April 12, 2019

Duckworth, Blackburn Resolution Recognizing Importance of Vaccines Passes Senate


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) yesterday introduced and passed the bipartisan, bicameral Vaccines Save Lives Resolution, recognizing the importance of vaccines and immunizations in the United States. The resolution sends a message of unequivocal Congressional support for vaccines and urges parents, in consultation with their health care provider, to follow scientific evidence and the consensus of medical experts in favor of timely vaccinations for the well-being of their children and surrounding communities. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28) and Michael Burgess, MD, (R-TX-26) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last month.

“The recent measles outbreak is extremely troubling, especially as the mother of two young daughters,” Senator Duckworth said. “Vaccinations and immunizations have saved countless lives and are critical in keeping both children and adults safe from preventable deadly diseases. I’m proud to be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote research demonstrating vaccines are safe, effective and vital to our nation’s public health.”

“As a mother and a grandmother, I want every child to have the best opportunities in life,” said Blackburn. “Doctors have told us time and time again that the science is clear: vaccines save and improve the quality of lives. It is shocking that there are Americans currently at risk due to an outbreak of measles. This is a dark reminder that we must do everything in our power to protect our young ones from dangerous, easily preventable diseases. This bipartisan group is dedicated to informing parents across the country about the overwhelming medical evidence proving that immunization plays a critical role in raising strong, healthy children.”

“The scientific and medical communities agree – vaccines are both safe and effective and there is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases,” said Schiff. “Vaccines have saved millions of lives worldwide and prevented suffering for millions more. The importance of vaccinating your children, especially given the recent outbreak of preventable diseases, cannot be overstated.”

“Vaccines are one of the most successful products of medical innovation. Since Dr. Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccine in 1796, Americans have benefited from vaccines and their ability to improve quality of life and eradicate disease,” said Burgess. “As a physician, I am grateful for their immense value and lifesaving potential. In the 21st century, Congress should be focused on investing in vaccines’ further development as safe and effective tools to protect Americans and people around the world from preventable suffering.”

The Vaccines Save Lives Resolution rejects unfounded and debunked theories about the dangers of vaccines and recognizes that scientifically sound education and outreach campaigns about vaccination and immunization are fundamental for a well-informed public. The resolution is endorsed and supported by leaders in the medical community, including the American Medical Association, Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, Children’s Hospital Association, Every Child By Two, and March of Dimes.