On CBS-Austin: ARC Responds to Texas Senate Vaccine Bill
April 24, 2019
In July 2015, in the midst of what was at the time one of the largest measles outbreaks seen in decades, Austin Regional Clinic strengthened its vaccine policy out of concern for the safety of all of patients entering ARC clinics, including vulnerable babies and those with compromised and fragile immune systems.
A bill introduced in the Texas Senate Tuesday threatens ARC’s ability to maintain this policy designed for the safety of all our patients. Dr. Mai Duong, ARC Chief of Pediatrics, spoke to KEYE (CBS-Austin).
“Children who are medically vulnerable are the ones who are going to end up with severe complications, and it could be devastating," Dr. Duong explained.
She goes on to explain that the aim of the ARC policy is to protect all patients, including young children and persons with compromised immune systems, who are unable to be vaccinated.
“It was a very very difficult decision for us to make, but we felt it was the right thing to do to protect all of the children who come through all of our clinics," Dr. Duong said.
In 2015, the U.S. reported 188 measles cases. This year, as of April 2019, there have been well over 600 cases of measles reported in 22 states. With nearly six months left of the year, more measles cases will likely occur, making 2019 the “worst year” for measles since the disease was designated “eliminated” in the year 2000.
The bill was left pending after Tuesday's meeting, and remains in committee. See the complete KEYE (CBS-Austin) interview.
Other comments made by Dr. Duong during her testimony were featured in Texas Medicine Today, the newsletter of the Texas Medical Association.