Vaccinate Your Baby

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Press Release

Actor Amanda Peet Joins with Every Child By Two and the American Academy of Pediatrics to Urge Parents to Get the Facts About Immunizations
August 5, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Pisani, 202-277-7587, amyp@ecbt.org

August 5, 2008 (NEW YORK, NY): Every Child By Two (ECBT) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are launching a new campaign with actor Amanda Peet to urge parents to immunize their children against vaccine-preventable diseases. The new "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign will address misperceptions about vaccines that cause confusion among parents and put children at risk.

"When I was pregnant with my daughter Frankie, I had all kinds of questions, including ones about immunization," said Ms. Peet. "There is a wealth of misinformation about vaccines out there, particularly in Hollywood. My husband and I took the time to speak to several doctors about our concerns. What became clear to us was that delaying vaccines could jeopardize our baby’s life. I have teamed up with Every Child By Two to help parents get the facts straight on this very important issue."

Ms. Peet added, "My main message to parents is that they should not be taking medical advice from me or any other celebrity. They should look to their pediatrician, the AAP and other experts."

Myths about the safety of immunizations are resulting in real-life consequences. The United States is now facing its largest measles outbreak since 1997. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 132 people have contracted measles since the beginning of the year – many of these cases are a result of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children on time.

"The recommended schedule for vaccination of children was developed to protect babies at the earliest possible opportunity," said Dr. Renée Jenkins, president of the AAP. "Despite recent theories to the contrary, spreading out vaccines over time can place your child at risk of contracting serious and sometimes deadly diseases."

In fact, ECBT was founded in 1991 in response to a similar outbreak of measles during which nearly 150 people died, many of whom were young children. This new campaign is part of ECBT’s efforts to avert a similar tragedy.

Amy Pisani, Executive Director of ECBT, said, "Vaccines are very safe, but online rumors are needlessly jeopardizing the health of our children. Few people realize just how rigorously vaccines are tested before they are approved for use and how many safeguards are already in place to ensure the ongoing safety of vaccines after they are licensed. Our campaign aims to dispel these myths and remind parents to get the facts before they make this critical decision regarding their children’s health."

For more information on the safety of vaccines, as well as to view new public service announcements featuring Ms. Peet, please visit ECBT’s new web site, www.vaccinateyourbaby.org.

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Every Child By Two, the Rosalynn Carter/Betty Bumpers Campaign for Early Childhood Immunization, works to ensure that all children receive timely immunizations and continues to seek methods to institutionalize vaccine delivery and ensure access to vaccines for all children. For more information, please visit www.ecbt.org.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org)