Vaccines are Safe, Effective and They Save Lives

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017

Statement attributable to:
John Meigs, Jr., MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Earlier today it was reported that the incoming administration was planning to appoint a group to study the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. A new federal commission on immunizations is not necessary and would divert much needed dollars from other, more pressing health care issues. To suggest the need for such an organization promotes unnecessary, ongoing and disproven skepticism about vaccines and public safety.

Vaccines are safe, effective and they save lives. The fake news of an alleged link between vaccines and autism has been thoroughly debunked.

Family Physicians provide vaccinations to children and adults every day to prevent infectious diseases that have the potential to be devastating and even deadly.

Evidence-based science is key to understanding the necessity and effectiveness of vaccines. Science has proven time and time again that vaccines are a safe and effective tool in preventing communicable disease across the lifespan.

We should allow entities such as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control to continue to let them do their excellent and evidence-based work on the health effects of vaccines. The science is clear, and family physicians stand ready to help everyone – from the incoming administration to the general public – understand how safe and important vaccines are.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Meigs, contact Stephanie A. Wilken, 800-274-2237, Ext. 6053, or



Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest 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 For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,