Advocates defend vaccines in message to Trump

Vaccines are the 'safest and most cost-effective way' of preventing disease, they write

More than 350 organizations—including prominent U.S. medical, advocacy and professional organizations—in a letter to President Trump Tuesday defended the safety and efficiency of vaccines.

The letter comes after a meeting Trump had last month with Robert Kennedy, a proponent of the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. Trump previously has supported the theory that vaccines are linked with autism. In a 2015 Republican presidential primary debate, Trump said he knew of "many instances" in which infants received vaccines and then developed autism.

AMA: No more non-medical vaccination exemptions

The comments have prompted vaccine advocates to mobilize and tout the benefits of vaccination, the Washington Post's "To Your Health" reports.

Letter details

In the letter, which was spearheaded by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the organizations wrote, "Vaccines protect the health of children and adults and save lives" and are "one of the most significant medical innovations of our time."

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The organizations asked to meet with Trump to discuss evidence supporting vaccine safety and effectiveness. They wrote, "Claims that vaccines are unsafe when administered according to expert recommendations have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature." They added that vaccines are the "safest and most cost-effective way" of preventing disease, disability, and death.

"As a nation we should redouble our efforts to make needed investments in patient and family education about the important of vaccines in order to increase the rate of vaccination among all populations," the organizations wrote, concluding, "Put simply: Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives" (Hellmann, The Hill, 2/8; Sun, "To Your Health," Washington Post, 2/8).

Navigating the first 100 days of the Trump administration

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Since Donald Trump won the presidential election in November, health care reform has since quickly risen to the top of the GOP's policy agenda—and heath care executives are grappling with a new sense of uncertainty.

While many unknowns will remain across the next few months and potentially even years, the first 100 days of the Trump administration will provide significant insight into the direction of reform efforts. Read our briefing to learn what five key issues you should watch.

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