Home
|
About IAC
|
Contact
|
A-Z Index
|
Donate
|
Shop
|
SUBSCRIBE
Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2007
Issue number 691: November 5, 2007
 
Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. New: ACIP votes to recommend nasal-spray influenza vaccine for children age 2-5 years
  2. CDC's Drs. Atkinson and Kroger correct answer in Needle Tips (October 2007) about which children should receive two doses of influenza vaccine
  3. Two AAP clinical reports will help physicians identify and manage patients with autism spectrum disorder
  4. Wall Street Journal editorial defends childhood vaccination and counters Jenny McCarthy's claim of vaccination harm
  5. Updated data indicate a normal range of intussusception cases among children vaccinated with rotavirus vaccine
  6. Get ready: CDC announces National Influenza Vaccination Week for November 26-December 2 and posts related materials
  7. Important: Be sure to administer influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--from fall 2007 through spring 2008
  8. VIS for nasal-spray influenza vaccine now available in Hmong, Russian, and Somali
  9. CDC's Seasonal Flu web section posts new materials
  10. Reminder: November 15 is the deadline for submitting abstracts for CDC's 2008 National Immunization Conference
  11. WHO website posts document that outlines the organization's work to ensure immunization quality, safety, and standards
 
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.
  
Issue 691: November 5, 2007
1.  New: ACIP votes to recommend nasal-spray influenza vaccine for children age 2-5 years

On October 26, CDC issued a press release announcing that ACIP voted to recommend the use of FluMist, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV; nasal-spray formulation) to include children age 2-5 years. Previously, the vaccine was recommended for use in persons age 5-49 years. The press release is reprinted below in its entirety.


CDC ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS NASAL SPRAY FLU VACCINE FOR CHILDREN AGES TWO TO FIVE

A panel of immunization experts has voted to expand the recommendation for the nasal spray influenza vaccine, FluMist (MedImmune Vaccines, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD), to include children from 2 to 5 years of age who are healthy and don't have a history of asthma or wheezing.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the committee that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on vaccine issues, voted on the new recommendation during its October 24-25, 2007, meeting in Atlanta.

The vaccine, which contains a weakened form of the live virus and is sprayed in the nose, had previously been limited to healthy children 5 years of age and older and healthy adults up to age 50.

Every year in the United States, 5 percent to 20 percent of the population develops influenza, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized, and about 36,000 people die from influenza complications.

The CDC recommends that all children age 6 months to 59 months receive a vaccination to protect against influenza. Studies have shown that children 24 months to 5 years were more likely to see a healthcare provider for influenza than older children.

"We know that vaccinating children protects them against flu," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "This recommendation gives parents another option when vaccinating their children."

People younger than 2 or older than 49 years of age, or those with an underlying chronic health condition, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or kidney disease should not receive FluMist. Those individuals should receive a flu shot rather than the nasal spray.

Previously, there were only two injectable influenza vaccines licensed in the United States for children under the age of 5. One vaccine, Fluzone (sanofi pasteur Inc., Swiftwater, PA), is indicated for those six months of age and older, while another vaccine, Fluvirin (Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Ltd, Liverpool, England) is available for use in children ages 4 and older.

Manufacturers project there will be plenty of vaccine this year; therefore, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu should get vaccinated. However, it is especially important that certain people get vaccinated each year, because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for high-risk persons.

CDC recommends that the following people get vaccinated each year:

People at high risk for complications from the flu, including
  • Children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday,
  • Pregnant women,
  • People 50 years of age and older,
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, and
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including

  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above),
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated), and
  • Healthcare workers.

To access the press release, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/2007/r071026.htm

Back to top
   
2 CDC's Drs. Atkinson and Kroger correct answer in Needle Tips (October 2007) about which children should receive two doses of influenza vaccine

The October 2007 issue of the IAC periodical Needle Tips included an Ask the Experts Q&A, written by CDC's Dr. William Atkinson and Dr. Andrew Kroger, about which children need two doses of influenza vaccine the first year they receive the vaccine. IAC has received some questions asking for clarification of the answer. Here is the corrected Q&A:


Q: Which children need two doses of influenza vaccine this season?

A: Children age eight years and younger who are receiving influenza vaccine (TIV or LAIV) for the first time should receive two vaccine doses given with a minimum interval of four weeks. If the child fails to get the second dose during that season, he should be given two doses in the next influenza vaccination season. If he fails to receive those two doses, he should only get one dose per year from that point on.

Previously, the Q&A stated the following:

Q. Which children need two doses of influenza vaccine this season?

Children age six months through eight years who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time should receive two vaccine doses at a four-to-six week interval (depending on the type of vaccine). A child younger than age nine years who received influenza vaccine in only one previous season, and received only one dose, should receive two doses this season. A child who has received a total of two doses of influenza vaccine, either in the same or different years, should receive only one dose.

IAC regrets the confusion the initial Q&A may have caused Needle Tips readers.

