Because of rogue medical professionals, these parents feel justified in blaming vaccination even though the evidence says otherwise. This brings me to my own statement before the committee.
Lori Boyle, RN, providing a pro-science, evidence based statement at February 2019 ACIP Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
While there I had the opportunity to meet and speak with other advocates of evidence-based practice including members of the Immunization Action Coalition, Dr. Paul Offit Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Karen Ernst founder of Voices for Vaccines, Dorit Reiss Rubinstein law professor at UC Hastings, Amy Pisani, Director of Vaccinate Your Family and a lovely docent at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum at CDC Headquarters who gave me a tour.
The whole experience was invaluable to me and I hope to be able to attend the meeting again in the future to remind both the ACIP and the public of Nurses Who Vaccinate and our devotion to the health and well being of the public that we serve.
Lori Boyle's Full Statement
My name is Lori. I am a mother of two fully vaccinated successful young adults and a registered nurse of 21 years, the last five of those as an advanced practice nurse. I am here today representing the organization Nurses Who Vaccinate. We are a grassroots organization that works to provide up to date accurate, science based information to the public and to our fellow health care workers regarding vaccination. I first became aware of misinformation regarding vaccination as I entered grad school at Rutgers. There I received a strong foundation in evidence based practice that has stayed with me to this day. It was disheartening to see so many people, including nurses, fall prey to sensationalist headlines and misinformation while I was learning to research and evaluate, evidence based medicine. I found Nurses Who Vaccinate while in grad school and through them found a way to share those critical thinking skills I was acquiring.
My first job as an APN was with the largest infectious disease practice in the North East. While in that practice the need for sharing evidence based information on vaccines was reinforced. I saw young otherwise healthy college students in the ICU with flu, countless people with pneumococcal disease, people at risk of losing limbs due to meningococcal disease. Imagine my disbelief after caring for those people, then encountering nurses who refused the flu shot, or advised others against vaccinating based on misinformation?
Nurses are the number one most trusted profession in the United States for 17 years straight. We have a duty and an obligation to adhere to evidence based practice. Anything short of that is a betrayal of the trust granted to us by the people of this country and diminishes the credibility of the profession as a whole. Nursing as a community has the ability to make a difference in this current climate of distrust that many of the public have with the medical establishment. The majority of us know the importance of adhering to evidence based practice. We understand that the vast preponderance of evidence world wide is in favor of vaccines as the safest, most effective means of preventing the diseases which they target. We can provide evidence based education to the public and our fellow healthcare workers to ease their concerns about misinformation that spreads like wildfire across social media.
I urge my fellow nurses to join me in this endeavor to keep people healthy, reduce the spread of preventable diseases and become Nurses Who Vaccinate.
I’d like to thank the Committee for their tireless hard work and dedication to the health and well being of people of the United States and for allowing me this moment to speak. Thank you.
Lori Boyle, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, WCC, CWS