Issue Number 76            May 14, 1999



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Dear Advocate of Hepatitis B Vaccine:

Urgent! We need your help.

The safety of hepatitis B vaccine is once again being questioned by organized anti-hepatitis B vaccine groups.

On Tuesday, May 18, 1999, at 10 a.m. (EST) there will be a congressional hearing before the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Committee, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Reform, to discuss the safety of the hepatitis B vaccine. The hearing will be held in room 2247 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515.

Several parents and other persons will give testimony at the hearing who claim injuries or death due to hepatitis B vaccine. Several scientists will also provide testimony. According to a press release from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a group formerly known as Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT), their members are "working with the subcommittee to provide hepatitis B vaccine victims with a forum."

Harold S. Margolis, MD, Chief of the Hepatitis Branch of CDC, and Susan Ellenberg, PhD, Director of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, FDA, will provide the subcommittee members with expert testimony on the safety and other aspects of hepatitis B vaccine.

Here's what YOU can do. Contact members of the subcommittee (listed below) regarding your position on hepatitis B vaccine use or safety or the importance of providing this vaccination to infants, children, and teenagers to prevent people from this potentially life-threatening illness.

Please fax, write, or call any or all of them.

These subcommittee members need information that will provide balance to the stories of those who report that they or their children have had adverse reactions to the vaccine. If you have information about hepatitis B-infected children, case reports describing how serious this disease can be, the lack of effective treatment modalities, or descriptions of people who suffered or are suffering from chronic hepatitis B infection, your voice is needed.

Please act today.

Deborah L. Wexler, MD
Executive Director
Immunization Action Coalition


All individuals listed below can be contacted at:

Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee
Committee on Government Reform
United States House of Representatives
B-373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2577

Congressperson, Phone, Fax

1. Representative John Mica *, tel. 225-4035, fx. 226-0821
2. Representative Bob Barr **, tel. 225-2931, fx. 225-2944
3. Representative Benjamin Gilman, tel. 225-3776, fx. 225-2541
4. Representative Christopher Shays, tel. 225-5541, fx. 225-5879
5. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, tel. 225-3931, fx. 225-5620
6. Representative Mark Souder, tel. 225-4436, fx. 225-3479
7. Representative Steve LaTourette, tel. 225-5731, fx. 225-3307
8. Representative Asa Hutchinson, tel. 225-4301, fx. 225-5713
9. Representative Doug Ose, tel. 225-5716, fx. 225-1298
10. Representative Patsy Mink ***, tel. 225-4906, fx. 225-4987
11. Representative Edolphus Towns, tel. 225-5936, fx. 225-1018
12. Representative Elijah Cummings, tel. 225-4741, fx. 225-3178
13. Representative Dennis Kucinich, tel. 225-5871, fx. 225-5745
14. Representative Rod Blagojevich tel. 225-4061, fx. 225-5603
15. Representative John Tierney, tel. 225-8020, fx. 225-5915
16. Representative Jim Turner, tel. 225-2401, fx. 225-5955

* Chairman
** Vice Chairman
*** Ranking Member

All phone/fax numbers have area code 202.

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