Author’s Reply

Dean A. Seehusen, MD, MPH

Fam Med. 2019;51(9):787-787.

DOI: 10.22454/FamMed.2019.263288

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To the Editor:

Drs Ruffin and Hausmen question whether reducing vaccine exemptions will reduce the risk of measles outbreaks in the future. They reasonably argue that tighter laws around vaccination may have the unfortunate consequence of further alienating a population that already has a high degree of distrust with government health officials. I will, therefore, second their call for further dialogue with communities and individual parents who are hesitant to vaccinate their children in order to try and build trust. This general approach has not resulted in fewer cases of measles over the last two decades. This does not mean we should stop talking. It does mean we need to consider other avenues to protect all children.

Dr Hurst points out the unknown social and psychological impact of forcing a population to receive unwanted vaccinations. He also points out that there may be a cost to providers in the form of moral distress. Both points are valid. There would be consequences to the legislation I have suggested. I believe the positive will outweigh the negative. I greatly appreciate Dr Hurst correctly pointing out that more advocacy training is needed to better equip the next generation of family physicians to deal with future public health issues as well as the potential consequences of the medical interventions that are created to address them.

Lead Author

Dean A. Seehusen, MD, MPH

Affiliations: Department of Family and Community Medicine, and Department of Graduate Medical Education, Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, GA

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Ruffin MT, Hausman BL. Vaccine Refusals and Regulations. Fam Med. 2019;51(9):785-785. https://doi.org/10.22454/FamMed.2019.959213.


Hurst DJ. Strategy to Address Vaccine Refusal Must Include Research, Training, and Advocacy. Fam Med. 2019;51(9):786-786. https://doi.org/10.22454/FamMed.2019.138424.


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