Forgot Password?
Return to Course Listing

CME: The problem with vaccines: Public hesitancy and refusal


Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:

Universal vaccination is one of the most important public health initiatives of the last century. The rates of vaccine-preventable illnesses have dropped precipitously with each introduction of an effective vaccine.  Vaccinations not only protect the public against specific infectious diseases but also reduce future consequences, sequelae, and complications of disease, such as in the cases of: human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine and cancer; rotavirus vaccine and type 1 diabetes; and the measles vaccine and all-cause mortality. Among people born between 1994 and 2013, vaccination is responsible for the prevention of 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths, resulting in a savings of nearly $1.7 trillion in total costs. Extrapolating these predictions across all generations, the benefits of universal vaccination are considerable. Despite the many benefits of vaccination and the relatively low risks, vaccine hesitancy is a growing concern among health care professionals and has led to the resurgence of vaccine-preventable illnesses in pockets of the United States.

Podcast is also available. You may download and listen to the program at your convenience, and then return to this website to complete the post-test, evaluation, and obtain your CME/CE certificate.

Podcast available at: Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Target Audience:

The following HCPs: primary care physicians, pediatricians, and public health professionals; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists who practice in adult internal medicine and pediatrics; and any other clinicians who commonly encounter patients eligible for protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This activity is supported by an educational grant from Merck.

Learners may participate in this activity free of charge.

Release Date: September 16, 2019 -- Expiration Date: September 16, 2021

Faculty: David Cennimo, MD



Faculty introduction, disclosures

Status of under-vaccination in the United States

  • CDC documentation and reporting
  • Outbreaks, individual cases, and morbidity and mortality

Vaccine safety and efficacy

  • Recent changes and updates to ACIP vaccine recommendations
  • Efficacy and safety
  • Combination vaccines: improving compliance with fewer injections

Evidence for effective communication about vaccine hesitancy and refusal

  • Provider-driven vs. patient-driven conversations: is there a middle ground?
  • Providing strong recommendations
  • Listening to and addressing patient concerns
  • Decision aids

Systems approaches

  • Effective EMR use
  • Implementing reminder and recall systems

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Describe common barriers to adherence to recommended vaccination schedules
  • Discuss ways in which to provide strong recommendations for vaccinations while dispelling myths among patients and caregivers
  • Describe vaccination benefits and risks with patients using techniques that have been shown to improve patient satisfaction and vaccine uptake
  • Explain methods to improve vaccination adherence, and implement strategies to improve accessibility, simplify vaccination schedules, and maximize the opportunities for vaccination


ACCME Activity #201349112


Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.

Faculty Disclosure:  Dr. David Cennimo, MD has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.

Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, President of ScientiaCME, has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

Additional Courses That Are Related To This Activity

Novel antimicrobials and infectious disease practice: Research updates from ID Week 2019

Updates in vaccine-preventable diseases: Meningococcal meningitis

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): Updates in care for the primary care physician

Prevention and management of influenza infection