A Tennessee lawmaker who recently questioned the effectiveness of vaccines has received backlash — and even prompting a state department to weigh in.
The Tennessee Department of Health issued an unusually blunt, three-line statement late Thursday.
"Vaccines do not cause autism.
"Vaccines save lives.
"The Tennessee Department of Health welcomes discussion with Tennessee clinicians and scientists who would like to examine the evidence on this topic."
The comment came after Congressman-elect Mark Green, of Clarksville, told constituents this week that there might be a link between vaccines and autism. Green, who is also a doctor, says he wants the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide "real data" on the issue.
Video of the comments, which were made at a town hall meeting, were posted by The Tennessean. News outlets nationwide have picked up on the controversy.
In Tennessee, the state’s Health Department wasn’t the only one to weigh in. Without naming names, Sen. Lamar Alexander also tweeted on Thursday his support for vaccines.
Vaccines take deadly, awful, ravaging diseases from horror to history.
Vaccines save lives. pic.twitter.com/kewCNQTslM
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) December 13, 2018
Green has since walked back his comments, telling The Tennessean that he thinks parents should still immunize their children.
The CDC has said multiple times that there’s no link between vaccines and autism.