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Issue 1033
IAC Express: Weekly immunization news and information
Issue 1033: January 2, 2013

TOP STORIES

IAC HANDOUTS

FEATURED RESOURCES

JOURNAL ARTICLES AND NEWSLETTERS

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS



TOP STORIES

Nine polio vaccine health workers killed in Pakistan in December 2012
The December 20, 2012, issues of the New York Times and Washington Post reported that nine health workers who distributed oral polio vaccine were killed in Pakistan in the course of a three-day nationwide polio vaccination campaign.

In a press release issued on December 18, the World Health Organization and UNICEF condemned the killings, saying that the attacks "deprive Pakistan's most vulnerable populations—especially children—of basic life-saving health interventions." The two organizations expressed sympathy to the families of the workers and called on leaders of the affected communities to take steps to protect health workers and provide a secure environment in which the health needs of Pakistani children could be met.

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Institute for Safe Medication Practices launches Vaccine Error Reporting Program
On December 11, 2012, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) issued a press release announcing the launch of its new Vaccine Error Reporting Program. The program allows healthcare professionals to confidentially report vaccine administration errors and near misses. According to the press release, the program's goal is to better quantify sources of errors and advocate for product changes (such as changes to the vaccine name or label) that will ensure patient safety.

ISMP is a nonprofit, federally certified patient safety organization, respected worldwide as the premier resource for medication safety information. Founded in 1994, ISMP works closely with healthcare practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, consumers, and professional organizations to provide education about medication errors and prevention.

With the assistance of the California Department of Public Health, ISMP developed the ISMP Vaccine Error Reporting Program (VERP). VERP was created to allow healthcare professionals to report vaccine errors anonymously; ISMP guarantees confidentiality concerning the information it receives. The purpose of VERP is to capture the unique causes and consequences of vaccine-related errors. By collecting and quantifying information about these errors, ISMP will be better able to advocate for changes in vaccine names, labeling, or other appropriate modifications that could reduce the likelihood of vaccine errors in the future.

The reporting system asks for detailed information about the occurrence, including the following:

  • A description of what went wrong
  • Identification of any known causes or contributing factors
  • How the event was discovered or intercepted
  • Outcome for the patient(s) involved
The system also requests that users share their recommendations for prevention of similar errors.

VERP is not to be confused with VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. VAERS, a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, is intended to be the location for reporting adverse events that occur following the administration of a vaccine to a patient. VAERS reports should be submitted whether or not the reporter believes the adverse event was vaccine related. Although healthcare professionals have sometimes reported vaccine administration errors to VAERS in the past, the new VERP system provides a more logical location for these reports, allowing for a clear separation between reporting of adverse events in a patient (VAERS) from procedural errors that may or may not result in adverse events (VERP). Of course, both VAERS and VERP may be used for the same event when the situation warrants it.

Related Links
  • Healthcare professionals can easily and confidentially report an error using the online error reporting form
  • The ISMP press release announcing the launch of VERP is available
  • Much of the information above is taken from the Technically Speaking column titled "A New Program for Reporting Vaccine Errors," which ran in the December 2012 issue of Vaccine Update, the Vaccine Education Center's monthly newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns are written by Deborah L. Wexler, MD, IAC's executive director.
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FDA approves Fluarix (GSK) as the second quadrivalent influenza vaccine
On December 14, 2012, FDA approved a request by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to supplement its biologics license application for Fluarix influenza virus vaccine to include a quadrivalent formulation for use in people age 3 years and older. Fluarix quadrivalent is the second quadrivalent influenza vaccine to receive FDA approval. FDA approved MedImmune's FluMist quadrivalent on February 29, 2012.

Related Links

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2013 U.S. Recommended Immunization Schedules for both children and adults to be published online on January 28
The following is cross posted from the December 2012 issue of CDC's Immunization Works newsletter:

2013 Immunization Schedules: Every year, recommendations for routine use of vaccines in children, adolescents, and adults are developed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and, when adopted by the Director of CDC, become official CDC/HHS policy. Effective in 2013, the recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0 through 18 years and persons 19 years and older will be published together in an MMWR Supplement [on-line publication January 28, 2013, MMWR publication February 1, 2013] instead of being published in MMWR Weekly on two different dates.

