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Wednesday April 11, 2018

TIP Op-Ed: Vaccination is About Science, Not Politics


Think about it. Do politicians make strange claims that kidney dialysis doesn’t save lives, counter to all medical evidence? Does anyone try to get dedicated, hard-working legislators booted from their jobs because they encourage the use of insulin for people whose doctors recommend it for Type 1 diabetes?

Of course not. Science is science; proven medical treatments keep people healthy and treat them for illnesses that do occur. But for some reason, despite the extraordinary amount of research on vaccines, the number of doctors who strongly recommend them and the overwhelming evidence of their safety and effectiveness, immunization is frequently dragged into the political scene. That’s a shame.

Three doctors who also are members of The Immunization Partnership’s Scientific Advisory Committee – board chair Stanley Spinner, and pediatricians Lindy McGee and Julie Boom – recently penned an op-ed that has been published in both TribTalk and the San Antonio Express-News. In it, they underline the reasons why vaccination should not be a political football:

Disease does not care if you are a Democrat or Republican. Cancer does not care whether you voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Influenza has no concern about whether you showed up to vote in the March primary election in Texas. As far as whooping cough is concerned, you can watch whichever cable news and reach whichever websites you choose.

The fight to stop disease must be nonpartisan and nonpolitical. People of all political stripes united to stop polio in its tracks. In the past, Americans understood that critical lifesaving tools such as vaccines are part of our national responsibility. Just as our soldiers are fully vaccinated before they go to war, we citizens on the homefront have, in the past, done our part to protect the public health and national security.

The lifesaving power of vaccines should transcend politics. Unfortunately, vaccines entered the political discourse during the 2018 election season. Attacks on public officials who support vaccines are attacks on a building block of public health. Just as politicians should support clean drinking water and flood prevention, they should support vaccination as a proven measure to prevent disease.

You can read the rest of the article here  and here.



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