Due to the growing concerns regarding vaccine safety, I have been working to address these concerns.
The country’s vaccine program has had a very positive impact on public health by preventing and reducing the outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases. Because of its many successes, the public has a great deal of trust in the government and its ability to preserve the safety of vaccines. This trust is critical to continuing progress in this area as we develop new vaccines and require new vaccines of the public. Without serious vaccine safety measures in place, we will find ourselves in a very precarious position. The current system for monitoring vaccine safety is inadequate and there is not enough coordination and not enough effort to investigate the biological mechanisms underlying vaccine-related adverse events. The Vaccine Safety and Public Confidence Assurance Act of 2007 works to increase public confidence in vaccines by:
- Creating a new, independent agency of vaccine safety that reports directly to the Secretary of Health and Human Services;
- Establishing a scientific review panel, similar to NIH’s study sections, to evaluate the scientific merits of investigator initiated research;
- Establishing a balanced 18 Member Advisory Committee to formulate a safety research agenda and to prioritize research approved by the scientific study group.