The last year has been eventful. The British doctor who published a medical article potentially linking autism to vaccinations was accused of falsifying his data and lost his medical license. The pediatric community welcomed the approval of an enhanced pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar 13), which will protect young children from even more subtypes of deadly bacteria that cause meningitis and severe blood infections. And, we were saddened by the tragedy of 10 infants from California dying of whooping cough (pertussis), a sobering reminder that vaccine-preventable diseases always are around.
Beginning in early 2010, all of the entities of Children’s Hospital and Health System pledged to work together to make a difference. Harnessing this collective energy and collaborative spirit, during the last year the health system was able to show improvement in vaccination rates in children age 2 and younger. In 2011, we will continue to partner with other organizations in our community to improve immunization rates across the region for all age groups and to spread the word that vaccines are effective, necessary and safe.
~ Lyn Ranta, MD, director of Physician Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Dr. Ranta is a co-leader of Children’s Hospital’s immunization initiative, and she treated children as a community pediatrician for more than 20 years.