FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2021

TENNESEE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS ENDORSES IMMUNIZATIONS AND PUBLIC HEALTH

(Nashville, Tenn) In light of recent news in our state, the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (TNAAP) restates our strong and enduring endorsements of immunizations and public health. Dr. Anna Morad, TNAAP President, states "Actions that weaken Tennessee’s overall public health readiness are clearly a step in the wrong direction at the wrong time."

Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives. Childhood immunizations have drastically reduced disease and death from measles, polio, whooping cough, pneumonia, diarrhea, cancer, and so much more. Vaccines are one of modern medicine’s success stories. As pediatricians, we firmly stand behind their safety and benefit. Vaccines allow us to live in a safer and healthier world. We encourage parents to have their children vaccinated, and this is important now more than ever before. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen declining numbers of childhood immunizations. As children return to school and play, it is vital that they are up to date on all recommended vaccines. Vaccines are the best way to protect our children from numerous viruses and bacteria that cause real and devastating harm. Vaccines build a protective wall around our families and our communities, securing everyone’s freedom from disease. As pediatricians, we believe that immunizations are the safest and most cost-effective way of preventing disease, disability, and death.

Public health measures save lives. Public health is the science of disease prevention. It is founded on preventing the spread of infectious diseases, preparing for emergencies, and responding to such threats. Public health protects the safety of communities and improves the health of citizens. It is a core and vital function in our communities. Our public health infrastructure has never been more important in our lifetimes than during the last year and a half. Public health officials have worked tirelessly in response to COVID-19 to save numerous lives. This includes the public health service of TNAAP member, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, a tireless champion for children and vaccines, and we appreciate her efforts. Vaccination is an essential component of these efforts. We strongly urge all eligible citizens to be fully vaccinated in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community.

We encourage children and parents to have open and honest discussions around vaccines. We encourage families to seek advice from their healthcare providers. As pediatricians, we are concerned for the health and well-being of all children in our state. Vaccination and a strong public health program work hand in hand to ensure that we have all the tools at our disposal employed to their fullest ability to keep our children safe, to promote their academic success, and to ensure their lifelong health. We ask all parents to stand with us in support of these goals.

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The Tennessee Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics represents the voice of more than 1,000 Tennessee Pediatricians who are dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information visit www.tnaap.org.

Tennessee Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics

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