On May 9, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia, the National Meningitis Association (www.nmaus.org) hosted a panel discussion, “Achieving Childhood Vaccine Success in the U.S.,” before its “Give Kids a Shot” Gala. The panel addressed a range of issues including parents who opt out of childhood vaccine requirements, physicians who stray from the recommended vaccine schedule, and the role of the media in creating or removing barriers to vaccination.
The panelists were (from left to right):
- Paul Lee, M.D., Director of the International Adoption Program and Pediatric Travel Center at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, New York (moderator).
- Carol J. Baker, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
- Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, PhD., Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley’s Hastings College of Law. Reiss favors legal liabilities for parents who opt for non-vaccination, and is noted for her support of California Senate Bill 277, which reduced exemptions to vaccination requirements for enrollment in California schools and daycare centers.
- Arthur Caplan, PhD., Professor of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center.
- William Schaffner, M.D., Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
- Alison Singer, President of Autism Science Foundation.
- Paul Offit, M.D., Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
At the 53:58 mark, Dr. Baker says:
“The fight, the battle is being fought — one family, one physician, one health center. That’s why we’re doing as well as we are.
We’re talking about the minority [of vaccine refusers], and strategies against the minority. So I have the solution: Every study published in the last five years, you look at vaccine refusers, I’m not talking about people we can talk them into coming to terms, but refusers. (54:28 mark) Let’s just get rid of all the whites in the United States, because Houston is the most diverse city in the entire United States. There are seven Asian languages spoken in that city. I’ve been in the [racial] minority for more than 20 years in the city of Houston. The majority of them are what we all ‘Hispanics’ — it’s not a race or an ethnicity, it’s a political designation. A lot of them are from Central or South America, Mexico. Guess who wants to get vaccinated the most in Houston? Immigrants! It is the ‘well educated’ — in terms of pieces of paper and the paper on the wall — [who are the vaccine refusers], people that have been here for a long time, and it’s very unfortunate and.
But I think we need not lose the big picture. The big picture is there are physicians out there — family practitioners, pediatricians, internists — talking one on one with either the older child — I don’t know when a child stops being a child. For me, I was 30, I wrote my mother and said ‘Hey, I’m a grown-up’. They’d already given me an M.D. degree by then, so it’s a good thing I was grown up.
I think that we need to do things as an articulate media-trained group to encourage that conversation, and encourage our health care system to value what vaccines do. Give people enough time to talk to individual families. Most hesitant people, it’s absolutely right, someone said it earlier, some families are having ‘pre-natal visits’. That’s the time to talk about vaccines. This war is fought one on one, with individual families. We need to support those policies that give health care providers, nurses, I mean nurses are really really important, they’re the ones who are probably giving the shots, and if they’re not on board with accepting vaccines, then do you think they’re gonna be supportive of you recommending a vaccine? You have to have your whole [health care] practice situation on board.”
Three years after this, she got decorated by the Sabin Vaccine Institute with funding from Bill Gates.
The 2019 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal ceremony was made possible in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Pfizer.Sabin Vaccine Institute
Dr. Baker is professor of pediatrics and of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Previously, she was head of the section of infectious diseases in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine for 25 years.
Dr. Baker is immediate past chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. She is a past president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and was a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases from 1997-2012.
Dr. Baker is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a past-president of NFID and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and a former chair of the ACIP. Among numerous honors, she received the John P. Utz Leadership Award from NFID; the Mentor Award, Society Citation for outstanding achievements in the field of infectious disease, and the Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement from IDSA; and the Albert Sabin Gold Medal Award from the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
“Baker’s discoveries about the relationship between infant GBS and maternal immunity, paired with her international advocacy work, have also led to the development of a much-needed vaccine, with candidates currently in clinical trials. She continues to work toward her ultimate goal of preventing this newborn disease through immunizing the mother during pregnancy.
A highly accomplished infectious diseases clinician, teacher and vaccinologist, Baker is known as “the Godmother of group B Streptococcus prevention.” Recognized for her work at a time when many physicians were against vaccinating expectant mothers, Baker’s advocacy for maternal immunization shaped a new medical culture in the United States, enabling doctors to save the lives of countless newborns.
Baker continues to advocate for the health of mothers and babies, such as shepherding the recommendation for routine pertussis booster vaccines for pregnant women while chairing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices from 2009 to 2012.
“Dr. Baker’s pioneering work in group B Strep resulted in a more than 80 percent reduction of neonatal disease in the United States and her research is paving the way for the development of a long-overdue vaccine for this disease,” said Amy Finan, Sabin’s chief executive officer. “Each year, we select someone whose career exemplifies Dr. Sabin’s legacy – to ensure the benefits of vaccines reach every child. Today, we are glad to recognize not only a gifted researcher, but a champion who has made it her mission to ensure every baby gets a healthy start. Her life is a testament to the fact that real changes in immunization practices occur when research is paired with dedicated advocacy.”
