February 1, 2008

IDSA Policy & Advocacy Update
IDSA Opposes Anti-Thimerosal Legislation

IDSA continues to advocate at the state level against legislation banning the use of thimerosal in vaccines due to unfounded concerns about its link to autism. IDSA maintains there is no scientific evidence that thimerosal causes autism, and banning its use in vaccines would be exceptionally expensive and could result in limited vaccine quantities.  The Society sent letters to legislators in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Maryland, South Dakota, and Washington urging them to oppose anti-thimerosal legislation. All three letters are located on the IDSA website under “Legislative Letters” on the “State and Regional Societies Advocacy Efforts” page.

In a related story, IDSA expressed its disapproval of a new ABC drama portraying a link between vaccines and autism in a letter to Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney.

Other recent policy & advocacy items include:

  • IDSA issued a statement saying President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 budget proposal would leave infectious diseases programs “in shock.” 
  • IDSA joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and more than a dozen other specialty societies in proclaiming strong support for the Medicare Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R. 4992).  If enacted, it would improve seniors' access to vaccines by shifting all preventive vaccines from Medicare Part D to Part B.

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