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An Important Message from Oregon Health Care Providers, Organizations and Individuals
Image of child getting vaccine

Open Letter to Oregonians Supporting the Importance of Immunizations


Vaccines save lives

We support immunization as the safest, most effective way to control and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases in Oregon and across the globe. Thanks to vaccinations, we have not seen or experienced many of the infectious diseases that gripped past generations such as polio, measles, rubella, diphtheria and tetanus. But we are not immune to disease outbreaks in our state.

Vaccine-preventable diseases pose a real threat to personal and public health. And they can be just a plane ride away. Consider this: whooping cough (pertussis) is a reported vaccine-preventable disease that has actually increased in incidence (e.g., number of new cases) in the United States in the last 20 years. During 2009, Oregon’s reported incidence was nearly twice the national average1. Through timely vaccination, we can protect those who are too young to be vaccinated, and those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical issues. Vaccinating our families according to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedules not only protects our loved ones, but our entire community as well.

  • In Oregon, 5 percent of kindergartners have an exemption for one or more vaccines. In some communities, this rate is much higher, leaving children at greater risk for life-threatening disease than those in neighboring towns and cities. In Ashland, for example, nearly 25 percent of kindergartners have exemptions for some or all of their vaccines, a rate five times the rest of the state.
  • Whooping cough rates have increased dramatically over the past thirty years, from a low of 1,000 cases to over 10,000 in 2008. In Oregon, there were 284 cases in 2009; four babies have died over the last several years because they were too fragile to withstand the wracking cough that lasts for weeks. While tiny babies can’t be immunized against whooping cough, adolescents and adults can now receive a pertussis booster (required for seventh graders) to ensure they won’t pass the disease on to newborns. Children who are not immunized against whooping cough have been shown to be 23 times more likely to contract the disease.
  • Immunization has nearly eliminated Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib), a cause of severe bacterial infection. Before the vaccine became available, 20,000 cases of the disease were reported and nearly 600 died each year in the United States. Unfortunately, cases of this deadly disease are resurfacing in the United States due to lower vaccination rates. In Oregon, over the past decade, there have been up to three Hib cases reported each year.
  • Influenza continues to take the lives of more than 36,000 Americans annually . In Oregon, the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic alone resulted in 79 deaths and approximately 1,430 hospitalizations . Flu outbreaks can be prevented only through annual vaccination against this deadly disease.
    Vaccination has protected generations of children from horrible diseases. It works because of the choices parents make to protect their children and the children of others. It also works because the community comes together to ensure our children are immunized. Together, we can protect ourselves and each other from potentially deadly diseases. Please be sure you and your loved ones are immunized on time, every time. For more information about vaccines and immunization, talk to your health care provider or local health department.
Vaccination has protected generations of children from horrible diseases. It works because of the choices parents make to protect their children and the children of others. It also works because the community comes together to ensure our children are immunized. Together, we can protect ourselves and each other from potentially deadly diseases. Please be sure you and your loved ones are immunized on time, every time. For more information about vaccines and immunization, talk to your health care provider or local health department.
Every Child by Two
Oregon Adult Immunization Coalition
Oregon Partnership to Immunize Children
Oregon Pediatric Society
Oregon Academy of Family Physicians
 

If you would like to endorse this letter, please e-mail sara.beaudrault@state.or.us

