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Schrier Introduces Bill to Increase Vaccination Rates and Keep Children Healthy During Pandemic


Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) has introduced a bill that responds to plummeting immunization rates and helps communities prepare for the roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine, once tested and approved. Rep. Schrier introduced The Community Immunity During COVID-19 Act with Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), a nurse, alongside Congresswomen Kathy Castor (FL-14) and Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)

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Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Issaquah, 8th CD)

“As a pediatrician, I am concerned about the decrease in routine immunizations children have gotten during the pandemic. Staying home and avoiding the medical setting means many children have missed routine immunizations, putting them at risk for diseases like measles, chicken pox, and pertussis,” said Rep. Schrier. “Even before the pandemic, vaccine hesitancy was on the rise. Now that a COVID-19 vaccine is on a fast track, that sentiment has skyrocketed. The Community Immunity During COVID-19 Act focuses on building trust through community outreach and education. It is complementary to another bill I introduced during 2019 measles outbreaks, the VACCINES Act, that increases information from trusted sources about vaccines to improve immunization rates. This is especially important in the face of this pandemic. We cannot let kids fall behind on their recommended immunizations. And when we finally have a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19, the Community Immunity During COVID-19 Act will ensure that we have a robust system in place to ensure Americans get accurate information about the vaccine and understand who should get a COVID-19 vaccine and why. Widespread immunization protects us individually and as a community.”


The Community Immunity During COVID-19 Act (H.R. 8061) makes critical investments to develop, implement, and evaluate local initiatives to promote recommended vaccinations during this pandemic. The legislation also supports preparations for the eventual COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring that immunization providers and local organizations can lead community-specific initiatives that will reach all community members, particularly underserved populations.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics is proud to support the Community Immunity During COVID-19 Act of 2020, which will help protect children, adolescents, and communities across the country from vaccine-preventable diseases. During COVID-19, children’s immunization rates have fallen behind, and the last thing we want is a secondary outbreak of infectious disease during a pandemic. To ensure that children and adolescents are still receiving routine immunizations, we must strengthen our investment in the existing immunization delivery system and efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. This bill supports these goals by aiming to develop, scale, and evaluate local initiatives to promote recommended vaccinations during this pandemic. The Academy thanks Reps. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) for introducing this bill during such a pivotal moment,” said Sally Goza, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), immunization rates for life-saving vaccines have fallen significantly during the pandemic as Americans have attempted to avoid exposure to COVID-19. The CDC has issued important guidance to encourage Americans to keep up with recommended immunization schedules during the public health emergency. As the United States prepares for the upcoming flu season, the legislation ensures that children, adolescents, and adults can receive the vaccines they need to protect themselves and their communities.

The above is a press release from the office of Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Issaquah, 8-CD.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its contents. 

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