Baker has authored or co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. Notable among these is her work on the book, Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story, where, alongside other respected vaccine experts, she highlighted the stories of innocent children who have suffered needlessly from vaccine-preventable diseases.
“I am honored to be awarded the distinguished Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal alongside fellow recipients whose work has saved so many lives,” Baker said. “I never planned to be a researcher. I became a doctor to help one patient at a time, but what I found was a calling to use the knowledge gained through research to advocate for life-saving interventions for mothers and babies. I sincerely thank the Sabin Vaccine Institute for the incredible honor of this award.”
The award was presented to Baker by Roger I. Glass, MD, PhD, director of the Fogarty International Center, 2015 recipient of the Sabin Award and husband of Dean Barbara J. Stoll, MD.
Awarded annually since 1994, the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal recognizes champions who have made extraordinary contributions in the field of vaccinology or a complementary field. The award commemorates the legacy of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, who developed the oral polio vaccine that made monumental contributions to the near eradication of polio worldwide, then worked tirelessly to ensure the vaccine reached children around the world. Past Gold Medal recipients include Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Anne Gershon and the late Dr. Maurice Hilleman, among many other distinguished vaccine experts.
An infectious diseases clinician, teacher and vaccinologist, Dr. Carol Baker’s discoveries about GBS immunity and pathogenesis helped shape the 1996 CDC consensus guidelines for routine GBS screening among pregnant women. Formerly the president of Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, she chaired multiple working groups within CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices over the course of many years.
Active on numerous editorial boards, Dr. Baker has worked on five editions of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Red Book (2000-2015), which provides reliable and clinically useful information on more than 200 childhood infectious diseases. She has received many honors and awards, including the Maurice Hilleman Award from the CDC; the Mentor, Society Citation and Alexander Fleming Lifetime Achievement awards from the IDSA; the Distinguished Physician Award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society; and the Schneerson-Robbins Award in Vaccinology.
Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Southern California and received her medical, residency and fellowship training at Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard University.
The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with more than two decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live.
The 2019 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal ceremony was made possible in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Pfizer.” – Sabin Vaccine Institute
Here’s the whole thing, comments and likes turned off. If they take it down, let me know, I saved it.
UPDATE JUNE 7 2020:
Of course they took the original video uploads down and of course I got you covered.
Baker elected to national academy
“A highly accomplished infectious diseases clinician, educator, and vaccinologist, Carol Baker, MD, adjunct professor in the Department of Pediatrics in McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
Baker was one of 100 professionals elected to the academy for outstanding professional achievement this week.
“This remarkable and well-deserved honor recognizes Dr. Baker’s lifelong contributions to mothers and babies,” said Barbara J. Stoll, MD, dean of McGovern Medical School and H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor.
Baker was recognized for her expertise in group B streptococcal (GBS) epidemiology, pathogenesis, and prevention, and discovering the critical capsular component for conjugate vaccine development.
Baker has spent her career advocating on behalf of the health of mothers and babies. “I wanted to be a doctor since the age of 6, and I was determined to do something that helped children’s lives,” she said, adding that she was inspired to become a doctor by her mother – her parents met in college and were both pre-med.
She said she was “absolutely surprised and thrilled” at the incredible honor of being elected to NAM. “I hadn’t been that surprised since I was the only woman admitted to my class in medical school,” she added.
Baker earned her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1968, completed her internship at University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles; and completed her residency and fellowship at Baylor as well as a research fellowship at Harvard. Her advocacy for maternal immunization shaped a new medical culture in the United States, enabling doctors to save the lives of countless newborns.
“Election to the Academy affirms that this was worthwhile,” she said. “But this honor reflects the whole team – those who work in the lab, the clinical research – I didn’t do this alone.”
Baker adds this distinction to many other awards, including the 2019 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal, the Maurice Hilleman Award from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; the Mentor, Society Citation, and Alexander Fleming Lifetime Achievement awards from the Infectious Diseases Society of America; the Distinguished Physician Award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society; and the Schneerson-Robbins Award in Vaccinology.
Established originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the NAM addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. Membership in NAM is based upon distinguished professional achievement in a field related to medicine and health, as well as demonstrated and continued involvement with the issues of health care, prevention of disease, education, or research.” – Office of Communications UTH, October 23, 2019
Bonus: Now let’s find out who should be the main targets for the new vaccines
What happened to George Floyd was brutal and horrible and should never happen to anyone, anywhere. This is a moment of reckoning in the United States. We all need to really pause during this time and learn as best we can from it. Even before we saw this senseless death, COVID had already started to show us gaps and structural problems in our country. We are seeing black men die at a disproportionate rate. We know the way out of COVID-19 will be a vaccine, and it needs to go out equitably.Melinda Gates
BLM, as much as everyone else, needs to pay attention if they’re “for reals”. Everyone and all races would be behind them if they took on our common biggest enemies right now
To be continued?
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