State lawmakers not doing much to prevent spread of measles

The Centers for Disease Control reports America has broken the 25-year high record for measles cases nationally.

Texas remains on the watch list for a measles outbreak, and some lawmakers, again, want detailed reporting of vaccines to become law.

Yet, state lawmakers have stalled out on talks whether parents should have access to more information about how many students in local schools aren't vaccinated.

Just like years past, two bills concerning vaccines have yet to get out of committee to go to the floor for a vote by both chamber in the Texas Legislature.

The only difference is this year, there's a nationwide measles outbreak—including more than a dozen in Texas.

The Immunization Partnership Director of Advocacy and Policy Rekha Lakshmanan said there's only four weeks left for lawmakers to act and get accurate information out to the public to make informed decisions.

"At a minimum make good data and information available to the public so they can be informed and make the right decisions in terms of the health of their child’s school, or daycare or childcare center," said Lakshmanan. “Lawmakers have the opportunity to stand up and to have a conversation about our immunization and public health infrastructure and what do we need to do in order to ensure the public has good information.”

She said the Texas Legislature can help give guidance with laws and policies on public health initiatives like vaccines and immunizations; the state health department needs money to monitor potential outbreaks; and schools have responsibility to make sure the student body is complying with school vaccination requirements.

“Hold our lawmakers accountable to ensure that they are evaluating the right kinds of policies to ensure that we have a strong immunization infrastructure,” said Lakshmanan. "Make sure we have positive immunization laws and policies in place to mitigate and to prevent these kind of outbreaks from happening in our state."

She said measles is a public health crisis.

"The Legislature is still trying to figure out how much of a strong position they want to take to address this public health issue that we’re currently facing," said Lakshmanan.

Texas law requires that public and private school students have 10 immunizations for diseases. However, parents can opt out of the vaccine requirements.

Measles Outbreak

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