Congresswoman Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Eighth District, on Wednesday hosted a congressional panel in Washington, D.C. on her bill, the VACCINES Act.
Schrier invited Jeffrey Duchin, M.D., the Health Officer for Public Health-Seattle and King County, to participate on the panel. Other participating groups included the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of County & City Health Officials, and Trust for America’s Health.
“I was thrilled that Dr. Duchin, a constituent of mine and a well-respected local doctor and public health authority, was able to participate in this non-partisan panel,” Schrier said. “As we know, viruses like the flu and measles don’t discriminate based on party. In order to increase vaccine confidence around the country, we need a thoughtful, non-political approach. Dr. Duchin is very familiar with the important topic of immunizations, and I’m glad he could bring his experience and expertise to D.C. and the panel discussion.”
In May, Schrier and Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas – both physicians – introduced the VACCINES Act that will increase immunization rates throughout the country and prevent future outbreaks of contagious, deadly viruses.
According to supporters, the Vaccine Awareness Campaign to Champion Immunization Nationally and Enhance Safety (VACCINES) Act will give the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) resources it needs to understand what drives vaccines hesitancy and barriers to immunization. They will also be able to better track where there are changes in vaccine confidence or refusal rates. With this information, they will be able to predict where an outbreak might occur because of low immunization rates and target vaccine education campaigns to those areas before an outbreak occurs, supporters said.