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Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: June 14, 1999
Contact: Media Relations (404) 639-3286

National Immunization Conference


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Immunization Program (NIP)


National Immunization Conference to explore vaccine science, policy, education and new immunization technology. Additional topics include: childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization programs; vaccine safety; and global polio and measles eradication.


Tuesday, June 22 through Friday, June 25, 1999


Adam's Mark Hotel, 400 North Olive St., Dallas, Texas


Immunization has been one of the 20th Century's most effective tolls for preventing disease and death. In the United States, most vaccine-preventable diseases have been reduced by more than 99 percent since the introduction of vaccines, and reported cases of vaccine-preventable disease are at or near all-time lows. However, more than 20 percent of the nation's children are still not fully immunized and nearly 40,000 adults die of vaccine-preventable diseases each year at a cost to society of more than $10 billion annually. In addition, vaccine safety issues are causing concern among parents and threatening to undermine the progress that has been made in protecting the public from vaccine-preventable diseases. This conference will address these and other important public health issues related to vaccines.

Conference Highlights

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D., Director, CDC. (2:45 p.m.) Dr. Koplan will discuss immunization as one of the ten great health achievements of the 20th Century and present CDC's priorities for a healthier nation.
Walter A. Orenstein, M.D., Director, CDC/NIP (2:10 p.m.) "Leading the Way to Healthier Lives." Dr. Orenstein will discuss the challenges facing health care providers in preventing disease through immunization.

Wednesday, June 23, 1999

Georges Peter, M.D., Director, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Hasbro Children's Hospital/Rhode Island Hospital (8:30 a.m.) More than 11,000 babies are born each day who will need 15 to 19 doses of vaccines by their second birthday to be adequately protected against 11 serious vaccine-preventable diseases. Toassure that these children have a healthy start to life, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) has made 15 recommendations to sustain the success of the childhood immunization delivery system. Dr. Peter will present the NVAC's recommendations.
Peter M. Strebel, M.D. (11:30 a.m.)Smallpox used to kill millions each year around the world. Today, smallpox no longer exists anywhere in the world. No one has been infected with smallpox since 1977. Similarly, polio was once the most feared disease in the United States with more than 15,000 cases annually. We are on target to eradicate polio worldwide by the end of the year 2000. Now, the challenge is to eliminate measles as a world-wide public health threat. Dr. Strebel will discuss the challenge and plans to eradicate measles from the world stage.

Thursday, June 24, 1999

William Hausdorff, Ph.D. (9:10 a.m.)Each year millions of children suffer painful ear infections (otitis media) caused by pneumococcal infections. In addition, pneumococcal infections cause about 11,000 cases of serious infections in children each year, including pneumonia and meningitis. The current pneumococcal vaccine is ineffective in young children. A new vaccine is on the horizon that can prevent these painful and sometimes serious infections.
John Salamone, "Vaccine Safety: A Consumer's Perspective (10:55 a.m.) and Neal Halsey, M.D,. "Recent Vaccine Safety Concerns: A Scientific Update (11:10 a.m.) Vaccine safety has recently been a hot topic with parents and the media. As the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases decline, allegations of harmful effects from vaccines threaten pubic acceptance of vaccines. This session will explore issues of vaccine safety from both scientific and consumer perspectives.

Friday, June 25, 1999

Michael D. Decker, M.D. (9:00 a.m.) Vaccination without the pain caused by needles and fewer visits to the doctor's office for immunizations are two developments that are on the horizon to ease the burden caused by the number of injections needed to complete the immunization schedule. Dr. Decker will discuss these biotechnology innovations in his presentation, "Combination Vaccines, Today and Tomorrow."

Other Topics of Interest

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Hilleman Lecture (6:00 p.m). Dr. Ciro de Quandros will share his experiences in eradicating polio from the Western Hemisphere.

Wednesday, June 23, 1999

Evidence of What Works (8:00 a.m). Lance Rodewald, M.D.
Serving Minority Populations (9:15 a.m.) Mary Thorngren
Update on Polio Eradication (11:15 a.m.) Robert Keegan
Introduction of New Vaccines (11:30 a.m.) John Livengood, M.D.

Thursday, June 24, 1999

Status of Vaccine Preventable Diseases in the United States (8:40 a.m.) Melinda Wharton, M.D.
Summary of New Vaccine Recommendations -- Rotavirus, Pneumococcal, Lyme, and Hepatitis A (8:55 am)

(Note to editors: Drs. Koplan and Orenstein will be available for interviews following their talks. Contact Curtis Allen in Dallas at the Conference Media Office. For interviews with other conference speakers, contact Curtis Allen. Prior to June 22, contact Charlis Thompson, CDC, Division of Media Relations 404-639-3286).


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