Rep. Jan Schakowsky Statement on the Measles Outbreak

WASHINGTON, DC –(ENEWSPF)—February 6, 2015.  “Recent outbreaks of measles, which was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, are extremely concerning. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I hope that we will have a hearing, as has been formally requested by Ranking Members Frank Pallone Jr., Gene Green, and Diana DeGette on the outbreak and the importance of vaccinations to prevent the spread of measles. I hope the request is granted promptly, and I look forward to fully participating in the hearing.

It has been widely reported that the U.S. has seen a significant jump in the cases of measles. Recently, there have been several cases in the Palatine, Illinois. It is important that we do everything we can, collaborating at the local, state and federal level to stop these outbreaks before they spread and endanger more people.  

The science is clear. Vaccinations work. Vaccinations are safe. Vaccinations do not cause autism.  Just this week four scientific experts testified in an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, that focused on the flu vaccine, that there is no link between the vaccines and autism. The leading autism group, Autism Speaks, agrees that science proves vaccines do not cause autism and is urging parents to vaccinate their children. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases, far more than Ebola, and though not as deadly, can have very serious effects including death. The vaccine stimulates an immune response in 99 percent of those who get both doses. Given these realities, it is troubling that certain political leaders have questioned the importance of vaccines and that some parents refuse to vaccinate their children.

This evidence is abundantly clear – we should vaccinate our children. My children and grandchildren have all had their vaccinations. Illinois state law requires all children in public schools to comply with an immunization schedule, which includes two doses of the measles vaccine. Statistics show that 98 percent of children in public and private schools in Illinois had their immunizations in the 2013-2014 school year, which includes two doses of the measles vaccine. 

There are children, who for certain medical reasons cannot get vaccinated, and babies, like those in the Palatine measles cluster, who rely on the rest of us to be properly vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases. As a matter of public health we must make sure all those who can get vaccinated do, to protect their health and the health of the most vulnerable.”

Source: Schakowsky.house.gov

Related Article:

Statement from Public Health Officials in Illinois and Cook County Re: Measles Outbreak at Palatine KinderCare Learning Center