Back to top
   
3 Two AAP clinical reports will help physicians identify and manage patients with autism spectrum disorder

The November issue of the AAP publication Pediatrics includes two clinical reports on autism. Titled "Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders" and "Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders," the reports were discussed at a press briefing held October 29 at AAP's 2007 National Conference and Exhibition. Portions of an AAP press release about the reports are reprinted below. At the end of this IAC Express article, links are given to (1) the complete AAP press release; (2) the two clinical reports mentioned above; and (3) CDC's autism web section, "Learn the Signs. Act Early."


[From the AAP press release]
Two new clinical reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will help pediatricians recognize autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) earlier and guide families to effective interventions, which will ultimately improve the lives of children with ASDs and their families. The first clinical report, "Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders," provides detailed information on signs and symptoms so pediatricians can recognize and assess ASDs in their patients. Language delays usually prompt parents to raise concerns to their child's pediatrician, usually [when the child is] around 18 months of age. However, there are earlier subtle signs that if detected could lead to earlier diagnosis. . . .

Educational strategies and associated therapies, which are the cornerstones of treatment for ASDs, are reviewed in the second AAP clinical report, "Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders." Early intervention is crucial for effective treatment. The report strongly advises intervention as soon as an ASD diagnosis is seriously considered rather than deferring until a definitive diagnosis is made. The child should be actively engaged in intensive intervention at least 25 hours per week, 12 months per year with a low student-to-teacher ratio allowing for sufficient one-on-one time. Parents should also be included. . . .


To access the complete AAP press release, go to:
http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/oct07autism.htm

To access the full text of "Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders," go to:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/peds.2007-2361v1

To access the full text of "Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders," go to:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/peds.2007-2362v1

To access CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." web section, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/actearly

Back to top
   
4 Wall Street Journal editorial defends childhood vaccination and counters Jenny McCarthy's claim of vaccination harm

On October 27, the Wall Street Journal published a guest editorial, "The New McCarthyism: Vaccines & Autism." It is written by Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician in Austin, TX. Portions of the editorial are reprinted below.


Dangerous vaccines that harm kids. An epidemic of disabled children, hurt by an uncaring medical establishment.

Sounds like a B-grade Hollywood thriller. But this is supposedly a true story as told by actress Jenny McCarthy, author of the best seller "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism."

When I heard Ms. McCarthy tell Oprah and Larry King that vaccines caused her son's autism, I had a flashback . . . I was the senior pediatric resident on call in the Intensive Care Unit. . . [A] seven-year-old girl was brought to the emergency room at Children's Hospital Boston. The girl had come down with chickenpox a few days earlier . . . That night, she had taken a turn for the worse. Her fever shot up to 106 and she became confused and lethargic. . . .

Now she was in "multiple system organ failure"--every square inch of her body was shutting down all at once. . . .

My attending physician told me to grab dinner. This child would need me for the rest of the night. I returned to the ICU to find that my patient had gone into cardiac arrest and died. I watched, helplessly, as the nurses placed the little girl into a body bag.

Fast forward five months: The first chickenpox vaccine was approved. That day, I vowed never to let a child on my watch suffer from a disease that was preventable by vaccination.

That's a story that doesn't grab headlines or guest shots on Larry King. Vaccines are one of mankind's greatest scientific achievements. . . . Yet vaccines are victims of their own success. Today's parents are unfamiliar with the diseases they prevent, but these diseases are alive and well in the U.S. . . . .

Celebrity books come and go, but the anxiety they create lives on in pediatricians' offices across the country. A small but growing number of parents are even lying about their religious beliefs to avoid having their children vaccinated, thanks in part to the media hysteria created by [Ms. McCarthy's] book.

Parents go through stages of grief when their child is diagnosed with a disorder like autism. . . . But why hasn't the media called out Ms. McCarthy on all the medical inaccuracies in her book? . . . .

[For example:] Ms. McCarthy told Oprah that her son was a normal toddler until he received his measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (at 15 months of age). . . . Yet she contradicts herself in her book: "My friends' babies all cracked a smile way before Evan did . . . he was almost five months old." Which is it? Was he normal until his MMR vaccine or were some of the signs [of autism] missed before he got that shot?

Ms. McCarthy also contends that mercury in vaccines caused damage to her son's gut and immune system, leading to autism. Yet the mercury preservative Ms. McCarthy assails was removed from the childhood vaccination series in 2001. Her son, Evan, was born in 2002. . . .

Doctors do need to do a better job of guiding families through the maze of autism treatments. I also desperately want to know why autism happens and how to treat it. But let's put our energy into funding autism research and treatment, not demonizing our vaccination program. . . .

To access the full text of the editorial from Dr. Brown's website, go to:
http://baby411.typepad.com/baby_411_blog/2007/10/the-new-mccarth.html

Back to top
   
5 Updated data indicate a normal range of intussusception cases among children vaccinated with rotavirus vaccine

On October 25, the PATH Rotavirus Vaccine Program issued a news update announcing that updated data, presented at the October 24-25 ACIP meeting, indicate that RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine does not pose an elevated risk for intussusception in infants immunized with the vaccine. Portions of the news update are reprinted below.


