1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

For immediate release
April 26, 1999
Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (800) 635-1196



The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) opposes efforts in Ohio and other states to force all schoolchildren to receive three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Too few children contract the disease to justify exposing all children to the risk of adverse vaccine reactions. AAPS urges Ohio legislators to support Ohio House Bill 200, which would repeal Ohio's hastily mandated hepatitis B vaccine requirement, and add informed consent for all vaccines.

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. More than 99.7 percent of Ohioans are free of this virus. No Ohio school has ever reported hepatitis B transmission.

According to federal government statistics, serious adverse reactions to the vaccine-including 48 deaths-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.