Rep. Bera Holds Event on the Importance of Vaccines
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) yesterday held a press conference on the importance of vaccines, especially as students across the country head back to school. Rep. Bera was joined by Rep. Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA) and members of the medical community.
“As a doctor and former chief medical officer of Sacramento County, I know the science is irrefutable: vaccines are the safest and most effective tool we have in preventing infectious diseases,” said Rep. Bera. “Unfortunately, vaccine hesitancy and lack of access to vaccines have contributed to a growth in measles across the US, including in my home state of California. It’s critical that we continue to educate families on the importance of vaccines and that Congress provide robust funding for vaccine research and education efforts.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines save two to three million lives annually. However, the CDC has reported that measles cases in the U.S. have climbed to 1,241 in 2019, the greatest number of cases in the U.S. since 1992.
“Immunizations are safe and one of the most important public health advances in the last 100 years. I am happy to be partnering with my fellow doctors, Drs. Bera and Roe, to bring awareness to how effective vaccines have been in eliminating viruses like smallpox, polio, and measles, and have essentially made them problems of the past,” said Rep. Schrier. “However, in the last few years, we have seen a rise in vaccine-hesitancy, driven by misinformation, that has led to measles outbreaks in Washington, New York, and California. My bill, the VACCINES Act, will address this dangerous misinformation and prevent future outbreaks of preventable viruses like the measles.”
Rep. Bera also released a bipartisan resolution along with Rep. Schrier, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), and other Members of Congress to recognize the 40th anniversary of the eradication of smallpox virus, urge continued vigilance to prevent additional measles outbreaks, and affirm the importance of vaccines to prevent disease and save lives. Click here to read the resolution, H.Res.592.