Blog Briefing Room

New York pediatricians make T-shirts to combat anti-vaccination movement

A pediatric office in New York drew national attention this week after a photo of employees wearing T-shirts to combat the anti-vaccination movement went viral.

The photo shows Kate Shand, a physician's assistant at the Legacy Pediatrics in Rochester, and her colleagues wearing shirts that read "vaccines cause adults."  

Shand told a local ABC affiliate that the idea to create the T-shirts came from a meme. 

"It's kind of a play on vaccines cause autism, which they do not. They cause adults," Shand told the station. "Healthy kids get vaccinated and grow into adulthood and be healthy adults."

Shand said the post reached nearly 17,000 people on Facebook over a few days, receiving overwhelmingly positive responses.

"The anti-vaccine movement has such a voice that the pro-vaccine movement needs to," Shand said.

Dr. Janet Casey, a partner at the office, told the station that the shirt's message is meant to be taken seriously. 

"Kids are getting sick from vaccine-preventable illnesses, which shouldn't happen in 2019," Casey said.

"One of the things that's so important for pediatricians and other health care givers is to get out there and make it as loud a message as possible that vaccines save lives," she continued. 

Casey said the office will be selling the T-shirts, with proceeds being donated to a charity that helps those in impoverished countries have access to vaccines.

The effort came as New York's Monroe County faces a measles outbreak. 

According to NBC News, a growing number of adult teens are sharing their choice to get vaccinated after their parents initially chose not to get them vaccinations as children. The movement comes as health officials in multiple states, including Washington and Oregon, grapple with measles outbreaks.