Thursday, October 11, 2007

US House Staffers Advised They Need Vaccines before Attending NASCAR Events

Update: The delegation was not attending NASCAR races but visiting health care centers, detention facilities and other operations where they could be exposed to communicable diseases.

Charlotte.com : Charlotte news, events, Panthers, Bobcats, jobs, cars, homes: "Staff who organized the trips advised the NASCAR-bound aides to get a range of vaccines before attending -- hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria and influenza.

Rep. Robin Hayes, a Republican from Concord, took umbrage when he heard about it.

'I have never heard of immunizations for domestic travel, and as the representative for Concord, N.C., I feel compelled to ask why the heck the committee feels that immunizations are needed to travel to my hometown,' Hayes said in an Oct. 5 letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chairs the Homeland Security panel.

'I have been to numerous NASCAR races, and the folks who attend these events certainly do not pose any health hazard to congressional staffers or anyone else,' Hayes added. Lauri Wilks, vice president of communications for Speedway Motorsports, which owns Lowe's Motor Speedway and other tracks, said Wednesday that immunizations aren't needed for the race. 'There's no health risk that we know of,' she said, laughing. 'We have never had any disease outbreak during one of our weekends.'"

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