The Tennessee Division of Well being confirmed Wednesday it’s quickly halting all adolescent vaccine outreach, even for vaccines not associated to Covid-19, telling CNN the difficulty is “polarized.”
“We acknowledge the place we’re across the nationwide dialog round vaccinations and it’s a polarized dialog, and that’s true in our state. And so we’re simply taking this chance to judge our messaging and to make sure that we’re not hurting our efforts,” spokesperson Sarah Tanksley advised CNN in a telephone name.
Dr. Michelle Fiscus, a pediatrician who was the state’s medical director of the vaccine-preventable ailments and immunization, mentioned Monday she was fired in a dispute over parental permission for vaccinating kids. She mentioned the well being company was stopping all its outreach efforts involving childhood vaccines.
Tanksley mentioned Covid-19 and different childhood vaccines would nonetheless be obtainable whereas the division of well being re-evaluates the vaccination notification course of. She mentioned the aim was to make sure that vaccination reminders are despatched to the mother and father of the adolescent.
In just a few circumstances, immunization reminders have been despatched on to minors who had contact info listed within the division’s digital well being data, in keeping with a press release given to CNN by the Tennessee Division of Well being.
The halt impacts all outreach to adolescents, together with Covid-19 second-dose reminders, HPV vaccine reminders and kindergarten vaccination surveys, in keeping with the paperwork circulated inside the division obtained by CNN and first reported by The Tennessean.
Analysis revealed in June by the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention confirmed routine youngster and adolescent vaccinations dropped within the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, however Tanksley mentioned she doesn’t assume the pause in communications to Tennessee’s adolescents will have an effect.
“We’re already seeing our childhood immunization charges rebound to pre-pandemic ranges,” Tanksley advised CNN Wednesday. “That is simply sort of our alternative to acknowledge the dialog and be aware of these conversations in order that we could be as supportive to the choice makers in our state.”
Tanksley mentioned she is assured the division of well being will proceed to efficiently talk with mother and father and suppliers. “This isn’t a monthlong analysis interval or something like that,” she mentioned.
Requested what number of kids have gotten the Covid-19 vaccine with out parental permission in Tennessee, Tanksley cited the quantity beforehand shared earlier than a Tennessee Authorities Operations Committee listening to in June: eight unaccompanied adolescents, 5 of whom have been already at a well being facility for different causes after they acquired vaccinated. The opposite three have been the youngsters of the state’s well being commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, in keeping with Piercey’s testimony on the listening to.
“The opposite three have been my very own kids, who I despatched unaccompanied to get their second dose as a result of they’re 16 and their mother works,” Piercey mentioned.