VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — As several states continue to deal with a measles outbreak, Washington state Sen. Patty Murray spoke out on Tuesday morning on vaccines and preventable diseases.
During the Senate committee hearing, Sen. Murray said Congress has to do more to address vaccine hesitancy to make sure parents have the facts they need to understand science.
“Vaccines are safe, effective and lifesaving,” she said. “Parents want to do what’s best for their kids, which is why they need to be armed with knowledge about the importance of vaccination.”
During the hearing, elite pediatricians and experts in the field debunked the misinformation spreading on the internet, like the misnomer that vaccines cause autism.
“I can understand the fear new parents have given the misinformation on social media, but that fear cannot override the facts,” Dr. Boyle said.
Doctors said vaccine refusal is high — and getting worse because of lax state policies.
Dr. McCullers said, “Vaccine refusal is the growing public health threat of our time if we continue to allow non-medical exemptions to vaccination. Vaccination will fall and more outbreaks will undoubtedly follow.”
For parents who still resist immunizations, doctors suggest stronger policy or broader educational efforts.
As the hearing ended on Tuesday, doctors left lawmakers with pointed suggestions to prevent more outbreaks:
“I want to thank you for bipartisan and consistent support for vaccine research because that matters,” Dr. Omer said. “It shows there’s broad societal support for vaccines.”
Doctors urged the committee to find solutions that will harmonize public health policy in America — and most importantly, help protect children from preventable diseases.
Watch Sen. Patty Murray’s full address below