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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2009
Issue number 778: February 6, 2009
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Contents of this Issue
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  1. Federal immunization funding in jeopardy--Call Today (Friday, Feb. 6)!
 
Abbreviations
AAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians; AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics; ACIP, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; AMA, American Medical Association; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; FDA, Food and Drug Administration; IAC, Immunization Action Coalition; MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; NCIRD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; NIVS, National Influenza Vaccine Summit; VIS, Vaccine Information Statement; VPD, vaccine-preventable disease; WHO, World Health Organization.
  
Issue 778: February 6, 2009
1.  Federal immunization funding in jeopardy--Call Today (Friday, Feb. 6)!

No government funds have been used to produce this article.

Dear Friends,

Last week, the House of Representatives passed an economic stimulus bill that provided $954 million for immunization funding. The Senate version of this bill contains only $750 million for immunization, and it is expected that before today's vote on the bill, an amendment may be offered to eliminate all of this funding.

IMPORTANT: Please call your U.S. senators before the close of business today!

A contact list is below. Urge your senators to vote against this amendment.

Here are some points for you to convey:
  • Your senator should vote against an amendment that would eliminate $5.8 billion in funding for Prevention and Wellness activities, including $750 million for immunization, from the stimulus bill, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Such an amendment may be offered by Senator Ben Nelson and/or Senator Susan Collins.
     
  • The $750 million for immunization will save more than $3 billion in direct medical costs over a generation. It will provide vaccines to 430,000 children and 747,000 adolescents who are underinsured.
     
  • 300 children still die every year in the United States from vaccine-preventable diseases. Another 33,000 Americans of all ages would die of these diseases every year if not for our routine immunization programs.
     
  • This is no one's pet pork barrel project. Our national immunization safety net has become frayed after years of insufficient funding, and this bill is our chance to patch it up to prevent future costs, illnesses, and deaths.

It is especially urgent that you call if you live in one of the following states:

ALASKA Mark Begich 202-224-3004
ALASKA Lisa Murkowski 202-224-6665
ARKANSAS Blanche Lincoln 202-224-4843
COLORADO Michael Bennet 202-224-5852
COLORADO Mark Udall 202-224-5941
CONNECTICUT Joe Lieberman 202-224-4041
DELAWARE Thomas Carper 202-224-2441
FLORIDA Mel Martinez 202-224-3041
INDIANA Evan Bayh 202-224-5623
LOUISIANA Mary Landrieu 202-224-5824
MAINE Susan Collins 202-224-2523
MINNESOTA Amy Klobuchar 202-224-3244
MISSOURI Claire McCaskill 202-224-6154
MONTANA Jon Tester 202-224-2644
NEBRASKA Ben Nelson 202-224-6551
NORTH DAKOTA Kent Conrad 202-224-2043
NEW HAMPSHIRE Jeanne Shaheen 202-224-2841
OHIO George Voinovich 202-224-3353
PENNSYLVANIA Arlen Specter 202-224-4254
VIRGINIA Mark Warner 202-224-2023
VIRGINIA Jim Webb 202-224-4024

For senators not listed here, you can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to that senator's office. It is better to call Capitol offices than local offices. Senators are also listed at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
 
Phone calls are best, but if you can't get through, you can also send an email using the web forms available when you click on the URL immediately above.


WHEN YOU CALL:

Ask to speak to a staff member who works on Health and Human Services appropriations. Tell that person your professional affiliation and briefly describe the work you do on immunization. Ask for the immunization funding to stay in the stimulus bill. Senators take seriously the opinions of constituents who take the time to call!

You may want to mention how much of the $750 million in immunization funding your state stands to receive. (The funding is under Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act.) Here is a table of estimates:

Alabama $10,262,803
Alaska $7,597,030
Arizona $13,652,877
Arkansas $6,292,087
California $77,940,678
Colorado $11,601,344
Connecticut $8,501,972
Delaware $2,023,111
DC $3,272,437
Florida $35,422,711
Georgia $23,371,461
Hawaii $4,122,506
Idaho $6,252,831
Illinois $9,465,077
Indiana $10,008,624
Iowa $7,181,844
Kansas $7,012,212
Kentucky $6,006,403
Louisiana $9,820,400
Maine $5,552,733
Maryland $9,262,592
Massachusetts $16,534,933
Michigan $26,953,732
Minnesota $11,669,535
Mississippi $6,581,409
Missouri $10,043,416
Montana $1,924,781
Nebraska $4,908,803
Nevada $6,251,216
New Hampshire $3,649,908
New Jersey $11,377,966
New Mexico $5,464,472
New York $18,329,583
North Carolina $14,467,046
North Dakota $3,153,943
Ohio $24,877,631
Oklahoma $6,420,957
Oregon $8,450,113
Pennsylvania $17,283,855
Rhode Island $3,433,657
South Carolina $9,826,736
South Dakota $3,958,364
Tennessee $7,698,247
Texas $43,071,209
Utah $6,468,506
Vermont $4,375,871
Virginia $17,404,085
Washington $14,328,274
West Virginia $4,829,204
Wisconsin $17,418,083
   
Chicago $9,604,127
Houston $3,164,730
New York City $21,224,594
Philadelphia $3,768,109
San Antonio $4,025,024
Puerto Rico $7,710,545

IAC thanks the 317 Coalition for monitoring this developing situation. The 317 Coalition is a national network of organizations that advocates for increased federal funding for childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization programs. If your organization would like to become a member of the 317 Coalition, contact Amy Souders, Cornerstone Government Affairs, at asouders@cgagroup.com

For more information on the status of the amendment, visit http://www.317coalition.org and click on "Take Action."

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