Dr William Schaffner
Nov 2010 Sedgwick Vaccines
Dr. Schaffner’s Address on receiving the 2010 Sedgwick recognizing his career and contributions to the field of Vaccines and Immunization.
I stand before you in gratitude for this recognition of a career devoted to public health – most specifically to the prevention of disease.
As you know, I am an advocate of vaccination across the lifespan. As a means of prevention, vaccination continues to be marvelously successful, marvelously efficient, and satisfyingly cost-beneficial. But today vaccination is threatened-threatened by skepticism, by indifference and by ignorance. I urge you – I implore you to remain committed to vaccination! The 20th century provided effective vaccines against many childhood diseases, the 21st century already has provided the first explicitly anti-cancer vaccine-against cancer of the cervix. Research during this century will provide yet more vaccines that will prevent a wide spectrum of illnesses. So I urge you to remain steadfast – explain and defend vaccines so we can build on past achievements and create new opportunities for prevention.
Early in my professional evolution it became evident to me that the prevention of disease was medicine’s highest goal. So, I stand here also with affection and admiration for all of you – in all of your diverse healthcare disciplines – who devote yourselves to disease prevention and health promotion in this diverse country with its richly diverse populations.
So this, in profound appreciation for your efforts – I am honored and touched by your recognition.
William Schaffner, MD
Sedgwick Memorial Medal
November 9, 2010
Dr William Schaffner received the Sedgwick Memorial Medal in November 2010 for his meritorious work in Vaccine Advocacy.
Professor William Thompson Sedgwick ScD was the 1915 APHA President and the most prestigious APHA Award, The Sedgwick Memorial Medal, is named in his honor. Dr Sedgwick was a preeminent public health expert of his day, a scientist, trained in bacteriology. He was a leading teacher, scholar and advocate for the emerging “modern” redefinition of public health of his era.