RESPONSE FROM REP. SCHIFF BELOW…
I understand your concerns regarding the bipartisan “Vaccines Save Lives” House Resolution, which expresses the sense of Congress that vaccinations are essential to maintaining our public health and encourages a continued commitment to research that improves and develops new vaccines.
You may be interested to know that the resolution does not contain a mandate for any parent to get their children vaccinated. Rather, the resolution urges parents, in consultation with their health care provider, to follow the scientific evidence and consensus of medical experts in favor of timely vaccinations to protect their children and community. As evidenced by the recent measles outbreak in California, low vaccination rates contribute to the spread of deadly diseases. In fact, it was reported that 7 out of every 10 Californian patients in the outbreak were unvaccinated against the measles. Notably, some of those infected were too young to be vaccinated, or had other health problems which prevented them from being vaccinated.
Vaccines remain the safest and most effective tools we have for preventing commonly infectious and potentially fatal diseases, such as measles, mumps, chicken pox and meningococcal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our nation’s first line of defense against infectious diseases, estimates that vaccines will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations for children born over the next 20 years. The CDC also estimates that vaccines will prevent 732,000 deaths among children over the same period.
There are many misconceptions regarding the safety of vaccines that can make it difficult for concerned parents to decide whether to vaccinate their children or not. Nonetheless, the scientific and medical communities are in agreement that vaccines are both safe and effective and that there is no substantial evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases in healthy children or adults. Please visithttp://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/for more information.
I very much appreciate your writing to share your thoughts on vaccination, and, again, want to assure you that nothing in this resolution will preclude you from drawing your own conclusion as to the value or risk of vaccination to your family. And you can be assured that I will keep your views in mind when legislation on this issue is considered on the House Floor.
An on-going job of a Representative in Congress is to help constituents solve problems with federal agencies, access services, and get their questions answered promptly. On my website, I offer a detailed guide to the services my office can provide to you as a constituent. I also encourage you to subscribe to the Washington Update, my email newsletter, which contains information on local events, my work in Washington, and lets you weigh in on important issues through online polls. Visit me online at http://schiff.house.gov to subscribe and click on “Help You” to see how I can best serve you. You can also share your priorities with me by clicking on “Contact Me.” Please know that you can always reach me at (818) 450-2900 or (323) 315-5555 or you can share your comments with me via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RepAdamSchiff.
Thank you again for your thoughts. I hope you will continue to share your views and ideas with me.
Adam B. Schiff
Member of Congress