"Morbillivirus measles infection" by CDC/Dr. Heinz F. Eichenwald / Public Domain

Washington measles outbreak draws crowd to hearing on vaccine law

Feb 11, 2019

By Lena H. Sun and Kristen Millares Young

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Anti-vaccine activists packed a public hearing Friday to oppose a bill that would make it harder for families to opt out of vaccination requirements for measles, mumps and rubella amid the state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades.

An estimated 700 people, most of them opposed to stricter requirements, lined up before dawn in the cold, toting strollers and hand-lettered signs, to sit in the hearing, which was so crowded that staff opened up additional rooms to accommodate the crowd. Many gathered outside afterward for a rally.

Anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent vaccine conspiracy theorist, claimed that health officials are covering up vaccine dangers. Some said their children had been injured or sickened by immunizations. One falsely said the majority of people diagnosed with measles have been vaccinated.

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