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Issue Number 79            May 20, 1999


  1. Send Congress your hepatitis B vaccine testimony


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May 20, 1999

The May 18th congressional hearing concerning hepatitis B vaccine is not over! At the hearing before the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Reform, subcommittee chair, Congressman John Mica, announced that the record will be held open for 30 days so that additional people may submit their testimonies.

Make your voice heard! Congress really needs to know just how much support there is for hepatitis B vaccine!

The expert government witnesses who provided testimony at the hearing on the safety and other aspects of hepatitis B vaccine were Harold S. Margolis, MD, chief of the Hepatitis Branch at CDC, and Susan S.Ellenberg, PhD, director of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, FDA.

Dr. Margolis made the following remarks in his opening statement:

"While I am here to offer expert testimony on hepatitis B vaccine, my scientific and public health expertise is broadened by my responsibilities as a parent and pediatrician. All perspectives lead me to the same conclusions: (1) that hepatitis B is a real and serious risk to infants and young children; (2) that we have a safe, effective, and proven vaccine for addressing that risk; and, (3) that as scientists, physicians, policy makers, and parents, it is our responsibility to protect  the current and future health of our children by broadly using this vaccine."

Dr. Margolis' complete testimony can be read on CDC's National Immunization Program website at:

As of this writing, Dr. Ellenberg's testimony is not yet available on the Internet.

Please submit your testimony before June 16th. Together we can send Congress a strong message that hepatitis B vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine that protects children and adults from a life-threatening illness. Some ideas for written testimony might include information you have about:

  1. hepatitis B-infected children
  2. case reports describing how serious this disease can be
  3. the lack of highly effective treatment modalities
  4. descriptions of people who suffered or are suffering from chronic hepatitis B infection

The message you send will help Congress understand the importance of hepatitis B vaccine. Please fax or mail your written testimony to any or ALL of the subcommittee members listed below. Some members can also be reached at their e-mail addresses, however, many members only make e-mail available to their constituents and may ask you to furnish a district and zip code for reference. No matter how you send it, make sure your testimony reaches its destination before June 16, 1999. Ask that it be included as part of the official record of the hearing.

All individuals listed below can be contacted at:

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

1. Representative John Mica* (R-FL) tel. 225-4035, fx. 226-0821,
2. Representative Bob Barr** (R-GA) tel. 225-2931, fx. 225-2944,
3. Representative Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) tel. 225-3776, fx. 225-2541,
4. Representative Christopher Shays (R-Conn) tel. 225-5541, fx. 225-5879,
5. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) tel. 225-3931, fx. 225-5620,
6. Representative Mark Souder (R-IN) tel. 225-4436, fx. 225-3479,
7. Representative Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) tel. 225-5731, fx. 225-3307,
8. Representative Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark) tel. 225-4301, fx. 225-5713,
9. Representative Doug Ose (R-Calif) tel. 225-5716, fx. 225-1298,
10. Representative Patsy Mink*** (D-Hawaii) tel. 225-4906, fx. 225-4987,
11. Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY) tel. 225-5936, fx. 225-1018,
12. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) tel. 225-4741, fx. 225-3178,
13. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) tel. 225-5871, fx. 225-5745,
no e-mail address available
14. Representative Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill) tel. 225-4061, fx. 225-5603,
15. Representative John Tierney (D-Mass) tel. 225-8020, fx. 225-5915,
16. Representative Jim Turner (D-TX) tel. 225-2401, fx. 225-5955,
* Chairman
** Vice Chairman
*** Ranking Member

All phone and fax numbers are in the (202) area code.


The Immunization Action Coalition would love to see a copy of your testimony, and we think CDC's National Immunization Program and CDC's Hepatitis Branch would also be very interested in seeing the support there is for hepatitis B vaccine.

Please send copies to the following addresses:

1) Immunization Action Coalition
1573 Selby Avenue, Suite 234
St. Paul, MN 55104-6328
Fax: 651-647-9131

2) CDC's National Immunization Program
1600 Clifton Road NE, MS E-05
Atlanta, GA 30333
Attn: Walter A. Orenstein, MD, Director, NIP
Fax: 404-639-8626

3) CDC's Hepatitis Branch
1600 Clifton Road NE, MS A-33
Atlanta, GA 30333
Attn: Harold S. Margolis, MD, Chief, Hepatitis Branch
Fax: 404-639-1563

Thank you very much.

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