(Albany, NY) -- With more than 1,000 cases of the Measles confirmed across the U.S. and at least 924 of those cases in New York State alone, Senator Carlucci championed legislation (S.5136-B) through the New York State Senate to counter the spread of misinformation about vaccines.
The legislation calls for a state funded vaccine awareness campaign, and requires the New York State Health Department work with an outside contractor to develop the campaign, which can include social media outreach, public service announcements, and written materials. The awareness campaign would be funded through a check-off box on a personal income tax form so people can charitably give to the initiative.
Senator David Carlucci said: "Vaccines save lives. We cannot allow misinformation based on junk science to fuel anti-vaccine sentiment. This is why the State must develop a long term vaccine awareness campaign to educate low vaccination communities before outbreaks like this happen. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for taking action and passing this bill.”
The recent measles outbreaks across New York State have raised concerns about the need to educate New York residents on the importance of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and dispel common myths surrounding immunizations. In low vaccination communities in New York, we have seen anti-vaccine propaganda such as magazines and pamphlets claiming vaccines are in opposition of Jewish law, that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism, and that children have been irreversibly harmed by vaccines. All these myths are false and have been debunked by science and medical professionals.
However, the overwhelming majority of the confirmed measles cases had not received the measles vaccine, suggesting more outreach like an awareness campaign is needed.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) sponsors the corresponding legislation (A.7451) in the Assembly.