Health Equity

Being a physician in the District in the 21st century means being on the front line of the most pressing public health issues in the world. In our small geographic boundaries, physicians help address issue found in every state all in one area. The issues are too lengthy to list on one webpage but physicians are on the front lines of addressing health issues for all District residents.

News, MSDC Statements, and MSDC Testimony on Health Equity Issues


U.S. Vaccines Safe, Say 20 Years of Data

Jul 28, 2020, 08:23 AM by MSDC Staff
Vaccines are one of the safest medical treatments in the U.S., according to new research.


An Israeli study published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that U.S. vaccines are safe.

"Our study shows that even if a potential vaccine has a rare or long-term side effect that isn't discovered in clinical trials, the surveillance program is in place to identify those issues as soon as possible," said the study's lead author, Dr. Daniel Shepshelovich, vice head of internal medicine at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, according to NBC News.

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Researchers used data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS database) to analyze the safety of vaccines. Looking at reported data between 1995 and 2015, researchers found that most vaccines were safe and even post-vaccine approval issues were quickly identified by drug surveillance. The study's authors go so far to say that vaccines are actually safer than other medicines and medical devices.

The study comes as surveys show widespread distrust about a potential novel coronavirus vaccine. An AP-NORC poll in late May showed only half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine. A recent Yahoo News poll showed 28% of those polled believed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation planned to distribute a vaccine to implant microchips into the population. This is also on top of a vocal minority of the population trying to incorrectly blame vaccines for a variety of medical ailments.

Sample of Health Equity Legislation MSDC is Tracking

(See the whole list of bills here

Student Access to Treatment Amendment Act (B23-467)

What does it say? The bill allows for the administration of medicinal marijuana in schools as well as allows students to bring sunscreen to schools and apply it without a prescription.

MSDC position: MSDC supports the language permitting sunscreen application in schools

Current status: A win for DC physicians and public health! The legislation passed the Council in February and awaits the mayor's signature. Previous temporary and emergency legislation permitted students to use sunscreen at schools this school year already.

Electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment Registry Amendment Act (B23-261)

What does it say? The bill requires DC Health to establish an electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment registry (eMOST).

MSDC position: MSDC supports this legislation to more easily allow patients to make their treatment orders known.

Current status: A win for the physician community and our patients! The Council passed the bill in December and the Mayor signed it into law on January 16, 2020.

Healthy Beverage Choices Amendment Act (B23-495)

What does it say? The bill would implement a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on the distribution of "sugary" beverages. The money collected from the tax would establish a Healthy People, Healthy Places Open Spaces Grant Program.

MSDC position: MSDC sent a letter to Council Chair Mendelson asking for a hearing to discuss all of the issues around a beverage tax.

Current status: The bill was introduced October 8, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Business and Economic Development and the Committee of the Whole.