For immediate release
PHYSICIANS OPPOSE MANDATORY HEPATITIS B VACCINE FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE SCHOOLCHILDRENPARENTS, NOT GOVERNMENT, SHOULD DECIDE
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) urges New Hampshire's Governor, the New Hampshire Commissioner of Health, and New Hampshire legislators to suspend the mandated hepatitis B vaccine requirement. Too few children contract the disease to justify exposing all children to the risk of adverse vaccine reactions.
In the United States, hepatitis B is primarily an adult disease, and risk is highly dependent on lifestyle. Risk factors include: multiple sex partners, drug abuse, an occupation involving frequent exposure to blood, or having a hepatitis-B infected mother. The disease is not spread by casual contact. In the age group 0-10, there were only three reported cases of hepatitis B reported in New Hampshire from 1993 through 1997.
According to federal government statistics, serious adverse reactions to the vaccine are reported three times as frequently as cases of hepatitis B in children under the age of 14. Formal long-term studies of vaccine safety have not been completed, as Dr. Virginia Haller, medical director for the Ohio Department of Health, Division of Family and Community Health, acknowledged at an April 21 hearing before the Ohio House Health, Retirement, and Aging Committee. Nevertheless, government health officials cavalierly dismiss reports of serious adverse vaccine effects as coincidental.
Financial ties between vaccine manufacturers and professional medical organizations that endorse the vaccine (e.g. the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association) are disturbing. Federal vaccine advisors and vaccine researchers often have similar ties. Furthermore, the federal government pays state health departments bonuses of up to $100 for every "fully vaccinated" child.
"Considering the low risk of hepatitis B, and the published reports of serious adverse effects of the vaccine, why can't school mandates wait for more research?" asks AAPS Executive Director Jane M. Orient, M.D. "Mandates effectively use schoolchildren as research subjects without informed consent, in violation of the Nuremberg Code."
A voice for private physicians since 1943, AAPS holds that the patient-physician relationship is inviolable. The Oath of Hippocrates, which states "first, do no harm," is the ethical foundation for private medicine.