U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., speaks to a gathering outside HealthPoint Auburn North on Thursday afternoon. The Congresswoman talked about the importance of childhood immunizations. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter                                Rep. Kim Schrier spoke outside Auburn’s HealthPoint Auburn North on Aug. 22. Photo by The Auburn Reporter

U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., speaks to a gathering outside HealthPoint Auburn North on Thursday afternoon. The Congresswoman talked about the importance of childhood immunizations. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter Rep. Kim Schrier spoke outside Auburn’s HealthPoint Auburn North on Aug. 22. Photo by The Auburn Reporter

Immunize every child

Auburn is one of a dozen cities in King County that suffered a measles outbreak in this year.

No child should be left behind when it comes to immunizations.

Kim Schrier has made it one of her top priorities during her first six months in office.

The pediatrician-turned-U.S. Congresswoman carried the message to Auburn on Thursday, Aug. 22, where she urged families to get their kids vaccinated before school starts up again.

“Taking care of your kids and getting them immunized is one of the most important things you can do for them and the community,” Schrier told a gathering outside HealthPoint Auburn North, the nonprofit, community-supported health clinic that hosted the event.

“Who knew that as a pediatrician entered Congress we would have a measles outbreak, and that some of us who work in the medical field could have predicted that this was a ticking time bomb?” she said.

To date, Auburn is among a dozen confirmed-measles-cases-and-exposure locations in King County this year.

The number of measles cases in the United States has hit a 25-year high this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Schrier, a Democrat from Issaquah who represents the 8th District, introduced in May the VACCINES (Vaccine Awareness Campaign to Champion Immunization Nationally and Enhance Safety) Act, which will increase immunization rates throughout the country and prevent future outbreaks of contagious diseases like the measles.

The VACCINES Act is under review in the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee. Schrier is optimistic the bill will garner enough bipartisan support from the House and Senate to pass.

“It’s really hard right now to find bills that get support from both sides of the aisle,” said Schrier, the first pediatrician and only female physician in Congress. “The point is it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you want kids getting immunizations. You want facts out there, not hyperbole and misinformation, and we want a healthy population.”

The VACCINES Act recommends funding for the CDC to conduct surveillance research and run a national public messaging campaign.

Schrier stressed the importance of getting the message out to parents who may be hesitant or afraid to immunize their children. One way to do it, she said, is to have “a compelling story go toe to toe with the dramatic misinformation that is all over the Web.”

Anti-vaccination sentiment is out there, Schrier noted, carried by parents who have chosen not to immunize their children because of health concerns, or religious and philosophical reasons.

Schrier, the doctor, wants to inform the public and lay some of those fears to rest.

“When parents go online to type in MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), what they should see first is a story about how the MMR vaccine is saving lives,” Schrier said. “They should see a quick video of a 75-year-old doctor telling a story about when he held a child in his arms with measles and how relieved he is that it was a thing of the past.”

Schrier also took a moment to praise the work of the clinic.

“We value community health centers like HealthPoint,” she said. “(It’s) a safety net where people can come when they don’t have a primary care doctor, when they’re in between insurance, when they are on Medicaid and may not have a local provider who accepts it, when for whatever reason they can’t be insured. … This is really foundational and … represents the best in our country to recognize that we all benefit from a healthy, well-nourished, well-educated population.”

HealthPoint CEO Tom Trompeter noted that his center has been working closely in recent years with the community, with schools, and with other partners to address immunizations.

Last year at HealthPoint, the number of children under the age of 2 who were immunized was up by 11 percent over the previous year, Trompeter said.

During the measles outbreak earlier this year, HealthPoint worked with Public Health – Seattle & King County to provide MMR vaccinations to those in need at no cost.

“We’re proud of our work in immunizations and quality care,” Trompeter said, “and this really is an effort that requires partnerships.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Image courtesy the National Park Service
Mt. Rainier seeks public input on air tour plan

Park Service wants to formalize flight standards around the mountain.

Photo courtesy of King County
King County announces purchase agreement of Federal Way hotel

Hotel and two additional Seattle properties to become part of county’s Health Through Housing homelessness program.

File photo
Brief history of rats in the Puget Sound region – and the problem they present

Local exterminator noticed big change in rats over the past 40 years.

Sponsor of the motion to establish guidelines for the removal of encampments, Councilmember Reagan Dunn (courtesy of King County Council)
King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments

Still unclear what the standards will be, who will enforce it, and how jurisdictions will interact.

Mt. Rainier
Input sought regarding visitor use on Mount Rainier’s south side

Public can weigh in as National Park Service ponders visitor use at Nisqually-to-Paradise corridor.

The Enumclaw Youth Center, operated by the Y Social Impact Center in Enumclaw
Donations sought for kids heading back to school

Annual effort has started to provide back-to-school supplies to kids from low-income families.

Police lights
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | July 12 – July 22 |

DUIs, after-hours golfing and a found Labrador retriever

Andrew Bruce, instructor for Green River College's upcoming drone program, demonstrates the capabilities of one of his racing drones using a smartphone app outside the Enumclaw Green River campus. Photo by Alex Bruell
Drone racing, ethical hacking and more: Green River instructors want to train “cutting edge” students

Green River College in Enumclaw will offer new drone aviation, cybersecurity programs next year

Enumclaw’s Calvary Presbyterian Church
Church sets dates for VBS, invites all to ‘water walk’

Enumclaw’s Calvary Presbyterian Church sets dates for Vacation Bible School, community “water walk.”

Most Read