Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) – Congressman Joe Morelle announced two bills on the federal level that aim to ensure children are vaccinated before attending public schools.
The Democrat was in Rochester on Friday to advocate for the VACCINES Act and Vaccinate All Children Act. The two pieces of legislation aim to increase public awareness of vaccination benefits and make sure every child going to public school are able to receive vaccinations.
“One of the greatest threats facing our families is the rapid and dangerous spread of misinformation around the safety of vaccines,” Morelle said at a news conference held Friday at the Strong National Museum of Play.
The spread of misinformation on the Internet regarding immunization has led to outbreaks of diseases and viruses in recent years, such as measles. If passed, the VACCINES Act would authorize funds for the CDC to increase public awareness on the benefits of immunizations and research why people are hesitant about vaccines.
Preventative health service grants would be awarded to states under the Vaccinate All Children Act, as long as the states prohibit religious and non-medical exemptions for students being vaccinated for public schools.
"As a pediatrician, I have seen babies die from diseases that are now preventable through immunizations," said Dr. Jeff Kaczorowski, pediatrician and Senior Advisor at The Children’s Agenda. "We have a responsibility as adults to make sure our kids and communities are safe and healthy."
Earlier this year, New York repealed the religious exemption for vaccinations. Only medical exemptions are allowed currently. All 50 states require vaccinations for children to attend school.