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WCMS Supports Expanding Access to Vaccines

Government Affairs and Advocacy Issues

WCMS sent the following letter following discussion and approval at the April 2018  WCMS Executive Council meeting.

______________________________________________________________

April 2018

Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Governor Snyder:

On behalf of the Washtenaw County Medical Society (WCMS), we write to express our support of expanding access to vaccines and awareness of their benefits for Michigan residents. As physicians, public health leaders, community advocates, and family caregivers, we are aptly aware of the medical necessity for these live-saving vaccines.

WCMS is the leading physician medical association for legislative action and community outreach in Washtenaw County. As a medical society comprised of physicians, residents, and medical students of various specialties, we are keenly attuned to the necessity of vaccinations. While no medical intervention is risk-free, vaccines have an exemplary safety record. Previous claims that vaccines are unsafe have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature, including a thorough review by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine.) Despite the unequivocal truth that vaccines are the safest and most cost-effective way of preventing disease, disability, and death, our state is still subject to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases including the measles, pertussis (whooping cough), meningococcal meningitis, and most recently, a severe hepatitis A outbreak.

In this pursuit, we stand opposed to:

  • HB 4425, HB 4426, SB 299, and SB 300 which prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from promulgating more stringent requirements for vaccination exemption.
  • Opposition of HB 5162 and HB 5163, which restrict the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services to promulgate rules regarding immunization and require new immunizations to be enacted into law.

We support:

  • The “I Vaccinate” Campaign and ask that the Michigan legislature fund this critical campaign in the FY 2019 budget.

Once again, we strongly urge Michigan’s elected officials to increase education and access to vaccines. We remain committed to serving our communities in the best ways that we were medically trained, and board certified to do. WCMS welcomes the opportunity to work together to develop solutions in pursuit of our mutual goal of optimizing patient care and community safety.

Sincerely,

Joseph O. Nnodim, MD, PhD, FACP, AGSF          Gabrielle Szlenkier
WCMS President                                                      Executive Director

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