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CLINTON VACCINE INITIATIVE WILL BE HEADED BY HOPKINS/OSTP VETERAN HENDERSON

Executive Summary

Implementation of the Clinton Administration's comprehensive childhood vaccination plan will be spearheaded by Donald (D.A.) Henderson, MD, the long-time dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene who most recently was an associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Henderson will aid Assistant Secretary for Health-nominee Philip Lee, MD, and is working as a consultant to HHS until Lee's nomination is approved by the Senate. Henderson then will become a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science. Lee's nomination, described by one Administration official as part of the "second batch" of its back-logged nominations, has not yet been sent officially to the Senate. HHS Secretary Shalala said at the April 21 joint Senate/House hearing on childhood immunization policy that Henderson will direct HHS implementation of the Clinton immunization initiative and cited his planned appointment as an example of the Administration's willingness to learn lessons from the past and from other nations' immunization strategies. Henderson is well-known for heading up the World Health Organization's 10-year, multi-nation project to eradicate smallpox. The disease was declared eradicated by the World Health Assembly in 1980. Shalala told the hearing that the Administration will "use every American institution" possible to help get out the message to families that vaccinations are necessary. For example, Social Security offices will conduct outreach, Shalala said. In addition, the secretary is planning discussions with Walt Disney officials regarding how the company's programs could be involved. HHS will also talk to well known athletes and the Ad Council, which produces public service announcements.
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