Washington, D.C., January 19, 2017 – The Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance) has joined with more than 90 national organizations in urging the U.S. Senate to ensure that president-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Congressman Tom Price, M.D., is committed to protecting U.S. citizens from vaccine preventable diseases.
In a letter addressed to Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden of the Senate Committee on Finance, the organizations urged the senators to “support our nation’s public health infrastructure by fostering investments in the science and technology that informs our national immunization policy, providing a safety net to uninsured poor adults for vaccine purchases, monitoring the safety of vaccines, educating providers and performing community outreach, and conducting surveillance, laboratory testing, and epidemiology to respond to disease outbreaks.”
Sen. Alexander has expressed his firm support for the importance of vaccination, telling Stat, “Sound science is this: Vaccines save lives.” Of the 23 members on the Senate HELP Committee that were contacted by Stat, 18 stated their confidence in the effectiveness of vaccines. Vaccination has been a frequent news topic in the last week following a meeting between Trump and vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The Alliance signed on to the letter as a display of its ongoing commitment to vaccines in older adults. In 2015, it published a report that revealed what factors contribute to low vaccination rates in older adults. In 2016, it released a community workshop kit and short pocket film on vaccines and older adults.
“Vaccines work. Look at the history of any vaccine-preventable disease and you will see that the number of cases drop when a vaccine is widely used,” says Susan Peschin, MHS, Alliance president and CEO. “Suggesting otherwise is playing fast and loose with our nation’s public health and the health of its most vulnerable citizens. Given recent stories about anti-vax sympathizers pressuring the incoming administration, we applaud Chairman Alexander and the many other outstanding HELP Committee members who publicly recognize the health benefits of vaccines, and we urge them to hold nominee Dr. Price to the same standard.”
For more information about the Alliance’s vaccine initiatives, please go here.
About the Alliance for Aging Research
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application in order to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance was founded in 1986 in Washington, D.C., and has since become a valued advocacy organization and a respected influential voice with policymakers. Visit www.agingresearch.org for more information.