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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2008
Issue number 755: September 22, 2008
 
Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. Immunization Alliance issues a Call to Action to preserve the health of U.S. children through immunization
  2. New: CDC publishes new recommendations that call for expanded testing for chronic hepatitis B virus infection
  3. NFID's September 24 press conference to feature top health experts discussing the 2008-09 influenza season
  4. It's National Adult Immunization Awareness Week; CDC website offers resources for healthcare professionals
  5. CDC updates its Seasonal Flu web section with a multitude of materials for healthcare professionals
  6. Current VISs for influenza vaccines available in Chinese, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese
  7. October 21 is the date of IZTA's teleconference on the "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign
  8. September issue of CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter recently released
  9. Congressional Budget Office publishes "U.S. Policy Regarding Pandemic Influenza Vaccines"
  10. CDC launches online forum for exchanging ideas about HIV, hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention
  11. Hepatitis B Foundation focuses on hepatitis B in Asian/Pacific Islander communities
  12. Viet Hep B Free Project offers culturally appropriate information on its website
 
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 755: September 22, 2008
1.  Immunization Alliance issues a Call to Action to preserve the health of U.S. children through immunization

On September 18, a press release containing a Call to Action from the Immunization Alliance was posted on the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A new organization comprising medical, public health, and parent organizations, the Immunization Alliance calls on policy makers, public health agencies, physicians, and the public to work together to preserve the health of the nation's children through immunization.

The Immunization Alliance's constituent members jointly endorsed the Call to Action. It is reprinted below in its entirety; a link to the press release containing the Call to Action is given at the end of this IAC Express article.


IMMUNIZATION ALLIANCE CALL TO ACTION

The Immunization Alliance, which comprises the groups listed below, sets forth the following Call to Action for public health organizations, government, healthcare professionals, the media, and the public.

What the Alliance commits to:
We commit to continued partnerships with policy makers to ensure that:
  • children receive recommended immunizations on time (according to the schedule of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics) to protect them against vaccine-preventable diseases and to protect the public's health;
     
  • vaccines are as safe as possible and vaccine safety research is adequately funded;
     
  • the vaccine supply is sufficient and equitably distributed;
     
  • parents and caregivers have the knowledge and information they need to make fully-informed decisions in the best interests of their child.

What the Alliance asks:

  • We ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to undertake a public information campaign reinforcing the value and importance of immunization to empower parents to make informed decisions about vaccinating their children.
     
  • We ask physicians and other healthcare professionals to work closely with parents and patients to foster an understanding of the need for, and timing of, recommended vaccines, and to assess what is needed to earn or regain the trust of some parents. The goal is to work as a team to fully protect infants and children against diseases that can result in death or life-long disability.
     
  • We ask medical professional organizations and public health agencies to provide support and guidance to physicians in counseling parents about the importance and safety of vaccines. The goal is to facilitate informed decision-making by parents and caregivers.
     
  • We encourage parents to ask questions at the doctor's office, and to expect answers based on the best scientific information available. We ask them to rely on credible sources for their information about vaccine safety and effectiveness, and to take the time to understand the evidence on which immunization recommendations are based in order to make fully informed decisions about their children's health.
     
  • We ask the federal government to dedicate funding for continued research into vaccine safety and effectiveness.
     
  • We ask the media to take the time to understand vaccine science and the evidence on which immunization recommendations are based. We also ask the media to keep the public interest foremost in their treatment of this subject, and to consider the potential consequences of lending credence to various publicity efforts and spokespersons without a complete and critical review of the scientific merit of these sources.
     
  • We ask that, given the importance of communicating scientifically based and trustworthy information, all editors of Internet content, publications, and blogs should ensure that appropriate efforts are made to comply with the high standards associated with responsible journalism.

List of Participating Organizations

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • American College of Preventive Medicine
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians
  • American Medical Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • America's Health Insurance Plans
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • California Immunization Coalition
  • Every Child By Two
  • Immunization Action Coalition
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • March of Dimes
  • National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
  • Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
  • Sabin Vaccine Institute
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Voices for Vaccines

To access the press release, go to:
http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/sept08Immunizationalliance.htm

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2 New: CDC publishes new recommendations that call for expanded testing for chronic hepatitis B virus infection

On September 19, CDC published "Recommendations for Identification and Public Health Management of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection" in MMWR Recommendations and Reports. On September 18, CDC published a related press release containing the recommendation's highlights. The press release is titled "CDC Expands Testing Recommendations for Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection: New guidance also issued on patient management for those infected." It is reprinted below in its entirety. Links to the September 19 recommendations are given at the end of this IAC Express article.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today published new recommendations for healthcare providers that are designed to increase routine testing in the United States for chronic hepatitis B, a major cause of liver disease and liver cancer. CDC recommends testing all individuals born in Asia and Africa, as well as testing additional at-risk populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and injection-drug users (IDUs). The recommendations, published today in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Recommendations & Reports, also for the first time give health professionals guidance for effective management of chronically infected hepatitis B patients.

