but also reduce future consequences, sequelae, and complications of disease, such as in the cases of: human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine and cancer; rotavirus vaccine and type 1 diabetes; and the measles vaccine and all-cause mortality. Among people born between 1994 and 2013, vaccination is responsible for the prevention of 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths, resulting in a savings of nearly $1.7 trillion in total costs. Extrapolating these predictions across all generations, the benefits of universal vaccination are considerable. Despite the many benefits of vaccination and the relatively low risks, vaccine hesitancy is a growing concern among health care professionals and has led to the resurgence of vaccine-preventable illnesses in pockets of the United States.
By the end of the session the participant will be able to:
- Describe common barriers to adherence to recommended vaccination schedules
- Discuss ways in which to provide strong recommendations for vaccinations while dispelling myths among patients and caregivers
- Describe vaccination benefits and risks with patients using techniques that have been shown to improve patient satisfaction and vaccine uptake
- Explain methods to improve vaccination adherence, and implement strategies to improve accessibility, simplify vaccination schedules, and maximize the opportunities for vaccination
The following HCPs: primary care physicians, pediatricians, and public health professionals; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists who practice in adult internal medicine and pediatrics; and any other clinicians who commonly encounter patients eligible for protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.