Here is the Hep B newsletter from 5/99.

Congressional Hearing
Connecticut Newsletter #2

On Tuesday, May 18, 1999 the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, & Human
Resources subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Reform held
a hearing on the Hepatitis B Vaccine in Washington, DC.  The focus of
the hearing was on:
1. What studies are being done on the data from the FDA's Vaccine
Adverse Event Report?
2. What are the risks and benefits for administering this vaccine to
3. What process does the Center for Disease Control employ to make a
vaccine recommendation?
4. What disclosure is required before the vaccine is administered?  Is
it adequate?

The hearing, which began at 10 AM, was completely packed by 9:10 AM and
no more seats were available.  There were approximately 20-25 people
that stood in the hearing and approximately 30-40 more people that were
forced to stand outside the hearing room because there was not enough
room. The hearing had been estimated to go for approximately 2 hours.
Four and hours later, with not one break taken, the National Vaccine
Information Center held a press conference.  ABC news recorded the
entire hearing and the press conference, including the outburst by Dr.
Katz, the representative of the AAP, at the press conference. 

There were Hepatitis B vaccine victims represented from the
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Connecticut (myself and
daughter), Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio.  Three
parents who were present had lost their children when their children
died shortly after receiving the vaccine.  One mother, with incredible
strength, who had appeared at the press conference, told how her
daughter died just 3 weeks before.  Her little girl would have been
three months old the day of the press conference.  All of the
scientists, who are trying to do independent research, and the vaccine
victims, including myself who represented my daughter, spoke at the
press conference which lasted for approximately 45 minutes.

Congressman Mica from Florida was the Chairman of the hearing and he sat
through the entire hearing.  The most Congresspeople present at the
hearing were four.  There are 16 Congresspeople on the hearing and the
most present were FOUR at any time. 

There were some interesting facts that came out of the hearing.  I taped
the entire hearing and press conference.  Any information that the CDC
or the FDA provided in testimony was very difficult to obtain.
Whenever, the Congresspeople would ask a question the government
officials, representing the CDC and the FDA, would not answer the
question.  Rather they would give a vague response.  After numerous
times asking the same questions in different ways, finally the
government officials would answer the question.  The following are just
a few of the facts uncovered at the hearing..

