Today, the top public health officials of Baltimore, Los Angeles County, Fulton County in Atlanta, Boston, and Tarrant County (Fort Worth) are releasing PSAs calling on parents to vaccinate their children.
In conjunction with National Infant Immunization Week, Drs. Leana Wen (Baltimore), Jeffrey D. Gunzenhauser (Los Angeles), Patrice A. Harris (Fulton County in Atlanta), Huy Nguyen (Boston), and Vinny Taneja (Tarrant County in Fort Worth) are highlighting the importance of protecting infants and children from preventable disease.
They join three other members of the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) in the PSA campaign: Dr. Jeffrey Duchin of Seattle – King County, Dr. Robert England of Maricopa County in Phoenix, and Dr. Wilma Wooten of San Diego County. With the support of the BCHC, all eight health leaders created PSAs specific to their local residents’ needs.
This year’s measles outbreak highlighted the continued vulnerability of unvaccinated or undervaccinated children. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 90% of children nationwide have received at least one vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), pockets of the country have much lower rates.
The PSAs remind parents that as the measles epidemic continues to gain ground worldwide, hundreds of thousands of children are still susceptible to preventable, but deadly, diseases. International travel and business will always re-introduce viruses like measles, but maintaining recommended vaccination coverage levels will keep them from taking root in the United States.
In one of the PSA, Boston Public Health Commission Interim Executive Director and Medical Director Huy Nguyen says, “Keep your family safe from preventable diseases such as measles. Contact your family’s health care provider today to make sure you and your children are up to date on all of your immunizations.”
Collectively, these eight PSAs reach out to nearly 14 million people in their health districts.
The PSAs will be available to stream on the BCHC website at www.bigcitieshealth.org/
About the Big Cities Health Coalition
The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments. Members exchange strategies and jointly promote and protect the nation’s health and safety. Together, these public health officials serve one in six Americans. The BCHC is supported by the de Beaumont Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information about BCHC, please visit www.bigcitieshealth.org.