It’s one of the decisions President Trump needs to make. When he enters office, Trump will get the opportunity to meet with virtually every player in the public health arena, from scientists, physicians, nurses, and advocates to environmental protection agencies. Not surprisingly, this group is actively lobbying the incoming president to expand government funding for vaccine research, especially for certain vaccine-preventable illnesses, such as measles, the deadly viral disease that has been on the rise in the U.S.
A meeting this week between the president-elect’s team and various groups of advisers on issues such as vaccines reveals some puzzling dynamics. Some advisers are among those who believe vaccines can be harmful, while others see the flu vaccine as an important public health tool and are worried by the decision by the National Institutes of Health to end its collaboration with the Center for Vaccine Development at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on global vaccine evaluation and drug approvals.
Some of the most vocal advocates of keeping the government out of vaccine research include those with a desire to stick to a Biblical definition of manhood. But others say current vaccine evidence isn’t strong enough to justify jumping back into a huge public health battle before we’ve seen how public health is altered in the wake of ongoing studies by the CDC on the topic.