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IAC Spotlight! HPV-related videos
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month! An important tie-in to this health observance for immunization providers is the importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to prevent cervical cancer. To commemorate this health observance, IAC is featuring a collection of videos about HPV and HPV vaccination. The HPV-related videos include personal testimonies from women affected by HPV and cervical cancers, as well as educational information from expert commentators such as Dr. Anne Schuchat. The featured videos are from the following organizations: California Immunization Coalition’s Shot-by-Shot project, Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, National Cervical Cancer Coalition, Women’s Cancer Network, Cervical Cancer-Free America, PKIDs, Florida Bureau of Immunization, and Immunization Action Coalition.

Related Links

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IAC HANDOUTS

IAC updates "Meningococcal Vaccination Recommendations by Age and/or Risk Factor"
IAC updated its staff-education piece Meningococcal Vaccination Recommendations by Age and/or Risk Factor by adding information on the recently approved vaccine Hib-MenCY (MenHibrix; GlaxoSmithKline).

IAC's Handouts for Patients & Staff web section offers healthcare professionals and the public more than 250 FREE English-language handouts (many also available in translation), which we encourage website users to print out, copy, and distribute widely.

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IAC's two screening checklists for contraindications to vaccines now available in seven languages
Updated in October 2012, the following two checklists for contraindications to vaccines are now available in seven languages.
  1. Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Vaccines for Children and Teens is available in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese
     
  2. Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Vaccines for Adults is available in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese
IAC’s Handouts: Clinic Resources web section has several additional immunization screening questionnaires that you may find useful in your practice setting

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FEATURED RESOURCES

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers toolkits for influenza and Tdap immunization
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently added two immunization toolkits—one on influenza and one on Tdap—to its Immunization for Women website. The toolkits feature materials developed by ACOG and other organizations such as CDC and the Immunization Action Coalition.

The influenza toolkit includes Influenza Vaccination: Frequently Asked Questions and Vaccine Safety: Frequently Asked Questions. Tear pads of each are available for online ordering.

The influenza toolkit also has a physician script that includes the following text that physicians can use to encourage their patients to receive influenza vaccine:

I strongly recommend you get the flu shot today. I offer the influenza vaccine to all of my pregnant patients and to women who are considering becoming pregnant. The vaccine is safe and effective for pregnant women. The risks of getting sick with the flu are far greater for a pregnant woman and her baby than the possibility of having a complication from the vaccine. The flu shot will protect you as well as your baby in the first 6 months of life from getting the flu. Your family members who have contact with your newborn also should be vaccinated.

The Tdap toolkit includes Tdap Vaccination: Frequently Asked Questions and Vaccine Safety: Frequently Asked Questions. Tear pads of each are available for online ordering. The Tdap toolkit also has a physician script.

About ACOG's Immunization for Women website
ACOG designed its Immunization for Women website to provide obstetricians and gynecologists and their patients with a central, trusted source of up-to-date information on seasonal flu and other vaccine-preventable diseases, including immunization facts and safety, immunization schedules, clinical and practice management guidelines, and links to other reliable immunization resources.

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The Gerontological Society of America has resources on improving adult vaccination rates
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) offers several resources for improving adult vaccination rates. These include the Public Policy & Aging Report: Vaccination, Prevention, and Older Adults and Call to Action—Reaching the Healthy People 2020 Goals for Adult Vaccination: Proceedings of the National Adult Vaccination Program Scientific Summit, April 2012. Both were published in November 2012.

You can access background information and additional published resources on adult immunization from GSA's National Adult Vaccination Program website.

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California's one-page fact sheets are a quick way to get information about a host of childhood and teen vaccines
The Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently posted an array of one-page Vaccines for Children vaccine fact sheets on its EZIZ website. Each quick-reference fact sheet provides information about routine schedules, minimum intervals, approved age ranges, administration routes, billing codes, storage, and more.

