Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, was invited by Representative Rosa DeLauro to brief the Congressional Baby Caucus on December 4, 2019, on the topic of vaccine hesitancy as a threat to infant health. Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) chairs the Caucus and holds regular briefings for interested members of Congress and their staff on topics relevant to child health and welfare. Dr. Buttenheim spoke about state vaccine exemption policy, the origins of parental vaccine hesitancy, and interventions to close the vaccine coverage gaps that are leading to increased vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
Rep. DeLauro was particularly interested in how Congress, through the appropriations process, can support research and innovation and strengthen immunization registries and other immunization information systems. Dr. Buttenheim concluded her remarks by thanking Rep. DeLauro for her support on this issue, and noting, “Our national herd immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases is a national asset that is worthy of protection.”
Dr. Buttenheim was joined by Jason L. Schwartz, from Yale, and Anna Sick-Samuels, from Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Buttenheim is Interim Director and Associate Director of CHIBE, and an Associate Professor of Nursing and Health Policy.