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253 June 18, 2001
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
- Urge your senators to join their senate colleagues in
signing the letter to support adequate funding for CDC'S National Immunization Program
- Urge your senators to support the amendment to ensure
health plan coverage of all ACIP-recommended childhood and adolescent immunizations
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June 18, 2001
URGE YOUR SENATORS TO JOIN THEIR SENATE COLLEAGUES BY SIGNING THE LETTER TO SUPPORT ADEQUATE FUNDING FOR CDC'S
NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM
You can make a difference in ensuring that the U.S. immunization system is adequately funded next year. Call,
write, or email your senators by the end of June and ask them to join their U.S. Senate colleagues in signing the
letter below. This effort by Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike can
help ensure the continued success of nationwide immunization activities in fighting vaccine-preventable diseases. Be sure to forward this issue of IAC
EXPRESS to your friends and colleagues and urge them to contact their senators as well.
Last year, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report titled "Calling the Shots"
warned about the destabilizing effects of dwindling federal funding for immunization programs at
the state and local level. According to IOM and other public health experts, additional federal resources are needed to
ensure that state and local programs have adequate funding to purchase vaccines
and reduce the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.
You can help by urging your senators to sign the following letter to the Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations,
urging support for increased funding for immunization delivery and vaccine purchase grants. This letter was
written by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), James Jeffords (I-VT), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL),
and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX). These senators are currently in the process of gathering
signatures from additional senators who support this important funding initiative.
Urge your senators to contact Lisa German of Senator Reed's staff at (202) 224-4642 or Chia Chia Chang of Senator
Jefford's staff at (202) 224-6770 to sign onto the letter or obtain more information. The full text of the letter
To the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human
Services, and Education:
As you consider the fiscal year 2001 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, we ask for your continued leadership
and support for adequate funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) national
immunization program. Specifically, we would request a total of $214 million
for immunization delivery (operations/infrastructure) and $293 million for state
vaccine purchase grants.
Last year, Congress took initial steps to address the instability in the Section
317 immunization program by providing half of the funding increases recommended in the
Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, "Calling the Shots," for state infrastructure grants. States use these funds to
conduct outreach and education of parents and providers about new vaccines, develop and
implement state-based immunization registries and develop initiatives to reach
children in medically underserved areas. The IOM estimates that a minimum of $214 million is necessary to restore state
infrastructure grants to 1998 levels. This would require $32.5 million above the President's budget request.
States are also grappling with recent dramatic increases in vaccine purchase
costs. CDC vaccine purchase grants enable states to buy vaccines for disadvantaged children in a
timely manner and to avoid missed opportunities when no other coverage is available to support immunization
services. Today, the cost to fully immunize a child, at federally negotiated discount prices, is
$384.74, with almost half of that cost resulting from the newly recommended pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
PCV is a revolutionary new vaccine that prevents a serious, sometimes deadly, strain of bacteria known to cause
bacterial meningitis, blood infection, pneumonia as well as inner infection of the ear in children. It has been
estimated that pneumococcal-related diseases cost this nation $1.5 billion a
year. To help states keep up with escalating vaccine purchase costs, we recommend that $79
million more than the President's request be allocated for vaccine purchase.
We hope we can count on your continued support for additional investments in our national immunization program.
Indeed, these funds are central to our ongoing campaign to advance the health of our nation by protecting our
citizens from the ravages of vaccine-preventable disease. Last year we made a significant downpayment. We look forward to
working with you again this year to get the job done.
United States Senator (D-RI)
United States Senator (I-VT)
United States Senator (D-IL)
Kay Bailey Hutchinson
United States Senator (R-TX)
United States Senator (D-NM)
United States Senator (R-RI)
United States Senator (D-MD)
United States Senator (D-WA)
United States Senator (D-AR)
United States Senator (D-MA)
Let your U.S. senators know how you feel about the importance of increasing immunization funding. Telephone,
write, or email your senators and urge them to sign this letter and support this initiative.
Visit the U.S. Senate website: http://www.senate.gov to find
your senators and their contact information, or call the United States Capitol switchboard at
(202) 224-3121 and an operator will connect you directly with the Senate office
Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDS) also has a website that can
link you with your senators. Go to: http://capwiz.com/pkids/dbq/officials/ and
search by your state or ZIP code.
To order the IOM report "Calling the Shots," or read it free online, visit the
National Academy of Science website at: http://books.nap.edu/catalog/9836.html
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June 18, 2001
URGE YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT THE AMENDMENT TO ENSURE HEALTH PLAN COVERAGE OF ALL RECOMMENDED CHILDHOOD AND
This week Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and others plan to offer an immunization amendment to
S. 1052, the Bipartisan Patient Protection Act of 2001. The amendment would require all health plans, including
self-insured employee benefit plans, to cover without co-payments or deductibles all of the immunizations for
children and adolescents recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Please urge your senators to support this important amendment. For more information or to obtain a copy of the amendment, please
contact Kelly O'Brien of Senator Durbin's office at (202) 224-5610.
In addition, if you know of someone with a private insurance plan who was unable to get vaccinated due to cost issues
(i.e., could not afford the deductible or co-payment) or whose insurance plan did not cover one of the
ACIP-recommended vaccines, Senator Durbin's office needs to hear about it! Please send your story to
Senator Durbin plans to talk about this issue this week (June 18-21) and is looking for real-life stories that
illustrate cases of children who were unable to get vaccinated because of barriers due to deductibles and co-payments or if
their insurance plans did not cover an ACIP-recommended vaccine.