DeGette had asked the Committee on Energy and Commerce to hold a meeting on the issue after a measles outbreak centered in California sickened more than 100.
"For the 42 patients for whom vaccination status is known, 34 were unvaccinated and three received partial vaccinations," DeGette co-wrote in a letter to the committee. "Public health officials have emphasized that vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent measles."
The Disneyland outbreak, and statements questioning the safety and necessity of vaccines from prominent Republican politicians like Chris Christie and Rand Paul, have prompted other politicians, lawmakers and public health officials to re-assert the need for vaccinations.
"There is no credible evidence" to support the claim that vaccines cause autism in children, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania, said at Tuesday's hearing.
Tommy Thompson, who served as secretary of health and human services in the George W. Bush White House, and three terms as Wisconsin's governor, told the Wall Street Journal today that vaccine worries and related political posturing are wrong:
“Scientifically we have proven all the accusations, all the misconceptions, are wrong,” he said. “If you’re interested in public health, you’ve got to be for vaccinations and vaccinating your children. There’s no equivocation whatsoever.”
The measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in December has since spread to other states, Mashable reports:
Health officials believe an international traveler brought measles to Disneyland, but the outbreak has led many to point the finger at parents who choose not to vaccinate their children because they believe it causes autism, a scientifically disputed claim. Two doses of the measles vaccine, known as MMR, are 99% effective in preventing illness, although one must be at least a year old for the first dose.