That vaccine safety panel that President Donald Trump was talking about before he took office—the one that drew concern from public health officials and others—may have dropped off the White House’s radar.
Vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who made headlines about a planned vaccine panel when he met with Trump back in January, said in an interview there’s been no further discussion about the idea. In an interview, Kennedy told STAT it's been months since he talked with White House officials about heading up the panel and it may no longer be under consideration.
The idea of a panel was met with alarm by scientists and vaccine proponents who worried it could cause people to refuse protective immunizations and lead to epidemics of contagious diseases that should be under control.
Kennedy did say he has met with top Trump administration officials to talk about vaccine safety in the last few months, including officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.
Trump, who questioned the safety and timing of vaccines during his campaign, also drew ire from the medical community when in April he dismissed U.S. Surgeon Vivek H. Murthy, who was vocal in his support for the value of childhood vaccines.
However, the Trump administration has since named several health officials who have strongly championed vaccines, including FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald and Jerome Adams, who replaced Murthy as surgeon general.