If antivaxxers didn’t like me before, they are probably going to hate me. It’s okay though. I’m a big boy. I can take it.
Anyway, I had the privilege of collaborating with Dorit Reiss on a paper about mandates that require health care workers to be immunized against influenza. I wrote the parts about influenza disease and the vaccine, while Dr. Reiss wrote about the legalities involved in requiring healthcare workers to get their flu vaccine.
When I applied to go to the school of public health for the DrPH, a lot of people reviewing my CV kept asking me if I had any publications. It was kind of embarrassing to tell them that I did not. Why was it embarrassing? It was embarrassing because part of me knew that I had to spread the knowledge that I had gained as an epidemiologist, but the only efficient way of doing that in my position at the department of health was through posters or presentations at conferences.
Of course, there was the blog and the eventual rise of social media. I had plenty of experience in those. But being “competitive” to get into the school of public health required having publications. Lucky for me, I found a professor who believed in me and trusted my experience as a professional epidemiologist. He helped me meet the requirements necessary to be accepted.
Now, at the end of my third year in the doctoral program, I get published in a law journal of all things. In a way, it’s kind of poetic. Mom went to law school in Mexico, and a lot of people said she was a really good lawyer. Certainly, I could never win an argument against her. So big thanks to Dr. Reiss for helping me achieve this professional milestone. Here’s to all the knowledge that many more papers being published will disseminate… And to all the wisdom derived in doing so.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
About History of Vaccines: I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Please read the About page on the site for more information.
About Epidemiological: I am the sole contributor to Epidemiological, my personal blog to discuss all sorts of issues. It also has an About page you should check out.