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February 17, 2015

Coalition Letter to the CDC Regarding Access to Immunizations

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Date: February 17, 2015

Re: Do not block parental access to critical vaccinations

To: Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CC: CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Dear Dr. Frieden and CDC Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices Members,

We write to you today in support of a family’s right to access to safe, effective vaccines for their children. Vaccines have saved millions of lives since their invention and near universal vaccination rates have eradicated a number of horrible diseases from small pox to polio. Unfortunately certain diseases like Meningitis B, the cause of 40% of all meningitis cases in 2012, could persist because Centers for Disease Control (CDC) bureaucrats may opt to block access to life-saving vaccinations.

In late February your Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to determine the accessibility of two vaccines the Food and Drug administration recently approved to prevent Meningitis B. ACIP, and therefore CDC, appears poised to recommend its usage only for “high-risk group/outbreaks,” meaning private health insurance will cover the cost of vaccination only after an outbreak of this deadly disease has occurred.

This federal policy, through administrative fiat, would effectively take away a parent’s choice to proactively vaccinate their child. Most families cannot afford the costs of immunization without the help of private health insurance. A CDC “high-risk” classification would also leave many families unaware that a Meningitis B vaccine even exists, or that the current recommended vaccination regimen against Meningitis does not protect against type B. Instead of leaving students vulnerable until the infection is at their doorstep, parents should have the choice to immunize their child before an outbreak occurs.

You have the ability to protect the thousands of children that are affected annually by Meningitis B by simply getting out of the way. Approving a “permissive recommendation” for the two Meningitis B vaccinations will make the immunization available to all children and guarantee that private health insurance covers the vaccines, leaving parents free to consult with their child’s doctor to determine the best course of preventative treatment.

This excessively stringent “high risk group/outbreak” recommendation means that everyone in the United States, and our college students in particular, remain needlessly defenseless against this life threatening infection. All we ask is that you do not come between parents, children and their medical providers. We believe that families, not unelected bureaucrats know how to best care for their children and ask that you allow them to make their own medical decisions.


 

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