NHF-Vaccines
Issue Background

Vaccines

PUBLIC POLICY POSITION STATEMENT STATE VACCINE POLICIES

BACKGROUND 
As a profession dedicated to infection prevention, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and its members have an ethical responsibility to promote evidence-based approaches to vaccination policy. We are concerned the increase in the rapid spread of misinformation related to vaccination, especially via social media, has led to unwarranted concerns about childhood vaccination, parental refusal to vaccinate children, and specifically to the largest outbreak of measles in the United States since 1992.

Further, APIC’s comprehensive review of legislation introduced throughout the United States over the last year indicates that, contrary to current scientific evidence, policies that delay vaccination, or spread unwarranted fears about vaccination have increased in state legislatures.

APIC’s nearly 16,000 infection preventionist (IP) members are experts in identifying sources of infections and limiting their transmission. In order to prevent the transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases, IPs must rely on evidence-based research and practices. Innumerable studies have shown that vaccines are one of the safest and most cost-effective ways to prevent infection and prevent the spread of disease. 

CALL TO ACTION
APIC is very concerned by state governments’ efforts to expand vaccine exemptions, encourage parents to delay immunizations, spread misinformation about vaccines, or reduce access to vaccines. Furthermore, APIC is concerned with efforts that place unnecessary burdens on schools and healthcare facilities to promote vaccine exemptions or mandates that force healthcare providers to overstate the risk of contraindications. As such, we will speak out against these policies and call on our members to contact their legislators to oppose such legislation.

APIC is a strong advocate for pro-vaccine policies and will continue to educate the public about the importance of following the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended vaccine schedule using earned media, social media, advocacy, and online resources for healthcare personnel and the public. Additionally, APIC will continue to work with healthcare facilities, coalition partners, and our members to contain the current measles epidemic, and work with legislators on policies that encourage vaccination.