1. The statistic that is often quoted is that there are 25,000 kids are
infected with Hepatitis B.  After repeatedly asking the question as to
how the CDC arrived at this number, Harold S. Margolis, MD, Chief of the
Hepatitis Branch of the CDC finally admitted that 25,000 kids is simply
an estimate.  They have no hard proof that there are definitely 25,000
kids with Hepatitis B.
2. According to Harold S. Margolis, MD, Chief of the Hepatitis Branch of
the CDC, in 1997 there were 95 children under the age of 2 in the United
States who were diagnosed with Hepatitis B.  According to Susan
Ellenberg, PhD, Director of the Division of Biostatistics and
Epidimiology, FDA stated in the same year, 1997, that there were 43
deaths following the vaccine in children under the age of 2.  She would
not state that the vaccine caused the death but did acknowledge that the
deaths occurred shortly after the vaccine and there was an "association"
between the children's deaths and the vaccine. She was very careful of
her wording.
3. Amazingly, according to Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine
(1994), "90-95% of all hepatitis B cases recover completely after 3-4
weeks of nausea, fatigue, headache, arthritis, jaundice and tender
liver."  I keep remembering the children who died and how they will
NEVER recover.
4. Neither Dr. Margolis nor Dr. Ellenberg would answer the question as
to whether the risks of the vaccine outweigh the benefits from the
5. When Dr. Margolis was asked whether there was any warning policy of
the risks associated with vaccines, such as now exist with cigarette
advertising or prescription or non-prescription medicine his answer was
incredible.  He stated that the CDC has NO WARNING POLICY on the risks
associated with vaccines.  Rather they rely on the vaccine package
insert, which from personal experience many parents don't even know
6. Incredibly, Dr. Margolis stated that the CDC does not know how long
the Hep B Vaccine is effective for.  They have apparently followed the
vaccine for 15 years but they have no idea the length of immunity from
the vaccine.  The vaccine package insert from the pharmaceutical company
describes the length of protection as "undetermined".  In the country of
India they vaccinate EVERY FOUR YEARS.  Yet, the new CDC vaccine sheet
that parents receive now states that, "All three doses are needed for
full and lasting immunity."  Parents now think their child can not get
Hepatitis B because they received 3 doses of the vaccine yet it clearly
conflicts with what the CDC official said at the hearing, what the
vaccine package insert states and what the country of India is currently
7.  This Subcommittee overseas the CDC.  Amazingly, this was the FIRST
oversight hearing in 10 years!
8. Due to Secretary of Health and Human Services changing the definition
of a reaction to DPT from several days to just 4 hours after the vaccine
there is some money that has accumulated in the Vaccine Compensation
Program Fund.  Rather than paying the victims, the government argues and
says if the child had the reaction 6 hours after the vaccine it is not a
reaction but rather ONLY if it is within four hours of receiving the DPT
vaccine.  The sad part is there are children who have been severely
disabled with seizures, autism, etc. with doctors who have identified
the vaccine as the cause but do to bureaucracy an arbitrary number has
been picked because too many claims were getting filed.  Instead of
doing research and making a safer vaccine they just changed the
definition of a reaction.
9. Dr. Waisbren, Sr., a clinical investigator from Milwaukee,
representing the  FACP (I cannot locate what the initials stand for)
noted some interesting facts.  First, he noted no one hears of adverse
reactions because dozens of cases against pharmaceutical companies have
been settled out of court for large sums of money and with the
stipulation that no one can discuss the settlement.  He also noted that
the CDC reports are NOT peer reviewed.  Which means that there is no one
questioning the CDC's findings as to whether they are valid.
10. Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, who was profiled in the January 1999 20/20 report
on Hepatitis B, also spoke.  She has always done vaccine research with
more of a pro-vaccine twist until recently.  Her brother and a student
of her's both suffered serious reactions to the Hepatitis B vaccine.
Her brother is completely paralyzed and unable to care for himself.  He
used to be a Doctor also.  Her student suffered partial blindness along
with other adverse reactions from the Hepatitis B vaccine.  She also
noted some interesting facts.  When  Dr. Dunbar contacted the FDA
regarding the Hepatitis B vaccine an individual told her that "this
vaccine is a problem and it is a big one."  She also explained how
medical students come crying to her because they see a child have a
reaction and they are told by medical staff to be quiet about it.  They
are told not to report the reaction.
11. During the hearing a pattern developed.  The pattern is that ALL the
reported Hepatitis B vaccine reactions occurred in Caucasians.  This
does not mean that other groups of people do not react it simply means
that all the vaccine adverse reaction reports occurred in Caucasians.
Approximately 70% of the reactions occurred in girls/women.  None of
these patterns have yet to be researched by the CDC or the FDA.
12. EVERY person/family who had experienced a Hepatitis B vaccine
reaction, that I met, had experienced some sort of problems with their
respiratory system.  Some had difficulty breathing, wheezing,
congestion, etc.  In fact, the new CDC sheet lists these symptoms as
serious allergic reactions!  If you or your child has had this symptom
following the Hepatitis B vaccine I strongly encourage caution and
research before getting another vaccine.
13. Every person present, including Ms. Thelma Thiel Chairman & CEO of
the Hepatitis Foundation International, agreed that parents should be
given the choice regarding vaccines, and especially the Hepatitis B
vaccine.  Ms. Thiel's son died at age 4 from Hepatitis B.
14. Without any evidence, the new CDC sheet on Hepatitis B Vaccine now
states that the Hepatitis B vaccine "is the first anti-cancer vaccine
because it can prevent a form of liver cancer".  Remember NO evidence
proving this has been presented.
15. In a step in the right direction the new CDC sheet now states, "If
you miss a dose or get behind schedule, get the next dose as soon as you
can.  There is no need to start over."  On a personal level this had
been an issue with our daughter.  Our pediatrician had lied to us
telling us we would have to redo the whole series until I provided her a
copy of the CDC guidelines to which she responded saying she knew about
the CDC guidelines.
16. There was quite a bit of discussion regarding exemptions.  It seemed
that the congressional subcommittee felt the exemptions seemed to work
just fine.  The problem they don't understand is not every state has all
three exemptions (medical, religious, and philosophical).  They also do
not realize that parents are not notified that they are allowed to an
exemption.  There was some discussion of a possible national
philosophical exemption.

Congressman Mica made an unprecedented move in that he has left the
congressional record open for this hearing for and unprecedented 30
days.  This means they are accepting written testimony (in the form of a
letter) to be added to the record.  Congressman Mica said that he has
never had so many requests to speak before a committee.

It is imperative, VITAL, that you send a letter to each Congressperson
on the Committee, your Senator, and Representative.  Attached is a list
of the committee members and their telephone numbers and their faxes and
address.  You can send letters to the Subcommittee address listed on the
attached list.

We have a small window of opportunity for our voices to be heard.  Do
not miss out on it.  The battle for individual state philosophical
exemptions could be solved with a national philosophical exemption.

While in Washington, DC, prior to the hearing I met with Representative
Shay's assistant and Senator Lieberman's assistant.  Both are going to
report to their Representative and Senator about our conversation.

PLEASE voice your experiences and concerns and make sure the
subcommittee hears from you (by phone, fax, email, or mail) BY JUNE 16,
1999.  If you send a written letter make sure it says that you want it
to be submitted as part of the record.

If possible please forward me a copy of your letter submitted for
written testimony.  Thank you and I will be in contact with you
regarding the surveys I sent out prior to my departure for Washington,


Lisa F. Reiss
P.O. Box 161
Manchester, CT  06045
We Must Have The Freedom To Choose & Respect Everyone's Choice
Any information obtained here is not to be construed as medical
OR legal advice. The decision to vaccinate and how you
implement that decision is yours and yours alone.