Atlanta, Georgia - As CDC Director and as a physician, I have and continue to wholeheartedly advocate for infant immunization. More importantly, as a father and grandfather I have ensured all of my children and grandchildren are vaccinated on the recommended schedule. Vaccines are safe. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccine-preventable diseases are dangerous.
More than 94% of parents vaccinate their children to protect them from the harmful effects of measles and other vaccine- preventable diseases. CDC is working to reach the small percentage of vaccine-hesitant individuals so they too understand the importance of vaccines. It is imperative that we correct misinformation and reassure fearful parents so they protect their children from illnesses with long-lasting health impacts. Roughly 1.3 percent, or 100,000 children, in this country under the age of two have not been vaccinated making them vulnerable to the current measles outbreak.
I call upon healthcare providers to encourage parents, and expectant parents, to vaccinate their children for their own protection and to avoid the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases within their families and communities. We must join together as a Nation to once again eliminate measles and prevent future disease outbreaks.