AAFP Maintains Strong Stance in Support of Immunizations Across the Lifespan

Denying access to immunizations endangers public health

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Statement attributable to:
Wanda Filer, MD, MBA
American Academy of Family Physicians

Vaccines are safe, effective, and they save lives. That’s the continued message from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“Forgoing immunization is reckless and endangers not only the health of children but the health of the entire public,” said AAFP President Dr. Wanda Filer. “The role of the family physician is to improve the health of all people. Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to keep the public healthy and to stop vaccine-preventable diseases.

“The AAFP has a very clear policy entitled ‘Immunization Exemptions.’ The policy states, ‘The AAFP supports immunization of infants, children, adolescents and adults as defined by recommendations set forth in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and approved by the AAFP. With the exception of policies which allow for refusal due to a documented allergy or medical contraindication, the AAFP does not support immunization exemption policies.’

To protect public health, the AAFP strongly recommends that patients receive all necessary vaccinations in their medical home. When vaccines are provided outside of the medical home, communication among all health care providers is paramount to ensure continued patient health and safety.”

Editor's Note
: To arrange an interview with Dr. Filer, contact Stephanie Wilken, 800-274-2237, Ext. 6053, or swilken@aafp.org.


Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org)(www.familydoctor.org)