Managing Editor's Note: This is the companion post to Rebecca Estepp's post on Senator McCain's response to her request for a response on vaccine safety.
From: Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 6:35 PM
Subject: <no subject>
Sorry to send these to you so late, but I have been traveling and this is the first open window.
1) With regard to question number one as to whether or not Senator McCain will issue an Executive Order banning the use of thimerosal in vaccines for children and pregnant women:
In July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure. Concerns about the use of thimerosal in vaccines and other products have been raised, and because of these concerns, the Food and Drug Administration has worked with, and continues to work with, vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal from vaccines. If elected, Senator McCain will work with all Public Health Service agencies to ensure that we take all necessary steps in an expedient manner to ensure safe vaccines for every American family.
2) With regard to question number two as it relates to the current schedule:
John McCain believes the key to health care reform is to restore control to the patients themselves. Families should be in charge of their health care…and have more control over care. In light of this, John McCain believes in the right for individuals and in the case of children, parents, to make informed health care decisions, and does not support pre-empting these prerogatives.
John McCain is very concerned about the rising incidence of autism among America's children and has continually supported research into its causes and treatment. He has heard countless stories about families' hardships in obtaining a diagnosis for their child's autism, accessing quality medical treatment, and receiving appropriate education services.
John McCain was proud to support the Combating Autism Act of 2006, which he cosponsored, and worked to ensure its enactment into law. This Act is helping to increase public awareness and screening of autism spectrum disorder and promote the use of evidence-based interventions. It also created autism Centers of Excellence for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research and Epidemiology.
John McCain understands that despite the scientific research efforts to date, the exact causes of autism are not yet known and greater research to understand this disorder is needed. That is why in November 2007, he joined with Senator Lieberman in requesting the leadership of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal research into autism, to hold a hearing on federal research efforts regarding factors affecting incidence and treatment in order to help determine where research efforts can best be directed. As president, John McCain will work to advance federal research into autism, promote early screening, and identify better treatment options, while ensuring the appropriate support and resources for children with autism and their families are available so that they may reach their full potential.
John McCain believes in government transparency and the importance of public confidence, and to that end, John McCain will pursue necessary reform to ensure safe vaccines for every American family.
Senior Policy Advisor
John McCain 2008