August 1, 2003
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
- If your workplace benefits from a health
department immunization program, please contact your senators soon about
the need for increased funding
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August 1, 2003
IF YOUR WORKPLACE BENEFITS FROM A HEALTH DEPARTMENT IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM,
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS SOON ABOUT THE NEED FOR INCREASED FUNDING
If you work in one of the many public or private clinics across the country
that receives free vaccine, technical assistance, print materials, or other
help from your state/local health department or that participates in a
publicly funded immunization registry, please phone, fax, or meet with your
U.S. senators during the Senate's August recess (August 4-September 2) and
make a strong case for increasing federal funding for immunization.
Why? The Senate will be voting soon after Labor Day on immunization
appropriations for fiscal year 2004, and you are in a position to influence
WHY YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED
The July issue of "On the Hill," the electronic newsletter of Every Child By
Two (ECBT), succinctly explains the current federal legislative situation
and the importance of increased federal dollars that will benefit
immunization on every level--state, local, and in private practice.
Following is an article, "Immunization Appropriations For Fiscal Year 2004"
from the July issue, reprinted with the kind permission of the editorial
staff of "On the Hill."
[IAC Editors' Note: When the July issue was published, it looked like the
Senate would be voting on immunization funding before the August recess.
Since that did not happen, the editors of "IAC EXPRESS" have inserted more
current information into the following article; the new information is
enclosed in brackets.]
FROM "ON THE HILL," JULY 2003:
Immunization Appropriations For Fiscal Year 2004
On July 10 the House passed the Labor, Health and Human Services and
Education appropriations bill that funds NIP. The House appropriated the
same amount, $651,586,000, as last year. The Senate Appropriations Committee
has approved its bill, which includes a slight increase to $655,686,000, but
the Senate has not yet taken the bill to the floor. THERE IS STILL TIME TO
IMPACT THE SENATE BILL. The Senate plans to vote on S. 1356 [soon after
Labor Day]. At this writing ECBT encourages you to [meet with, phone, or fax
your two senators in the very near future], briefly explaining why your
state needs more money for its immunization program.
To access the entire July issue from the ECBT website, go to:
SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR YOUR PHONE CALL, FAX, OR MEETING
The previous (May/June) issue of "On the Hill" presented suggestions you can
use in speaking with your senators or their aides about immunization funding
or in writing a letter to fax to them. It is reprinted with permission of
the editorial staff of "On the Hill."
FROM "ON THE HILL," MAY/JUNE 2003:
- Vaccine shortages have ended. Therefore
there will be a greater demand at clinics that administer 317-purchased
vaccines. [IAC Editors' Note: For an explanation of the difference between
317 funding and Vaccines For Children (VFC) funding, please see "The 317
Program in Context," published in the July issue of "On the Hill" at
http://www.ecbt.org/new0703.html Note that though the article says
the 317 grant is used (1) for the state immunization program's operations
and infrastructure and (2) for purchasing non-VFC vaccines for use at
public health clinics, it is also used to purchase vaccines designated for
special state-authorized programs.]
- This year flu vaccine was added to
the Recommended Schedule for certain pediatric populations.
- Clinics are asked to administer adult
immunizations but are not funded to purchase vaccines for needy adults.
- Immunization prevents illness which not
only causes suffering but costs money.
- The principal source of immunization
registry funding is the 317 grant, and your registry is at a point
(explain) where this money is desperately needed. Immunization registries,
when fully developed, provide accurate immunization records at much less
cost; prevent costly over-immunization; allow for easier disease
surveillance; inventory vaccine supply; generate reminders to patients
that immunizations are due; help providers monitor their own immunization
rates and help areas monitor their population's rates.
- Your state may be one of the 19 states
that last year was unable to purchase pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for
its clinics. Yet the vaccine is wildly popular because of the disease
burden it relieves. It prevents 50 percent of all bacterial meningitis, 85
percent of bacterial blood infections and 7,000,000 cases of ear
infections each year.
To access the entire May/June issue from the
ECBT website, go to:
HOW TO QUICKLY LOCATE YOUR SENATORS' TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
Using the Capitol Operator: You can call the United States Capitol Operator
(available 24 hours) at (202) 225-3121. The operator will connect you with a
senator's Washington office. If you don't know your senators' names, just
tell the operator your state, and he or she will tell you who your senators
are and connect you with one of them. The operator does not have senators'
fax numbers; you can get the fax number from the person who answers your
Using the Web: Alternatively, you can get the office phone or fax number of
any senator from the U.S. Senate web page by going to
If you know a senator's name, click on the "Choose a Senator" button, and
scroll down to the name. You will be sent to the contact information for the
senator's office in Washington, DC (address, phone number, and link to the
senator's email or web form). If you need a fax number, click on the
senator's name. You will be sent to the senator's home page; search the page
for the fax number or click on a button labeled "contact me," "office
information," or something similar.
If you don't know a senator's name, click the "Choose a State" button, and
scroll down to your state. You will be sent to the contact information for
both your senators' offices in Washington, DC (addresses, phone
numbers, and links to the senators' email or web forms). If you need a fax
number, click on a senator's name. You will be sent to the senator's home
page; search the page for the fax number or click on a button labeled
"contact me," "office information," or something similar.