Last month we shared a lot of information about vaccines and their pros and cons. In a twitter chat, I met folks around the country interested in helping people understand the importance of vaccinating themselves and their children. I have communicated with parents and others about their need to know and understand more than is typically able to be shared during a well child visit at the primary care provider office. And just recently, one of the foremost pediatric practices in the Roanoke valley announced they would no longer be willing to care for patients who refuse to vaccinate or who want to significantly change the vaccination schedule. The US has seen a resurgence of some vaccine-preventable diseases, especially in under-vaccinated communities (measles and pertussis especially).
Because of the importance of vaccines in children's lives, and the widely variable degree of knowledge and understanding about how they work and what they actually do, I am planning, with help from Carilion's strategic development office, to host a series of "Town Halls" for parents and other interested parties, on health topics that need more time than is typically available with one's own physician or other provider. I would like the first of these to be about vaccines in children.
I and several colleagues would like to discuss safety issues, explain the rationale for vaccine development, describe the actual diseases that the vaccines prevent, and generally be available to answer questions and point folks to accurate and rigorous scientific data.
You can help me by answering the following questions (any or all):
- If such a town hall were held in your community would you attend? Why or why not?
- Who would you want to hear from? Does it matter if the physician is also a parent? should there be a panel and should it include parent(s) who are not providers?
- What specific questions would you like to see answered?
- Should this be held "live" only or with ability to handle simultaneous tweets?
- What role should the media play, if any?
- Any other ideas and thoughts are welcome
OK, enough work for you for one day. Look, I really, really want to hear from you, no matter who you are, where you live, whether or not you have children, what your vaccine stance is.