Updated data on the administration of RotaTeq to infants in the U.S. were presented to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at its meeting today. Consistent with previous analyses, the rate of intussusception in infants receiving RotaTeq was not greater than expected by chance alone, indicating that the vaccine does not pose an elevated risk for intussusception. Intussusception is the most common cause of bowel obstruction in infants, and increased risk of intussusception appeared to be linked to an earlier rotavirus vaccine withdrawn from the market in the United States in 1999.

Between March 2006 and August 2007, 9.1 million doses of RotaTeq were distributed in the U.S., and ongoing, routine surveillance confirmed 160 cases of intussusception--a rate below the expected background occurrence. Of these 160 cases, 47 were reported within three weeks of the infant receiving a vaccine dose. In an unvaccinated population of the same age, the number of expected cases would be approximately 150. . . .

To access the complete news update, go to:
http://www.rotavirusvaccine.org/RotaFlash_ACIP_25Oct07.htm

Back to top
   
6 Get ready: CDC announces National Influenza Vaccination Week for November 26-December 2 and posts related materials

Both NCIRD and CDC's Seasonal Flu web section have recently posted information related to National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) 2007, which is planned for November 26-December 2.

FROM NCIRD
NCIRD announced that NIVW aims to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination and to foster greater use of the vaccine through the months of November, December, and beyond. It's also intended to encourage vaccine providers to enhance vaccine availability by scheduling additional clinics, extending clinic hours, and enabling mass vaccination at venues such as retail locations.

November 27 is set aside as Children's Flu Vaccination Day, with a focus on vaccinating high-risk children.

The NIVW web section has links to the following:

  • Resources for health professionals and partners, including a 28-page media toolkit, podcasts, and e-cards
  • Listings of national, regional, and state vaccination activities related to NIVW
  • Online form for submitting information about your organization's planned activities for NIVW
  • A graphic element (available in English and Spanish) to post on your organization's website. The message is "Get vaccinated. Don't get flu. Don't spread flu."
  • Related organizations—Families Fighting Flu and the American Lung Association's Flu Clinic Locator

To access the NIVW web section, go to
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw07.htm

FROM CDC'S SEASONAL FLU WEB SECTION
The section titled Info for Health Professionals offers links to the following:

IAC Express will update readers on additional resources when they are posted on the NCIRD and the Seasonal Flu web sections.

Back to top
   
7 Important: Be sure to administer influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--from fall 2007 through spring 2008

Influenza vaccination should continue from now into the early months of 2008. Visit the following websites often to find the information you need to keep vaccinating. Both are continually updated with the latest resources.

The National Influenza Vaccine Summit website at http://www.preventinfluenza.org

CDC's Seasonal Flu web section at http://www.cdc.gov/flu

Back to top
   
8 VIS for nasal-spray influenza vaccine now available in Hmong, Russian, and Somali

Dated 10/4/07, the current version of the VIS for FluMist, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV; nasal spray) is now available on the IAC website in Hmong, Russian, and Somali. IAC gratefully acknowledges the Minnesota Department of Health for the translations.

To obtain a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the VIS for LAIV vaccine in Hmong, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/hmLAIV04.pdf

To obtain the VIS for LAIV in Russian, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/ru_LAIV05.pdf

To obtain the VIS for LAIV in Somali, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/so_LAIV05.pdf

To obtain the VIS for LAIV in English, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/liveflu.pdf

For information about the use of VISs, and for VISs in more than 30 languages, visit IAC's VIS web section at http://www.immunize.org/vis

Back to top
   
9 CDC's Seasonal Flu web section posts new materials

CDC recently added a new fact sheet to its Seasonal Flu web section:

"Fact Sheet: Protecting Against the Flu: Advice for Caregivers of Children Less Than 6 Months Old" (10/26/07)

To access this resource, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/whatsnew.htm#new and click on the pertinent link.

To access a broad range of continually updated information on seasonal influenza, avian influenza, pandemic influenza, and swine influenza, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu

Back to top
   
10.  Reminder: November 15 is the deadline for submitting abstracts for CDC's 2008 National Immunization Conference

The deadline for submitting abstracts for the 2008 National Immunization Conference is Thursday, November 15.

To access information about submitting an abstract, go to:
http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2008/cfp.cgi

To access the online submission form, go to:
http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2008/input/papers

The conference will be held in Atlanta on March 17-20, 2008. For complete conference information, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/nic

For additional information, contact the conference planning team by phone at (404) 639-8225 or by email at NIPNIC@cdc.gov

Back to top
   
11.  WHO website posts document that outlines the organization's work to ensure immunization quality, safety, and standards

WHO recently announced the availability of a new publication, "WHO: Working to Ensure Global Quality, Safety, and Standards in Immunization." It gives an overview of WHO's work in setting norms and standards; assuring the quality of vaccines and immunization equipment; and monitoring, assessing, and responding to vaccine safety issues of global concern.

To access the document, go to: http://www.who.int/immunization/newsroom/QSS_BR.pdf

Back to top
   
Immunization Action Coalition  •  2550 University Avenue West  •  Suite 415 North  •  Saint Paul, Minnesota  •  55114
tel 651-647-9009  •  fax 651-647-9131
 
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.