Metro Health's Dr. Alex Jahangir: Let science, not politics 'drive decisions' on vaccine outreach

Posted at 10:48 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 14:41:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville's coronavirus task force chair is speaking out about the importance of getting children vaccinated after NewsChannel 5 Investigates obtained an email revealing that Gov. Bill Lee's administration told state health officials not to promote immunizations of any kind as kids return to school.

Dr. Alex Jahangir spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper on the importance of all vaccines for children. He also gave his thoughts on state officials calling to stop promoting vaccines.

It’s important to note the Metro Nashville Health Department is independent from the state health department, so they’re still promoting all vaccines ahead of school.

Dr. Jahangir says he is worried as a physician that Gov. Lee’s administration would tell anyone to stop outreach about all vaccines.

He said the science shows vaccines work and the immunization program we have in place works and thinks politicizing vaccinations can truly have a negative impact on Tennesseans and around the county.

“The best way to save millions of Tennesseans is to encourage vaccinations, to make it easy, and not buy into any rhetoric that vaccinations are problematic or there's anything bad about them. I think the politicization of vaccinations can truly have a really negative impact on Tennesseans and people around the U.S., ” said Jahangir. “So yes, I am concerned as a physician and as somebody who leads a local health department here in Tennessee.”

Dr. Jahangir said the state should let science drive important decisions to make sure children grown up healthy.

Related stories:

Tennessee vaccine official says she was sent muzzle one week before firing

Email: Tennessee health officials ordered not to promote Immunization Awareness Month

Tennessee's top vaccination official fired after she came under scrutiny for mature minor doctrine