Resurgence of Vaccine-Preventable Disease: Ethics in the Pediatric Emergency Department

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3 Scopus citations


After a decades-long reduction in vaccine-preventable illnesses worldwide, there has been a reappearance of childhood illnesses once thought to be eradicated. This resurgence in illnesses such as polio and measles is a consequence of multifactorial events leading to decreased vaccination rates. A lack of resources in poor and war-torn countries, coupled with increasing global travel, and decisions to delay or defer vaccinations because of inaccurate studies further emphasized by media have combined to result in current state of frequent local and widespread epidemics, specifically the current outbreak of measles. As providers in the pediatric emergency department, we are often the first to encounter children manifesting these diseases. It is imperative that we understand the circumstances leading to these encounters, so that we can have engaged conversations with families, gain an understanding of their motivations, dispel any misinformed beliefs, and encourage positive health behaviors for their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-653
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • exemption
  • immunizations
  • measles
  • public health
  • vaccination
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccine-preventable disease


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