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A Message from The AAP President

A Message from the AAP President

Dear Dr. Hahn:

As your new president, I have been working closely with AAP leaders and staff to monitor the recent cases of measles in the United States. The measles outbreak that is linked to Disneyland has now been reported in 14 states. The Academy is deeply concerned about the children infected and, most importantly, those at risk because they are unvaccinated. 

The evidence is clear that the best way to protect children is to follow the recommended immunization schedule. The measles outbreak is a stark reminder of this. Advocacy of delayed or alternative immunization schedules increases the risks to all children. The AAP strongly urges all members to follow the approved immunization schedule and to help educate families about the safety and effectiveness of childhood vaccines. The Academy has a number of materials available to assist our members. See links below.

Media coverage of this measles outbreak has been generally consistent with AAP policy, but there have been examples of misinformation. The Academy is actively promoting our policy and pitching interviews with AAP spokespersons to the media. We need all pediatricians to join the AAP, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Family Physicians to recommend children be immunized appropriately. The AAP issued a press statement on January 23, and today I am releasing anew statement that directly urges parents to vaccinate their children. Please consider linking to it on your practice websites and sharing it with your patients and families.

Thank you for your help. As pediatricians, we have a unique and important role to play in times like these to treat sick children, reassure anxious families, and maintain our focus on preventing disease and promoting health. The most effective way to counter misinformation and to promote the effectiveness of vaccinations in protecting child health is through all of us as pediatricians talking about what we know: vaccines work. We do this with our families, with the media, and in conversations taking place online.

I look forward to this year as your president and appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to send me your comments and advice to

Warm regards,

Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP


Helpful Links:

For Parents:



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