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'Vaccines save lives': 350 groups sign letter to President Trump :

February 8, 2017

More than 350 medical, professional and advocacy organizations signed on to a letter drafted by the Academy to President Donald Trump expressing "unequivocal support" for the safety of vaccines.

The 28-page letter cites and abstracts more than 40 studies on vaccine safety and effectiveness. Co-signers of the Feb. 7 letter represent every AAP chapter along with state and national medical, research and advocacy groups, including the American Medical Association, the March of Dimes and Autism Speaks.

"Vaccines protect the health of children and adults and save lives," the letter states. "They prevent life-threatening diseases, including forms of cancer. Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are one of the most significant medical innovations of our time."

As the new administration takes shape, the Academy and others wanted to be on the record early to demonstrate strong support for vaccines and the recommended immunization schedule.

The letter points out that despite successes, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases still occur. "As a nation, we should redouble our efforts to make needed investments in patient and family education about the importance of vaccines ... to increase the rate of vaccination among all populations," the letter concludes. "Put simply: Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives."

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