The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today held a hearing on vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of vaccination to preventing measles and other disease outbreaks. After eliminating measles in 2000, the United States reported 372 measles cases last year and has confirmed outbreaks this year in Washington state, New York, Texas and Illinois.
 
“There is a lot of misleading and incorrect information about vaccines that circulates online, including through social media,” said Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. “Here is what I want parents in Tennessee, in Washington, in Texas, everywhere in our country to know: Vaccines are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and meet the FDA’s gold standard of safety.”
 
Jonathan McCullers, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and pediatrician-in-chief at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, said vaccine opposition and hesitancy are “impairing our ability to effectively insure appropriate vaccine coverage, aided by state laws that make it easier to avoid vaccination.”
 
Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman said nearly all of the cases in his state involve unvaccinated individuals and that parents’ concerns over the risks of vaccination “must be addressed with compassion, care and evidence-based practice.”
 
John Boyle, president and CEO of the Immune Deficiency Foundation, said “my life, along with the lives of hundreds of thousands of others who are immunocompromised depend upon herd immunity.”
 
Also testifying at the hearing were a professor of global health at Emory University in Atlanta and a high-school student whose mother is an anti-vaccine advocate.
 

Related News Articles

Headline
Hospitals and health systems are committed to protecting patients from surprise medical bills and support a federal legislative solution to do so, AHA…
Headline
Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Todd Young, R-Ind., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Tom Carper, D-Del., today…
Headline
The House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing examining the impact of racial disparities and social determinants of health on maternal mortality.
Headline
A new AHA issue brief describes how hospitals are investing in affordable housing, based on initial findings from the Accelerating Investments for Healthy…
Headline
House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today released a discussion draft of bipartisan legislation to address surprise medical bills.
Headline
The White House yesterday released a strategy to guide the federal government in protecting the nation from infectious disease threats by working with other…