Prompted by concerns about the potential impact of pending New Jersey bills A101 and S1571, which would allow for philosophical exemption for vaccines, public health nurses and other supporters of the newly formed New Jersey Immunization Network gathered June 14 for a Legislator Education Event on Children’s Health Day in Trenton, N.J.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, New Jersey chapter, and the Pediatric Council on Research and Education donated their exhibit space to NJIN to raise awareness among legislators about the importance of childhood immunizations. As part of this collaborative effort, representatives from NJINs partner groups were available to field questions from legislators and the public.Public health nurses, from left, Ginny Maico, RN; Leslie Leonard, RN; Carole Hudson, RN; and Colleen Hintz, RN; with New Jersey Assemblyman Herb Conaway, MD, chair of the assembly of the Health and Senior Services Committee.
NJIN took the opportunity to highlight the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and the rationale for improving immunization levels. Specifically for this exhibit, public health nurses, with input from other NJIN members, developed a presentation addressing vaccine safety arguments and the perils of philosophical exemption from mandated vaccines.
The newly formed NJIN, co-chaired by Meg Fisher, MD, FAAP, and Larry Frenkel, MD, FAAP, has brought together more than 60 organizations and 100 individuals to educate providers, the public and legislators about the importance of immunizing infants, children and adolescents in New Jersey. For information, visit www.gpvphna.webs.com or www.njaphna.org.