Issue Number 100            July 23, 1999


  1. Important broadcast this afternoon! NPR to air one-hour radio program on pediatric vaccines


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July 23, 1999

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:

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 at risk.

"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: or to:

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:

Individuals outside of the United States who would like to order tapes or transcripts should call: (801) 374-1022.

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IZ Express is supported in part by Grant No. 1NH23IP922654 from CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Its contents are solely the responsibility of and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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