Don't forget vaccines for skin problems

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine®, Dermatology and Vaccines: A Call to Arms

The World Health Organization (WHO) has included vaccine hesitancy among the top ten health threats worldwide in 2019!”— Kenneth Tomecki, MDNEW YORK CITY, NY, UNITED STATES, January 29, 2020 / -- Vaccination is important and necessary! Widespread concern soars over the recent coronavirus outbreak because there is not a working vaccine. However, the fact remains that excellent vaccines exist for many other infections!

Some of the more common, dermatology-related vaccines include human papillomavirus (HPV), varicella, herpes zoster, and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Despite the efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of these vaccines being well established, significant reluctance to routinely utilize them continues to persist. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding vaccination, in general, has been a point of contention since its inception, but communities have become increasingly divided over the past decade. This divide has now lead the World Health Organization (WHO) to include vaccine hesitancy among the top ten health threats worldwide in 2019!

In this article, Kenneth Tomecki, MD notes that there are many published guidelines for recommending vaccines at various stages of one’s life, but that utilization is sometimes subpar without sound reasoning. Moreover, important information about vaccination is not routinely or widely disseminated to the public. This, in addition to an overwhelming perpetuation of misinformation via social media, continues to fuel the antivaccination movement – ultimately creating an undue risk of infection and infection-related complications.

The author also notes that it is important to emphasize that vaccines are not just for children. For example, the HPV vaccine (Gardisil) protects against HPV 16 and 18, which accounts for at least 70% of cervical cancers. The vaccine can also be used as an effective treatment for warts, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Most importantly, the author notes the critical importance of physicians having the responsibility to both educate and encourage patients to make healthy decisions based on the facts – and, that they should consider vaccination a “call to arms!”

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine® is a peer-reviewed online medical journal that is the official journal of The National Society for Cutaneous Medicine. The mission of SKIN is to provide an enhanced and accelerated route to disseminate new dermatologic knowledge for all aspects of cutaneous disease.

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(DOI: 10.25251/skin.4.1.1)

Kenneth J. Tomecki
Cleveland Clinic, Department of Dermatology
+1 216-444-5729
email us here

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