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Experts to Congress: Uptick in preventable outbreaks 'alarming,' needs more funding to address

March 06, 2019 / Tina Reed

What's one of the best times to convince a parent to vaccinate their child? It just might be before their baby is born, Saad Omer, MBBS, MPH, Ph.D., a professor in the Emory Vaccine Center, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday. "There’s evidence to suggest a lot of parents are making their decision around vaccines before the baby is born," Omer said. "After the baby is born, it’s like fast-moving train and parents go through this extended jet lag." His primary message: They need to prioritize funding not only in vaccine science but also in understanding the best way to communicate with the public around vaccines. He was testifying as part of an expert panel—which included an 18-year-old who garnered national attention recently for getting vaccinated against his parents' wishes—that raised alarms about the impact of misleading information on vaccine rates and resulting upticks in outbreaks of preventable diseases.