Vaccines: Who Are You Going to Trust?

Apr 18, 2011, 3:50 PM

A new survey from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, published online today in the journal Pediatrics, finds that parents rely on a variety of resources when it comes to vaccine information:

• 76% have “a lot” of trust in their child’s doctor

• 26% have “a lot” of trust in other health care providers

• 15% have “a lot” of trust in family and friends

• 23% have “a lot” of trust in government vaccine experts/officials

Vaccine experts at the Department of Health and Human Services hope a new National Vaccine Plan will help improve that last number. The plan, which was released earlier this year, calls for “informed decision making among consumers and health care providers.”

Other goals of the National Vaccine Plan include:

• Developing new and improved vaccines

• Enhancing understanding of the safety of vaccines and vaccination practices

• Ensuring a stable supply of recommend vaccines in the United States

“This plan is a 10-year vision for the nation to more effectively prevent infectious diseases and reduce adverse reactions to vaccines,” says Bruce Gellin, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the National Vaccine Program Office and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health. HHS is holding stakeholder meetings throughout the summer.

HHS also recently released a new vaccines website, which state and local health departments can utilize as a valuable resource on vaccine information.

Weigh in: What strategies has your health department used to improve vaccination rates in your community?

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.