AAIM Care LLC (Allergy / Immunology) Adventist Health Internal Medicine and Family Practice Clinic at Gresham Station
Adventist Health Medical Center Alsea Rural Health Care, Inc.
Amber Woods, CMA Andrea Janssen, MD
Andreas Wolf, chief of family practice, Kaiser Permanente Aric Groshong, MD
Ashley Peterson, MD Aumsville Fire District
Barbara C. Canavan, former director, Oregon Immunization ALERT Barbara N. Pascua, BSN, RN, retired pediatric nurse practitioner
Bayshore Family Medicine Benton County Health Dept.
Betsy Meredith, communicable disease nursing supervisor Brenda Weber, LPN
Brian J. Rogers, RN, BSN, infection prevention coordinator Care Oregon
Carol Irwin, RN, community nurse Caryn Belafsky, MD
Cascade Family Practice Cascade Steel EMS
Catherine Kordesch, M.D. Ceil Colburn, RN, BSN
Center for Human Development, Inc., Union County Chally Kruse, RN, MSN
Charles Lame Crow, MA, CHC Cherie Campbell, RN
Chrissie Ott, MD, Nanopractice PDX Clatsop County Department of Public Health
Colette S. Peters, director, Oregon Youth Authority Columbia River Community Health Services
Coos County Public Health Curry County Public Health
Dallas Family Medicine, LLC Daniel J. Urbach, MD
Darin Vaughan, MD David West, MD
Dea Collins, FNP Debbie George, RN
Deborah Loewer, FNP Debra J. McAninch, RN
Denise Ledbetter, PA-C Dermatology Clinic, PC
Dian Duyck, RN Douglas County Public Health Department
Dr Carl Erickson, DO Dr. R. D. Jones
Ellen Portrait, RN Eric Ring, MD
Erin Corrigan, MFA, MPH Evergreen Family Care
Faith Shinn, RN Family Care Center, PC
Family HealthPartners, LLC. Family Tree Medical Clinic
Fariborz Pakseresht, deputy director, Oregon Youth Authority FMC Dialysis Services of Mt Hood
Franklin S. Weingarten, MD, Ph.D. Grand Ronde Health and Wellness Center
Gregory D. Kordesch, MD Hands On Medicine
Hildegard Schone, MD, pediatrics Holly Eckhart, RN BSN
Hood River Health Department Jack Rosenberg, MD
Jackson County Public Health James Lace, MD
James MacKay, MD, medical director, Providence Health Plans Jane Burke, RN, ED manager, Providence Hood River Hospital
Jane O'Glasser, BSN, RN Infection Control Coordinator Janet Buell, RN
Janie Vohland, RN Jefferson County Public Health Dept.
Jen Reuer, MPH, epidemiologist, Washington County Health and Human Services Jennifer Dormandy, RN
Jennifer Gwin, PHR, United Cerebral Palsy Jim Shames, MD, medical director Jackson County Health and Human Services
Joe Hassett, M.D. Josephine County Public Health
Joyce Liu, MD, chief of pediatrics, Kaiser Permanente Julie Newmann, PA-C
June K. Wu, MD Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Departments of Pediatrics and Family Practice
Karen Sheperd, clinic manager, Family Practice Group, Rogue Valley Physicians, PC Clinic Kari A. Firestone MS, RN, CNS
Katherine Johnstson, MD Katherine Mechling, MD, Clear Creek Family Practice, Selma
Kathryn Todd, MD Kathy Kirk, RN M
Kelley A. Burnett, DO Kelly Johnson, RN
Kenneth Whittaker, MD Kids Clinic
Kirsten Heron, PA-C Klamath County Health Department
Klamath Tribal Health & Wellness Center L Wallace, LPN
Lake County Public Health Lancaster Family Health Center
Lane County Public Health Immunization Program LaPine Community Health Center
Leslie Pena, LPN/Adm. Lincoln Community Health Center, Newport and Lincoln City
Lincoln County Health & Human Services Lisa Stevens, RN, BS, Lane County Health Department
Liz Young BSN, RNC Lori L Koch RN, CHN Multnomah County Health Department, Early Childhood Services
Lori Wike CMA, pediatrics Lowell Norbom
Lyle J Fagnan, MD, family physician Maggie King, MD, family physician, Crook County Public Health Officer
Malheur County Child Development Center Malheur County Health Dept.
Margo Lalich, RN, MPH Mark W. Olson, MD, Salem
Marinka Majdancic, RN, BSN Martha deBroekert, RN, BSN, immunization coordinator, Lane County Public Health
Mary "Blu" Balliew, RN Mary Altenhein, RN
Mary Lopez-Loftin, CMA Mary Miller, MD
Mellissa Sparks, medical assistant Metropolitan Medical Foundation of Oregon
Metropolitan Pediatrics Physicians Michael K. Ericksen, MD, FAAP
Michelle Bryant, FNP Morrow County Health District
Newberg Pediatric Clinic Norman T. Eki
North Central Public Health District North River Pediatrics PC
Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Care Systems Oregon Division of Medical Assistance Programs, Medical/Surgical Policy Unit
Oregon Medical Association Oregon Youth Authority
Pacific Medical Group, North Portland Patrick Sullivan, RPh, Doctor of Pharmacy
Peacehealth Medical Group Pediatrics Pediatric Associates of the Northwest, Portland and Lake Oswego
Peggy Pahl, LPN Peggy Schultz, manager
Penny Walters, Malheur County Health Department Phillip C. Histand, MD
Polk County Public Health R. McBride, RN
Raquel Apodaca, MD Rex Strickler, PA-C
Robert A. Mendelson, MD, FAAP Robert H. Moore, MD, pediatrician and public health officer
Rocky Lequerica, RN, Union County immunization coordinator Ron Van Fleet, RN
Ruth Young, RN, OIT Student Health Center Sacred Heart RiverBend Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics
Safeway Inc. Sandra Vilhauer, MD, PC
Sandy Holland, RN Sarah L. Agsten, DO
Sharon Kaszycki, RN, BSN Southern Oregon Pediatrics, Medford
Stephen Allred, nurse practitioner Steven Shelton, MD
Suellen Nida, RN, nurse consultant, Silver Falls School District K-8 Sunset Medical Practice Group, P.C
Sunset Pediatrics Susan E. Mournian, RN, nurse coordinator, SWCHC
Sylvia Hale, COO, Umpqua Community Health Center Tami Kochan, CPNP
Teresa Griffin, RN, nurse manager, Oregon Youth Authority Teresa Standley, office manager
Tillamook County Health Department Treasure Valley Pediatric Clinic, Ontario
Umatilla County Public Health Department Umpqua Community Health Center
Union County Center For Human Development Inc. Val Berry Speck, RN
Valley Family Health Care Vern Harpoke, MD, North Central Health District
Walgreens Westside Pediatric Cllinic
Willamette Family Medical Center Willamette Women's Health Assoc.
William Kohn, MD Woodburn Pediatrics
Yan Duan, FNP