Important Note: Some of the billing code and Vaccine for Children information on the fact sheets pertain to California. Check with your state health department to find the policy that pertains to your location.

About EZIZ
The CDPH immunization skills training portal, EZIZ, provides interactive immunization lessons, job aids, and updated vaccine news and information of interest to California's VFC providers and others involved in immunization in other parts of the nation.

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CDC posts new resources on pertussis and other VPDs
The following information is found in the December 2012 issue of CDC's Immunization Works newsletter:

Pertussis-related resources
  • New DTaP Podcast: A newly available podcast from the HHS HealthBeat series explains how protection from pertussis vaccine (DTaP) wanes over time, according to a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) publication authored by CDC.
     
  • DTaP Digital News Release: "Association of Childhood Pertussis With Receipt of 5 Doses of Pertussis Vaccine by Time Since Last Vaccine Dose, California, 2010," authored by CDC's Lara Misegades, et al., was published in JAMA on November 28, 2012. JAMA featured the findings through a comprehensive media package, garnering much press interest.
  • Pertussis Educational Posters: With rising rates of pertussis in many states across the country, efforts are underway to raise awareness about vaccine recommendations. See new downloadable posters at the pertussis print material web page.
     
  • CDC and Medscape Videos: NCIRD has contributed to a variety of CDC-Medscape commentaries, including a recently released one titled Latest Adult Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations, featuring CDC's Tamara Pilishvili, MPH. Note: Login (free) is required to view Medscape videos.
Other VPD-related resources
  • Resources from the Vaccines for Preteens and Teens Campaign: A 30-second Spanish-language television public service announcement (PSA) shows a busy Hispanic mother receiving a call from her doctor reminding her to get her adolescent son and daughter caught up on their shots. An accompanying English-language PSA is available.
     
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae podcast: A new podcast is available discussing the investigation of a Streptococcus pneumoniae outbreak in a pediatric psychiatric unit.
     
  • Adult vaccination fact sheet: A new two-page fact sheet is available that summarizes the vaccines recommended for adults.
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Influenza vaccination is recommended for nearly everyone, so please keep vaccinating your patients
Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older, so please continue to vaccinate your patients.

If you don't provide influenza vaccination in your clinic, please recommend vaccination to your patients and refer them to the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate sites near their workplace or home that offer influenza vaccination services.

Following is a list of resources related to influenza disease and vaccination for healthcare professionals and the public.

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JOURNAL ARTICLES AND NEWSLETTERS

December 2012 issue of CDC's Immunization Works newsletter now available
CDC recently released the December 2012 issue of its monthly newsletter Immunization Works and posted it on the website of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). The newsletter offers the immunization community information about current topics. The information is in the public domain and can be reproduced and circulated widely.

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Measles & Rubella Initiative's e-newsletter reports on global measles and congenital rubella syndrome
The December 2012 issue of the Measles & Rubella Initiative's e-newsletter includes an article about 2012 measles vaccination campaigns in 13 African countries; in total, the campaigns reached 38 million people. Another article discusses how the Lions Clubs International Foundation, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, raised $15 million in two years for measles eradication.

Published monthly, the Measles & Rubella Initiative's e-newsletter is an excellent way to keep current on global activities related to eliminating measles and congenital rubella syndrome. An online subscription form is available.

About the Measles & Rubella Initiative
Founded in 2001 as the Measles Initiative, the Measles & Rubella Initiative is a global partnership committed to ensuring that no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome. It is led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization.

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CDC publishes report on serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccine coverage in Burkina Faso
CDC published Serogroup A Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine Coverage After the First National Mass Immunization Campaign—Burkina Faso, 2011 in the December 21 issue of MMWR (pages 1022–1024). A press summary of the article is reprinted below.

