Today, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Thomas Marino (R-PA), and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the bipartisan "Vaccines Save Lives" House Resolution with over 90 other Members of Congress. In the wake of the latest outbreak of measles in the United States, there has been a debate in the country over the safety of vaccines and whether parents should get their children vaccinated. The resolution is intended to highlight the public and global health achievements of vaccinations and immunizations around the world, and to urge vaccination. It recognizes the importance of vaccinations and immunizations in the U.S. as a matter of saving lives, stopping the spread of contagious and often fatal diseases, and maintaining the public health, economic and national security of the American people.
Additionally, the resolution states that there is no credible evidence to show that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases in healthy children or adults and commends the work of the international community and various domestic and global organizations that have worked to keep us all safe through vaccination. It encourages more research to improve existing vaccines and to create more vaccines to protect ourselves from other fatal and infectious diseases. Finally, it urges parents, in consultation with their health care provider, to follow the scientific consensus in favor of timely vaccination of their children.
"There's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and critical to saving lives and creating a shared immunity in our communities and across the world," said Rep. Adam Schiff. "With the latest measles outbreak in California and elsewhere, it's more important than ever that children are vaccinated to prevent the spread of preventable and dangerous diseases -- including those that were previously eradicated. This bipartisan resolution recognizes the importance and scientific necessity of this life-saving medicine."
"Vaccinations save lives. It is unconscionable that children are being put at risk because of decisions based on faulty information and untruths," said Rep. Charlie Dent. "I believe it is important for Congress to speak out and assure Americans of not only the medical necessity of vaccinations, but also of their safety."
"Recent outbreaks of measles have raised greater awareness about some serious public health issues we are have experienced. But we have the tools to prevent many of these diseases and outbreaks," said Rep. Thomas Marino. "That prevention starts with individual and familial responsibility. This resolution simply states my colleagues and I support vaccinations for children so they can stay healthy and grow to fulfill their potential within our society - and it supports more research and more extensive efforts for outreach and awareness."
"Every parent's first concern is the health and safety of their children," said Rep. Peter Welch. "The recent measles outbreak is a stark reminder of how important it is that all parents vaccinate their children. Not doing so risks the health of their child and children in their community."
This bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Children's Hospital Association (CHA), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).