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American Nurses Association Adopts Resolution To Help End Important Misconceptions About Immunization

June 30, 2000

Contact:
Mark Vogel - 703 299 0200
Tom Stenvig - 608 263 5182


INDIANAPOLIS, IN- At the American Nurses Association (ANA) convention in Indianapolis, IN (June 23rd-28th), 600 nurses recently affirmed their commitment to ensuring that health care providers and patients get the most up-to-date, scientifically accurate information about immunizations. On Wednesday, June 28th, the ANA's House of Delegates voted to pass an official resolution in support of its partnership with the National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) and continually improving communication practices on immunization-related issues.

The NNii is an organization formed by health professionals and medical researchers with the mission of providing the most scientifically accurate, up-to-date information about immunizations to a variety of groups including health care professionals, the media, policymakers, and the general public. In addition to the ANA, NNii partner groups include the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The NNii is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

With the resolution's passage, the ANA states formally that they endorse their involvement in: NNii's initiative to improve the availability of accurate immunization information for everyone; NNii's efforts to ensure that all nurses have resources and access to accurate immunization information to communicate effectively with parents, patients, and the public about the risks and benefits of vaccines; and NNii's efforts to build a sustained infrastructure and national network to assure the public, health care providers, and others have timely access to science-based and credible information about immunizations and vaccines.

The vast majority of parents across the country support immunizations to protect their children from serious infectious diseases, but up to 25 percent of them hold misconceptions that could undermine their confidence in vaccines and could adversely affect their decision-making on the issue. Nurses and other health care practitioners are the front-line educators to whom parents turn to understand this important topic.

'Nurses have always played a vital role in helping people understand the facts about immunizations. The ANA's commitment to effective communication between nurses and patients on this issue means that parents across the country will have access to reliable experts when they have questions about immunization.' said Bruce Gellin, M.D., M.P.H., the NNii's executive director. Virginia Burggraf, DNS, RN, C, Grants Program Coordinator for ANA summed up the ANA's feelings saying, 'We are proud to work with the NNii and to officially recognize nurses' important role in protecting children and adults from serious infectious diseases.'

American Nurses Association 2000 House of Delegates
Resolution Endorsing Efforts to Improve Immunization Information

WHEREAS, Immunizations against vaccine preventable diseases have been recognized as among the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, and
WHEREAS, Registered Nurses play a critical role in maintaining a system for safe and effective vaccine delivery, and
WHEREAS, The American Nurses Association has by prior action and position statements repeatedly supported the important role of nurses in providing immunizations for the control of vaccine preventable diseases, and
WHEREAS, Research has shown that nurses and other health care providers are among patients' and parents' most trusted source of information about immunizations, and
WHEREAS, Research has also shown the public and significant numbers of parents and providers have important misconceptions about immunization safety, thus undermining their confidence in vaccines and adversely affecting their immunization decisions, and
WHEREAS, The National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) was formed as a partnership of immunization experts, health care professionals, and health care organizations including ANA with the purpose of communicating science-based and credible information about vaccines in ways that are useful and understandable for the public, clinicians, policy makers, and the media,

THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, That the ANA Year 2000 House of Delegates endorse nursing and ANA's involvement in the NNii initiative to improve the availability of accurate immunization information for everyone, and be it further
RESOLVED, That ANA endorse efforts to ensure that all nurses have resources and access to accurate immunization information to communicate effectively with parents, patients, and the public about the benefits and risks of vaccines, and be it further
RESOLVED, That ANA endorse NNii efforts to build a sustained infrastructure and national network and system to assure the public, health care providers, policy makers, and the media have timely and ongoing access to science-based and credible information about immunizations and vaccines.

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