Advocacy – Open Letter
 
Open Letter to Californians Supporting the Importance of Immunizations
 
We, the undersigned, support immunizations as the safest, most effective way to control and eradicate infectious diseases in California and across the globe. Thanks to vaccinations, we have not seen or experienced many of the infectious diseases that gripped past generations, although other countries have not been so fortunate and outbreaks still continue throughout our state.
 
In early 2008, a young boy in San Diego brought back measles from Switzerland. He quickly infected 11 others, including three infants too young to be vaccinated, and 70 other children were voluntarily quarantined. This is but one reminder of the continuing importance of timely immunizations.
 
Infectious diseases pose a real threat to personal and public health. Those who are not vaccinated leave not only themselves, but others vulnerable to dangerous diseases. Vaccines are the most effective option for preventing and stopping the spread of infectious diseases.
 
Vaccines Save Lives  
  • Immunization has cut measles incidence in the U.S. by 99.9%. As illustrated by the measles outbreak in San Diego, vaccination remains essential.
  • Whooping cough rates have increased dramatically over the past thirty years, from a low of 1,000 cases to over 10,000 in 2008. Children who are not immunized against whooping cough have been shown to be 23 times more likely to contract the disease.
  • Immunization has nearly eliminated Haemophilus influenzae type b. Before the vaccine became available, 20,000 cases of the disease were reported and nearly 600 died each year in the United States. Unfortunately, cases of this deadly disease are resurfacing in the United States due to lower vaccination rates.
  • Influenza continues to take the lives of more than 36,000 Americans each year. 2009’s H1N1 alone resulted in nearly 10,000 deaths and approximately 213,000 hospitalizations. This can be prevented only through annual vaccination against this deadly disease.

Together, we can protect ourselves and each other from potentially deadly diseases. Please make sure you and your loved ones are immunized on time, every time. For more information about vaccines and immunization, talk to your health care provider, or local or state health agency.

Organizations in Support

American Academy of  Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA)

Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation

California Academy of  Family Physicians

California Academy of  Physician Assistants

California Kids Healthcare Foundation

California Pharmacists Association

California Immunization Coalition

California School Health Center Association

California State Rural Health Association

Contra Costa Health Services

County of  San Luis Obispo Public Health Department

County of  Sonoma Public Health Division

Health Net , Inc

Immunization Action Coalition

Immunization Coalition of LA County

Marin Immunization Coalition

Orange County Immunization Coalition

Safeway

San Diego Immunization Coalition

San Francisco Immunization Coalition

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center

Solano County Immunization Program

Individuals in Support

M. Stephan Baranov,  Exec.  Director, South LA Health Projects

Dean A. Blumberg, MD

Oliver T. Brooks, MD

Maria I. Fernandez, MPH, CHES, Los Angeles

Mark Finch, MD

Kathleen Worthing Gustafson

James McCarty, MD, Children’s Hospital Central California

Sandra S. Navarro, PhD, MPH

Patricia G. Porter, RN, MPH, CHES, Health Professional, Healthcare Consultant, Parent, and Immunization Advocate

David Pugatch, MD, Children’s Hospital Central California

Patricia Samuelson MD

Hoa Su, MPH

 

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