High coverage of PsA-TT (MenAfriVac), as documented in Burkina Faso through this coverage survey, will be necessary throughout the Meningitis Belt in order to achieve elimination of epidemic meningitis in this region. Meningococcal meningitis is a devastating public health problem in the meningitis belt of Sub-Saharan Africa. PsA-TT is a new serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccine introduced in 10 of 26 target countries thus far. This study documents PsA-TT coverage after a mass immunization campaign in Burkina Faso, the first country to introduce PsA-TT nationally. Results of this survey demonstrate high coverage (greater than 90 percent) in all regions, age groups, and sexes.  Maintenance of high levels of population immunity in Burkina Faso, and continued successful introduction of PsA-TT in other countries, will be important in the effort to eliminate epidemic serogroup A meningococcal meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. Rigorous coverage surveys will continue to be critical for monitoring introduction of this new vaccine. 

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Meningitis surveillance in Burkina Faso and Mali before serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccine was introduced
CDC published Evaluation of Meningitis Surveillance Before Introduction of Serogroup A Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine—Burkina Faso and Mali in the December 21 issue of MMWR (pages 1025–1028). A press summary of the article is reprinted below.

In countries introducing the new vaccine against epidemic meningitis, MenAfriVac, strong disease surveillance is essential for evaluating vaccine impact. In the “meningitis belt” of Africa, a region stretching from Senegal in the West to Ethiopia in the East, about 450 million people each year are at risk of devastating meningitis outbreaks. Bacterial meningitis kills about 10 percent of patients and about 25 percent suffer long term effects such as deafness, brain damage or loss of limbs.  In 2009, a new vaccine was licensed (PsA-TT, MenAfriVac), which holds promise for eliminating epidemic meningitis in the region. The vaccine was introduced in countries through mass immunization campaigns at an unprecedented public health scale. A joint CDC and WHO team carried out evaluations of the meningitis disease surveillance system in Burkina Faso and Mali before the vaccine was introduced. Recommendations from these evaluations helped countries in strengthening their surveillance systems so that the impact of this new vaccine can be accurately assessed.

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EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Archive of December 13, 2012, Current Issues in Immunization NetConference offers free CE credit 
Broadcast on December 13, 2012, the Current Issues in Immunization NetConference What's New in the Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and Mumps and Screening for Contraindications and Precautions has been archived.

Continuing Education credit is available through January 14. 2013.

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CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS

Archived video broadcast of the October 2012 ACIP meeting now available
ACIP recently posted the archived video broadcast of the meeting held on October 24–25, 2012.

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About IAC Express
The Immunization Action Coalition welcomes redistribution of this issue of IAC Express or selected articles. When you do so, please add a note that the Immunization Action Coalition is the source of the material and provide a link to this issue.
If you have trouble receiving or displaying IAC Express messages, visit our online help section.
IAC Express is supported in part by Grant No. U38IP000589 from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of IAC and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC. IAC Express is also supported by educational grants from the following companies: CSL Biotherapies; GlaxoSmithKline; MedImmune, Inc.; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.; Novartis Vaccines; Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.; and sanofi pasteur.
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Video: Dispelling Injection Safety Myths:
Dispelling Injection Safety Myths: Key points in safe injection practices are reviewed in this short video from the One and Only Campaign. Safe injection practices insure the safety of patients, healthcare personnel, and others. As defined by the World Health Organization, a safe injection does not harm the recipient, does not expose the provider to avoidable risks, and does not results in waste that is dangerous for the community.
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Issue Abbreviations
AAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians; AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics; ACIP, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; AMA, American Medical Association; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; FDA, Food and Drug Administration; IAC, Immunization Action Coalition; MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; NCIRD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; NIVS, National Influenza Vaccine Summit; VIS, Vaccine Information Statement; VPD, vaccine-preventable disease; WHO, World Health Organization.
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Editor: Deborah L. Wexler, MD
Managing Editor: Dale Thompson, MA
Associate Editor: Teresa Anderson, DDS, MPH
Editorial Assistant: Janelle Tangonan Anderson
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This website is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (Grant No. 5U38IP000290) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The website content is the sole responsibility of IAC and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.