Claire Hannan, Executive Director of the Association of Immunization Managers, is worried some who previously supported bills to prevent mandatory COVID vaccinations now might try to also weaken school vaccination requirements; Abe Kulungara, ASTHO...
Claire Hannan, Executive Director of the Association of Immunization Managers, is worried some who previously supported bills to prevent mandatory COVID vaccinations now might try to also weaken school vaccination requirements; Abe Kulungara, ASTHO Senior Director of Environment Health, says ASTHO is part of a collaborative to promote retail food safety that will focus on developing a national strategy for adoption of the latest editions of the FDA food code; and Dr. Christopher King, Dean of the Georgetown University School of Health, is helping the school shift the nation’s focus from medical care to health care.
Association of Immunization Managers Webpage: AIM Statement on School and Child-Care Vaccination Entry Requirements
ASTHO News Release: Public Health Associations Band Together to Combat Foodborne Disease and Death
Georgetown University Webpage: School of Health
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Tuesday, February 14, 2023. I'm Robert Johnson.
Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
We know that removing or weakening school entry requirements will lead to costly and potentially tragic disease outbreaks.
Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, on a statement her organization released in support of school and childcare vaccination requirements. As legislators reconvene, Hannan is worried some who previously supported bills to prevent mandatory COVID vaccinations now may try to also weaken school vaccination requirements.
Now our concern was that this sentiment might lead to legislation to rollback existing school requirements for routine vaccinations. We've actually seen a few states with proposals that impact school vaccination requirements, and we just want to be very clear that existing school and daycare vaccination laws are a public health success and really a necessity to continue to protect children and communities, and must be preserved.
Hannan reminds legislators that school vaccination requirements are a trusted and time honored approach to ensuring public health.
Compulsory vaccination was enacted as a protective public health measure as early as the 1800s, and in 1905 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of states to compel vaccination in Jacobson vs. Massachusetts. And since that time, state and federal courts have consistently protected this right of the states to enact school vaccination laws.
Right now, more than 94% of kindergarteners in public schools are vaccinated as required by school laws. And I mean, this is why we don't see polio, why we generally don't see measles and other preventable diseases in schools.
Hannan says state health officials are on board, but offers the statement to back up their work locally.
My message for state health officials, which I think is something they already know, is that school and daycare vaccination requirements work. They've been in place for years because they are effective in preventing disease outbreaks and saving lives, and they are strongly supported by communities and parents.
We have a responsibility in public health to keep our populations especially those in schools and daycares safe from preventable disease. So, we need to do everything we can to defend and maintain our existing school and daycare requirements.
You can read this statement using the link in the show notes.
ASTHO is part of a collaborative to promote retail food safety. This is ASTHO's Abe Kulungara.
This cooperative will focus on developing a national strategy for adoption of the latest editions of the FDA Food Code, promote and improve food safety culture, increase enrollment in the voluntary national retail food regulatory program standards, improve foodborne illness outbreak investigations, improve food safety management systems at retail food facilities, and hence effective communication. And lastly, the sharing of best practices among retail food production partners.
Kulungara says the FDA has issued the food code many times since it was launched in 1993, but some jurisdictions have been slow to adopt updates.
But what we've seen is, unfortunately, several states have not adopted the latest food code. The Food Code was started in 1993. And, you know, right now we're at 2023. We do know that several states have not adopted or change this status for 12 years. It gets even more complicated in the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States where some is sort of unknown. But we do know of one jurisdiction that's adopted the 2005 food code. So, there is certainly a gap there.
The collaborative includes ASTHO and three other public health organizations. You can read more about the work to improve retail food safety using the link in the show notes.
Also today, Georgetown University opened its new school of health last summer. The inaugural dean is Dr. Christopher King. He says the school wants to help shifted the nation's focus from medical care to healthcare.
The reason I say it's medical care, because our system is a biomedical model in the United States. We're really, really trying to treat the sick and that's where all our money is going. What about prevention and wellness? And how do we create healthcare delivery systems that recognize that our health is shaped by what's happening in our community? And how do we build systems that support that?
King says public health is a component of the school's approach. Read more about Georgetown University's new school of health using the link in the show notes.
Finally this morning, stay informed about the latest news and public health. Sign up for ASTHO's Public Health Weekly email newsletter. You can join the list using the link in the show notes.
That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.
I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.