“Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics organized more than 350 organizations, including the American Medical Association, to write a letter to President Trump to endorse vaccination,” he said, explaining that this should add credence to the evidence behind vaccine safety.

The strongest argument for vaccinating individuals before entry into schools is the threat of a measles outbreak, such as the one that occurred at Disneyland in 2015. 

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Large outbreaks of this kind increase public support for laws mandating vaccination, Dr Sharfstein noted. Capitalizing on such public awareness can help prevent changes to vaccination laws, he argued. Building trust in the institutions responsible for vaccination policies will require a different strategy, Dr Sharfstein said.

“It is critical to tell the accurate story of the many devoted clinicians and scientists who follow the evidence, debate important scientific questions, take action when needed, and who, understandably, resist those who have already made up their minds that vaccines are unsafe,” he explained.

One outcome will make it clear whether the anti-vaccine movement has made progress or if the clinical and scientific community is successfully resisting the challenges to vaccination laws, noted Dr Sharfstein.

“We will be able to tell the difference by the number of measles cases in the United States in the months and years ahead,” he concluded.


Sharfstein JM. “JAMA Forum: Vaccines and the Trump Administration.” News@JAMA. Updated February 22, 2017. Available at: https://newsatjama.jama.com/2017/02/22/jama-forum-vaccines-and-the-trump-administration/. Accessed April 24, 2017.