Physician groups brace for vaccine questions amid Trump presidency
Fear of history repeating itself
Like Martin, Margot Savoy, MD, MPH, FAAFP, medical director of family medicine centers at Christiana Care, a council member for the Delaware Academy of Medicine and AAFP’s liaison to the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP), is also concerned about the overall fear being stoked about vaccine safety and misinformation that might be spread.
“I think vaccines are pretty straightforward. The difficulty is that most people haven’t lived through a time when we had most of these vaccine-preventable diseases. We’re not just talking about does it bother you to get a shot or not. In the physician’s mind, they are thinking you could have died by getting this disease,” Savoy said. “For some reason that’s a really difficult thing for people in average society to understand. You’re stoking fear in folks who don’t fully understand the implications. It’s very difficult to undo fear.”
Savoy said she hopes leaders will look to evidence-based research when crafting new policies.
“I’m honestly very disappointed that our administration isn’t seeming to look at the information that is widely available and reinventing things that are already proven to be false,” she said, adding that calls to look into vaccine safety implies that it hasn’t been done already. “It feels unfair to say to put a committee in place. It implies there’s nothing there, when in reality you’re disregarding what’s already there.”