Houston Chronicle Opinion: Dr. Melanie Mouzoon & Rekha Lakshmanan's Pro-Vaccine Letter
For two decades, public health officials in Texas have warned of the growing possibility of a global pandemic. More often than not, the Texas Legislature and our statewide elected officials have ignored these warnings. Lawmakers cut funding for local and state public health infrastructure across Texas. Politicians relented to anti-vaccine and anti-science activists.
Now, policymakers at the Texas legislature and in cities and counties across our state are scrambling to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Budget cuts and anti-science policies have left Texas unnecessarily vulnerable. During and after this emergency response, government can implement specific policies to reduce death, mitigate catastrophic economic collapse, and protect our hospitals’ capacity to care for and treat our neighbors.
The Immunization Partnership and its Scientific Advisory Council, which includes frontline doctors and some of the world’s leading researchers, has recommendations about how to respond to the current crisis and plan for the future. Texas can act now to lessen the immediate impact of the disease and prepare for the efficient distribution of future vaccines against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.