February 4, 2015

NM delegation backs vaccinations for children


138710943_webWith a resurgence of measles in a number of states there are heightened concerns over the increase in unvaccinated children.

Some politicians have found themselves involved in the controversy by backing a discredited idea that vaccinations cause autism.

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have each walked back statements on the issue this week.

New Mexico’s congressional delegation each backed immunization of children in statements to New Mexico Political Report.

“When it comes to public health, I follow science and the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control. I support New Mexico’s child vaccine requirements,” Sen. Tom Udall said. “Science has proven that vaccines are the most effective way to stop the spread of preventable, potentially fatal diseases, including whooping cough, mumps and measles.”

Sen. Martin Heinrich was similarly unequivocal in his support.

“When it comes to vaccinations, trust in science not rumor,” Heinrich said. “I encourage all New Mexicans to take responsibility and vaccinate their children. I do.”

The office of Michelle Lujan Grisham said she is a “strong proponent of requiring vaccinations” and pointed out that she is a former New Mexico Secretary of Health.

“The Congresswoman is equally vigilant about requiring safe vaccinations and ensuring good practices,” Lujan Grisham spokesman Gilbert GAllegos said in an email. “She is concerned that the federal government is not investing enough to research the causes of these diseases, which leads to fear-based decisions about vaccinations.”

When asked if he believes that vaccines such as those for measles and polio are safe and that states should require them with an exemption for rare health issues, Pearce responded simply, “Yes.”

“The science regarding vaccines is clear,” Ben Ray Lujan said. “Children should be vaccinated to protect against diseases. It is critically important to the health of all children.”

Pearce is the lone Republican in the New Mexico delegation. All other members of the delegation are Democrats.