UPDATED 6:43 AM PT — Thursday, February 28, 2019
With a significant rise in measles cases across the U.S., lawmakers met in a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill to discuss what’s being called a “growing public health threat.”
Wednesday’s hearing included talks around response efforts for the current measles outbreak, and where in the country vaccination rates of the recommended measles vaccine are found to be low.
Lawmakers discussed concerns around the spread of medically inaccurate information online relating to the measles vaccine, and whether addressing that misinformation might be a way to stop outbreaks before they start.
“Truth is, this is an incredibly safe vaccine. We have a host of experience with it. The vaccine has been used for a really long time. We in the United States enjoy one of the most robust systems to monitor the safety of vaccines and that’s why we can say with confidence that this is a safe vaccine. The most common side effects are a sore arm which goes way pretty quickly.” — Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director – National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there have been 159 cases of measles confirmed across ten states, including California, Connecticut, Texas and Washington.