EXPERTS

Leading experts are available to comment on the science and safety of vaccines, and parents are available to discuss what can happen when parents choose not to immunize their children.

Paul Offit, MD, is Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. A scientist and co-author of "Vaccines: What You Should Know," Dr. Offit educates the public about vaccines as Director of the Vaccine Education Center. He can be reached at 215-590-2020 or offit@email.chop.edu.

Sharon Humiston, MD, MPH, works in the Pediatric Emergency Department of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y., and is the author of “Vaccinating Your Child; Questions and Answers for the Concerned Parent.” In addition to her public health and immunization expertise, Dr. Humiston is the mother of an autistic child. Dr. Humiston can be reached at 585-275-6657 or atsharon_humiston@urmc.rochester.edu.

Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington University and a Senior Fellow and Chair of the Sabin Vaccine Institute's Scientific Advisory Council. The father of an autistic child, Dr. Hotez offers a unique perspective on the current debate about vaccines. He can be reached at 202-994-3532 or mtmpjh@gwumc.edu.

Louis Cooper, MD, Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is currently serving as Interim Executive Director of the National Network for Immunization Information. A professor of pediatrics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, Dr. Cooper can be reached at 212-580-3721 or lzcooper@compuserve.com.

Samuel Katz, MD, was co-developer of the measles vaccine in conjunction with Nobel Prize winner Dr. John Enders. Chairman of Pediatrics at Duke University for 22 years, Dr. Katz is currently the Wilburt C. Davison Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at the University. Dr. Katz can be reached at 919-684-3734 orkatz0004@mc.duke.edu.

PARENTS

Suzanne and Leonard Walther of Murfreesboro, Tennessee postponed their daughter's immunizations based on mis-information they found on the Internet. She subsequently contracted Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a vaccine-preventable disease, and spent her first birthday in a hospital emergency room. Their daughter survived, and today Suzanne Walther urges parents to trust their pediatrician and science – not unfounded allegations – when deciding whether to protect their children against infectious diseases. Call PKIDs at 360-695-0293 or e-mail pkids@pkids.org for an interview.

Mary-Clayton Enderlein contracted whooping cough (pertussis) from her son’s unimmunized friend during her ninth month of pregnancy. She consequently infected her newborn son, who became very ill and required hospitalization. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes severe coughing and gasping for breath. Enderlein, who lives outside of Seattle, comments, “I've always felt that immunizations are our social responsibility. Vaccinating children is part of our social contract to help protect the health of everyone who lives in our communities.” Call PKIDs at
360-695-0293 or e-mail pkids@pkids.org for an interview.

Frankie Milley of Conroe, Texas, lost her only child to meningococcal meningitis, which could have been prevented by a vaccine. “I am motivated by the loss of my only child to make sure all children everywhere are protected against infectious diseases,” she said. “Vaccines are safe, they work and they save lives. Our children deserve the best protection we can give them.” Call PKIDs at 360-695-0293 or e-mail pkids@pkids.org for an interview.

Maureen Kane and her husband wanted nothing more than to provide a happy, healthy home for their newly-adopted daughter. When they brought her to their small town in Maryland, they soon found that they could provide happiness, but they would have to fight for her health. Like more than 1.2 million Americans, their daughter was infected with chronic hepatitis B, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. After months of grueling medical treatment, their daughter is healthy, but her struggle has motivated Maureen to advocate for critical childhood immunizations worldwide. Call PKIDs at 360-695-0293 or e-mailpkids@pkids.org for an interview.

PKIDs (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases) is a national nonprofit organization that supports families touched by chronic, viral infectious diseases including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. The organization also educates the public about preventing infectious diseases through immunization, standard precautions and handwashing. PKIDs website is www.pkids.org.

The Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute pursues Dr. Sabin’s vision of a world protected from disease through vaccines by advancing development of new vaccines and increasing immunization rates. More information about the Sabin Vaccine Institute can be found at www.sabin.org.