Is Saying "I Don't Believe in Vaccinations" Like Saying "I Don't Believe in Seat Belts"?
(PR Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) April 21, 2014
The success of vaccination programs has made many infectious diseases so rare that parents can be tempted to be complacent. Michael Popovich, CEO of Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC) in Tucson, a leader in providing state officials with health information, asks a provocative question: "Highway fatalities have plummeted. So does that mean you can stop believing in seat belts?"
STC, a public health information technology company, works with the two states that, according to the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2012-2013 Kindergarten Survey, have the highest rates of vaccination coverage rates among children entering kindergarten, Mississippi and West Virginia, with compliance rates of 99% and 96%, respectively. What has made the programs of these two states so successful?
In addition to the dedication of the states' health officials, these two states have legislation that allows parents to opt out of mandated vaccinations only for medical reasons. The other 48 states allow for religious exemptions, and 21 states also allow for philosophical exemptions. These are what Popovich calls "easy outs." In Mississippi and West Virginia, where only medical exemptions are allowed, the laws have been tested and have withstood court challenges. In one Mississippi case, Brown v Stone, the court held that allowing religious exemptions had the effect of discriminating against children whose parents did not hold similar religious views.
In addition to supportive legislation, the increased compliance has been aided by the proactive use of applied health information technology. Scientific Technologies Corporation provides both states with their vaccination registries. Over 80% of the states' populations are included in the registries and the providers of immunizations and school personnel can get immediate access to every child's immunization information, thus making it easier to ensure compliance for school entry requirements.
Dr. Loretta Hardy, West Virginia State Epidemiologist, says the state's immunization information system "… has been a godsend for its ability to consolidate each child's immunization history… [and] helps to get children caught up with required immunizations as quickly as possible."
Popovich concludes, "We believe that if they will limit exemptions and implement the best health information technology, every state can achieve immunization rates like those in Mississippi and West Virginia, approaching 100% compliance. We know how to win the war on vaccine-preventable diseases--we have the science and the information. All we need now is the will to go out and win the war."
If you would like more information or to schedule an interview with an immunization information system expert, call 480-745-8500 or email Michael_Popovich(at)stchome(dot)com.
STC's goal is to ensure healthy populations through partnership, expertise, and applied use of information technology. In the early 1990s, STC was one of the first adopters of the value of immunization registries and the data that could be used for decision support to augment clinical practice, targeting the reduction and impact of vaccine-preventable disease on children. With the support of physicians, organizations, and policy and vaccine experts, STC's public health and software professionals became the trusted authority that led many of the early efforts and best practices to implement statewide registries. The efforts continue today as over 250 million vaccine encounters are retained in the immunization registries of STC and their state public health partners. Increasing the value of these national health data assets is a primary goal of STC through the next decade.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11777374.htm
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