WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Why We Vaccinate, a new not-for-profit, pro-vaccine coalition, announced its formation and founding board members. Why We Vaccinate is on a mission to advocate for pro-health legislation, improve immunization conversations between doctors and patients and respond to anti-vaccine misinformation.
The non-profit was developed in response to the growing vaccine hesitancy movement which has resulted in the largest measles outbreak in the United States since 2000, with over 1,215 cases reported to date. A slip in vaccine rates can be attributed to the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases, like the measles. Community vaccine rates must be between 93-95 percent to prevent the disease from spreading and protect vulnerable populations, such as newborns and immunocompromised people who cannot receive vaccines.
“Vaccines are one of the safest, most widely-adopted health care practices in the world,” said Dr. William Hearl, board president and experienced vaccinologist. “Why We Vaccinate will spread the message that vaccines are rigorously tested and provide the best defense against diseases, like the measles, that can have a lasting impact on your child’s immune system.”
Why We Vaccinate is supported by the scientific community, academia, health organizations and pro-vaccine advocates. The coalition is governed by a Board of Directors that includes:
- Dr. William Hearl, board president, founder, Immunomic Therapeutics
- Athanasia Anagnostou, board secretary, Senior Director of Corporate Development, Immunomic Therapeutics
- Phyllis Arthur, board member, Vice President of Infectious Diseases & Diagnostics Policy, BIO
- Dr. Michael Olin, board member, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
“Public health officials have been ringing the alarm,” said Dr. Michael Olin, Department of Pediatrics for University of Minnesota. “The risk of a deadly vaccine-preventable pandemic is high, and the health care system is not prepared to handle it. Why We Vaccinate will provide a much-needed pro-health voice that encourages vaccine adherence and dispels anti-vaccine rhetoric.”
Vaccines protect against 26 diseases – 14 of which protect children under age 2. The CDC estimates that routine immunizations prevent two to three million deaths annually and that vaccinations of children born between 1994 and 2018 have saved the United States nearly $406 billion in direct medial costs.
Why We Vaccinate will proactively support widespread vaccine adherence and clearly communicate the 250 years of research proving the safety and efficacy of vaccines. For more information about Why We Vaccinate, visit https://www.whywevax.org/.
About Why We Vaccinate
Why We Vaccinate (WWV) is a not-for-profit coalition on a mission to advocate for pro-health legislation, improve immunization conversations between doctors and patients and respond to anti-vaccine misinformation. The coalition aims to change the immunization discussion by clearly communicating the 250 years of research proving the safety and efficacy of vaccines. By sharing vaccine facts with key immunization decision-makers and influencers, WWV sets out to improve vaccine adherence to protect community members that cannot be vaccinated, including babies, the elderly and immunocompromised people of all ages. https://www.whywevax.org/