REGARDLESS of how we, as individual physicians, may feel about the role of the federal government in the individual practice of medicine, the time has long since passed when we can afford the luxury of ignoring it.
In past years the influence of the government on medicine has been mostly in general areas and perhaps least of all in that of pediatrics; but under the present administration there has been a decided change.
For this reason it seems necessary to me to call to the attention of all Fellows of the Academy the particular items in President Kennedy's message of February 26, 1962, which relate specifically to the practice of Pediatrics.
These may be considered to be three in number: The first of these dealt with the subject of immunization.
On this topic President Kennedy said:
I am asking the American people to join in a nationwide vaccination program to stamp out these four diseases (whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, and poliomyelitis) encouraging all communities to immunize both children and adults, keep them immunized and plan for the routine immunization of children yet to be born. To assist the states and local communities in this effort over the next 3 years, I am proposing legislation authorizing a program of federal assistance. This program would cover the full cost of vaccines for all children under 5 years of age. It would also assist in meeting the cost of organizing the vaccination drives begun during this period, and the cost of extra personnel needed for certain special tasks.
- Copyright © 1962 by the American Academy of Pediatrics