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American-Led Anti-Vaccine Movement Could Reduce Vaccine Coverage Globally, Reverse Disease Elimination, Eradication Efforts

Scientific American: Will an American-Led Anti-Vaccine Movement Subvert Global Health?
Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and endowed chair in tropical pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital

“…I’m worried that America’s anti-vaccine movement has sufficient strength and momentum to affect vaccine coverage globally. … Things might only get worse pending the imminent expansion and export of an American-led anti-vaccine movement. We need to recognize that the current activities in Texas and Washington, D.C., could ignite reversals of global disease elimination and eradication efforts that are now more than 50 years in the making. Given these high stakes, I believe the leaders in the U.S. government must become more vocal and proactive, while addressing and elevating discussions about vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaccine movements in international forums. Because there are particular consequences of reduced vaccine coverage in some of the largest nations comprising the group of 20 (G20), future G20 summits might be an appropriate venue for coordinated action, in addition to the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. An American anti-vaccine movement is building and we need to take steps now to snuff it out” (3/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.