"Smallpox Vaccine" by CDC / Public Domain

Senate panel warns of dangers of anti-vaccine movement

Mar 6, 2019

By Lena H. Sun

A Senate panel warned lawmakers Tuesday about the dangers of false information about vaccines and called for a national campaign, similar to the one against smoking, to counter the public health threat posed by anti-vaccine groups.

Virtually all the witnesses and members of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which held the hearing, endorsed the safety and importance of vaccines. But one senator, Rand Paul, (R-Ky.), struck a defiant note.

Even though Paul said he and his children had been vaccinated because the benefits greatly outweigh the risks, he asked whether it was appropriate for the government to require people to be vaccinated against certain diseases.

“I do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security,” he said, prompting applause from the anti-vaccine activists in the hearing room.

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