February 25, 2004
Galveston, TX.—Immunizations for the Public Health (I4PH), a new Texas-based nonprofit corporation, has been created to provide information about vaccines to those who need it.
I4PH is now hosting the National Network for Immunization Information (NNii), an established affiliation of organizations1 that provides up-to-date, scientifically valid information about vaccines and immunizations through its Web site www.immunizationinfo.org. Recently, I4PH redesigned NNii’s Web site and incorporated new content for parents, health professionals and the media.
NNii was established in 2000 to meet the public’s need for science-based information to make informed decisions about immunizations. “Part of the reason for the lack of parental understanding relates to misinformation and disinformation about vaccines safety,” said Martin Myers, MD, director of I4PH. “Many parents become confused and are not certain where they can go to find information that they can trust.”
Building that trust is a main concern for NNii. “For our messages to be credible they must be evidence based and there may be no real or perceived conflicts of interest,” said Myers. “NNii and I4PH accept no funding from either the pharmaceutical industry or Federal sources—the major purchaser of vaccines in the U.S. We are not an immunization advocacy organization but rather we are an immunization information service.” Previous funding for NNii has come from a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and support from its affiliated organizations.
NNii reviews the latest research on vaccine safety and provides comprehensive summaries of hot topics in immunization for the lay audience in the U.S. Until recently, NNii operated from the offices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (one of its affiliate organizations) in Alexandria, Virginia. Last fall, NNii moved its operations to I4PH headquarters in Galveston, Texas.
In the near future, I4PH plans to launch an additional immunization information Web site in both English and Spanish. This site will address immunization issues around the world.
I4PH is led by internationally recognized leaders in immunization policy. Myers, for example, is the former director for the Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO). Other members of the Board of Directors are Stanley M. Lemon, MD, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB); Lawrence Stanberry, MD, UTMB; Samuel L. Katz, MD, Duke University; Jose Santos, MD, Director General of Hospital Infantil de México; and Louis Cooper, MD, Columbia University.