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Issue Number 100
July 23, 1999
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
- Important broadcast this afternoon!
NPR to air one-hour radio program on pediatric vaccines
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July 23, 1999
IMPORTANT BROADCAST THIS AFTERNOON! NPR TO AIR ONE-HOUR RADIO PROGRAM ON PEDIATRIC
A one-hour radio program on pediatric vaccines will be broadcast today, July 23, 1999, on
National Public Radio (NPR) starting at 2:00 pm (ET). Featured guests will be Louis
Cooper, MD, Director, New York Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Barbara
Fisher, President and Co-Founder, National Vaccine Information Center. The program is part
of the "Talk of the Nation: Science Friday" weekly series. The following
information accompanied an announcement of the broadcast on the "Science Friday"
website at: http://www.sciencefriday.com
THIS WEEK ON SCIENCE FRIDAY...
July 23, 1999
Hour One: Pediatric Vaccines
"As parents of school-age children know well, most states require that children be
vaccinated against a host of diseases before enrolling in school. Most school-age children
are painfully aware of the requirements as well -- because multiple doses of various
vaccines means a lot of shots. But not everyone thinks the mandatory vaccination policies
are a good idea. Some parents and doctors are questioning the vaccine requirements, saying
that they believe the vaccination program could be putting their children's health
"Vaccine requirements are regulated at the
state level, generally following guidelines made by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Vaccines for diseases such as measles,
mumps, rubella, tetanus, and polio are commonly required -- but some states require other
vaccines as well.
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics
recommended that physicians temporarily suspend use of a vaccine for rotavirus, the most
common cause of diarrhea in children and infants, after the CDC reported that the vaccine
could be responsible for a type of bowel obstruction. Some parents are also concerned
about the widespread use of Hepatitis B vaccine, claiming that the vaccine may cause a
variety of serious symptoms -- even death. Other advocates of restraint are
concerned about additives used in some vaccines as stabilizers. One, called thimerosal,
has received the bulk of the attention. Officials at the CDC and FDA, however, respond
that pediatric vaccines are both safe and effective.
"What are the risks of mandatory vaccination programs - and do the benefits to public
health outweigh those risks? And who should decide: parents, physicians, or politicians?
Join guest host Paul Raeburn to talk about it during this hour of Science Friday.
"....A note to our listeners: News is always breaking in the scientific community,
and Science Friday tries to be as up-to-date as possible. For that reason, these listings
are tentative, and subject to change. We will make every effort to keep listings complete
and current -- check back often!"
Listeners can call in during the broadcast and contribute to the discussion by dialing:
1-800-989-8255 (1-800-989-TALK). This toll-free line is active only on Fridays and may
require multiple attempts as there are only a limited number of phone lines.
If you have questions, comments, suggestions about the radio show, send an e-mail to
Science Friday at: firstname.lastname@example.org or
To order a transcript or audio tape of the broadcast (by U.S. mail, cost is $18.70 for a
one-hour transcript, $23.70 for a one-hour audio tape), call 1-877-677-8398
(1-800-NPR-TEXT), or go to NPR's "Tapes and Transcripts" website at: http://www.npr.org/inside/transcripts/order.html
Individuals outside of the United States who would like to order tapes or transcripts
should call: (801) 374-1022.