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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2008
Issue number 707: January 28, 2008
 
Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. New CDC survey data show dismally low rates of adult immunization
  2. CDC's QuickStats give overview of strategies nursing homes used to encourage employee influenza vaccination in 2004
  3. AAP toolkit gives clinicians an extensive array of resources for caring for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  4. Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--including the spring months
  5. CDC reports on influenza-testing and antiviral-agent prescribing practices in four states during 2006-07 influenza season
 
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 707: January 28, 2008
1.  New CDC survey data show dismally low rates of adult immunization

On January 23, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) issued a press release reporting on CDC survey results that indicate extremely low rates of immunization among U.S. adults. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.


NEW DATA SHOW UNACCEPTABLY LOW ADULT IMMUNIZATION RATES AND THAT ADULTS UNAWARE OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE THREAT
Experts Urge Integration of Adult Vaccines into Routine Care to Save Lives, Reduce Needless Illness

New data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paint a disappointing picture of adult immunization against serious infectious diseases in the United States. In addition, a new consumer survey shows the vast majority of adult Americans lack awareness of vaccines and the severity of infectious diseases.

An expert panel discussed the data at a press conference held by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), which called for increased use of vaccines in adults to reduce needless illness and deaths associated with infectious diseases.

CDC's National Immunization Survey shows only 2.1 percent of adults 18 to 64 years of age are immunized against tetanus-diphtheria-whooping cough. Immunization to prevent shingles among people 60 and over was only 1.9 percent. Vaccine coverage for the prevention of HPV (human papillomavirus) among women 18 to 26 is about 10 percent. In addition, influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates for the elderly are well below the 90 percent national target rates.

"Routine immunization of children in the United States has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of cases of disease, but vaccines are not just for children," said Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "These new data show there are not yet very many adults taking full advantage of the great advancements in prevention that have been made in the past few years."

"There are now 17 diseases that can be prevented from vaccines given to children, teens and adults. Several vaccines, including three fairly new ones licensed since 2005, are recommended specifically for the adult years. By skipping vaccination, people are leaving themselves needlessly vulnerable to significant illness, long-term suffering, and even death," said Dr. Schuchat. "We are extremely fortunate in this country to have safe and effective vaccines available, but we have to use them better."

Immunization is recommended for U.S. adults to protect them against chickenpox, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, humanpapillomavirus/cervical cancer (HPV), influenza, measles, meningococcal disease, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumococcal disease, rubella, shingles, and tetanus.

"Combined, these infectious diseases kill more Americans annually than either breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, or traffic accidents," said William Schaffner, MD, vice president of NFID and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

"A concerted effort is needed to raise adult immunization rates," said Dr. Schaffner. "The important thing to remember is that deaths and illness associated with these infections are largely avoidable through vaccination."

National Survey Finds Low Awareness of Vaccines among Adults

Also released today were results of a new national survey conducted by NFID that show most adults cannot name more than one or two diseases that are vaccine preventable in adults. Each vaccine for adults was identified by only 3 to 18 percent of those polled; the only exception was the influenza vaccine, which was named by just under half of respondents.

Also disconcerting is that half of those surveyed say they are not concerned about whether they or another adult family member gets a vaccine-preventable disease. When asked about specific diseases, consumers expressed most concern about getting influenza, which likely reflects the more frequent messages they receive about influenza versus the other diseases. . . .

To view the complete press release from the website of PRNewswire, click here.

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2 CDC's QuickStats give overview of strategies nursing homes used to encourage employee influenza vaccination in 2004

As part of its QuickStats series, CDC published "Percentage of Nursing Home Facilities Using Certain Strategies to Encourage Influenza Vaccination of Their Employees, by Strategy Used--National Nursing Home Survey, United States, 2004" in the January 25 issue of MMWR. Presented in graph format, QuickStats provide updates on key indicators and important trends in public health. They are based on survey data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The text of the QuickStats that appeared in the January 25 MMWR is reprinted below in its entirety.


In 2004, the majority (63%) of nursing homes reported <60% employees had received an influenza shot last influenza season. In 2004, nursing homes used different strategies to promote influenza vaccination among employees. Three of these strategies (offering free vaccinations, furloughing employees with influenza-like illness, and requiring proof of vaccination) were significantly associated with staff influenza vaccination rates >60%. Only 1% of surveyed facilities did not use at least one of the strategies.

SOURCE: National Nursing Home Survey; 2004. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nnhs.htm



To access a web-text (HTML) version of the January 25 QuickStats, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5703a6.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5703.pdf

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3 AAP toolkit gives clinicians an extensive array of resources for caring for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently announced the availability of a CD-ROM, "Autism--Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Resource Toolkit for Clinicians." A multifaceted clinical resource, the toolkit has the following practice tools and resources: (1) identification, (2) referrals, (3) physician fact sheets, and (4) family handouts.

To view a detailed product profile with sample tools and resources, go to: http://www.aap.org/publiced/autismtoolkit.cfm

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4 Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--including the spring months

Influenza vaccination should continue from now into the spring. 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

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5 CDC reports on influenza-testing and antiviral-agent prescribing practices in four states during 2006-07 influenza season

CDC published "Influenza-Testing and Antiviral-Agent Prescribing PracticesóConnecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, and New York. 2006-07 Influenza Season" in the January 25 issue of MMWR. A portion of a summary made available to the press is reprinted below.


Primary care physicians (PCPs) from four states were surveyed about influenza testing and treatment practices during the 2006-07 influenza season. Fifty-four percent of PCPs prescribed influenza antiviral medications to patients, but approximately 20% of these PCPs prescribed amantadine or rimantadine, antiviral medications that CDC, in January 2006, ceased recommending because of influenza virus drug resistance. This survey also found that approximately 70% of PCPs reported testing patients with influenza-like illness for influenza. Of these, almost 90% used rapid antigen tests. Rapid antigen tests are an attractive diagnostic aid to PCPs, as testing can be performed in doctors' offices and results can be available in as little as 30 minutes. Rapid antigen tests, however, are only moderately-to-reasonably accurate in diagnosing influenza, and, as such, PCPs need to use proper clinical judgment and know when influenza is circulating in their communities to guide clinical management decisions.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5703a1.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5703.pdf

To receive a FREE electronic subscription to MMWR (which includes new ACIP statements), go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwrsubscribe.html

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Immunization Action Coalition  •  Saint Paul, MN
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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.