PA-18: Congressman Murphy to Convene Hearing on Flu Vaccine, Measles Outbreak
Representative Tim Murphy, Oversight Subcommittee Chairman, will begin a hearing tomorrow on vaccine effectiveness in the midst of a particularly severe flu season. The hearing will also tackle the issue of measles in light of the recent outbreak.
Murphy will be joined at the hearing by representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and National Institutes of Health.
“Too many children and young adults are not getting a safe vaccine that works to prevent measles while the broader population is being vaccinated with a dose this season that marginally protects against the flu,” Rep. Murphy said. “Federal agencies are facing a significant challenge in vaccine development and education that must be addressed in the interest of public health.”
According to the CDC, there have been at least 100 confirmed measles cases since December. Due to falling rates in vaccination, the disease has been making a comeback after being essentially eliminated 15 years ago.
The flu vaccine will also be discussed after this season’s vaccine has proven abnormally ineffective. The typical rate of effectiveness for the flu vaccine in a normal year is 50%-60%; for the 2014-2015 season, however, the effectiveness stands at only 23%.
The hearing may be viewed online with other information available here.