"Chronic hepatitis B affects the lives of more than one million Americans, many of whom do not even know they are infected. These new recommendations are critical to identifying people who are living with the disease without the benefits of medical attention," said John W. Ward, MD, director of CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis. "Testing is the first step to identify infected persons so that they can receive lifesaving care and treatment, which can break the cycle of transmission, slow disease progression, and prevent deaths from liver cancer."

In the United States, chronic hepatitis B is the underlying cause of an estimated 2,000-4,000 deaths each year from cirrhosis and liver cancer. The CDC recommendations are key to increasing the early diagnosis of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, since many of the estimated 800,000-1.4 million Americans with chronic HBV infection have no symptoms and are unaware of their disease.

Highlights of the recommendations

The new testing recommendations build upon and reinforce past recommendations to test all pregnant women, infants born to infected mothers, household contacts and sex partners of infected individuals, and people with HIV.

Along with continued testing of those groups, routine testing is now recommended for additional populations, including:
  • Individuals born in Asia, Africa, and other geographic regions with 2 percent or higher prevalence of chronic HBV infections: Previous CDC recommendations called for testing of people born in areas with 8 percent prevalence or higher. Expanded testing is essential since the rate of liver cancer deaths and chronic HBV in the United States remains high among foreign-born U.S. populations from these areas. For example, nearly one in 12 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States is HBV-infected, and one-third or more are unaware.
     
  • Men who have sex with men and injection drug users: Routine testing is needed for these persons since both have a higher prevalence of chronic HBV infection than the overall U.S. population. Up to 3 percent of MSM and up to 6 percent of IDUs are estimated to be chronically infected with HBV, compared with three-tenths of one percent of the general population.
     
  • Persons with abnormal liver function tests (not explained by other conditions) and persons who require immunosuppressive therapy (e.g., chemotherapy for malignant diseases).

The new CDC report also gives recommendations for referral of HBV-infected persons to specialists for ongoing monitoring and medical care. Such guidelines are needed now to assist providers, since most of the effective medications for chronic HBV treatment have become available only in the last five years. In addition, the recommendations advise healthcare providers to provide culturally-sensitive ongoing patient education, begin lifelong monitoring for progression of liver disease, and ensure protection of household members and other close contacts of infected persons.

Testing recommendations are a critical component of CDC's strategy to eliminate HBV transmission. CDC continues to work with the medical community to promote comprehensive prevention and treatment efforts for HBV, which include vaccination for all infants and at-risk adults; catch-up vaccination of previously unvaccinated children; routine screening for all pregnant women; treatment of newborns of infected or untested mothers; and testing household contacts and sex partners of HBV-infected persons.

For more information [on] chronic hepatitis B [virus] infection, visit www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HBV/TestingChronic.htm or www.cdc.gov/hepatitis


To access the press release, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r080918.htm

LINKS TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS
To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the recommendations, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5708.pdf

Note: The PDF version includes a free CDC-sponsored education activity that can be completed online or submitted by fax or U.S. mail for continuing education credit. Simply read the recommendations, answer the questions at the end, and follow instructions for submitting your answers.

To access a web-text (HTML) version of the recommendations, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5708a1.htm

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

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3 NFID's September 24 press conference to feature top health experts discussing the 2008-09 influenza season

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) recently announced that it has scheduled a press conference for 10AM ET, September 24, at the National Press Club, Washington, DC. The nation's top health experts, including CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, will speak on the 2008-09 influenza season.

Topics to be discussed include

  • An overview of 2008-2009 influenza vaccination recommendations, including new age-based recommendations that will call for 30 million more children to be vaccinated in 2008-09
  • Strain selection and the protection expected in 2008-09
  • The importance of seeking vaccination well into 2009
  • The role of antivirals and good hygiene practices in protecting against influenza
  • A new NFID survey revealing lack of physician/patient communication about influenza
  • The value of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in protecting those 50 years and older

Pre-registration for attendance is preferred. To register, call Jennifer Corrigan at (732) 382-8898 or (732) 742-7148 (cell phone) or Victoria Amari at (212) 886-2290.

For information on the conference, go to: http://www.nfid.org/pressconfs Scroll down and click on the link titled NFID News Conference on Influenza and Pneumococcal Disease.

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4 It's National Adult Immunization Awareness Week; CDC website offers resources for healthcare professionals

September 21-27 is National Adult Immunization Awareness Week (NAIAW) 2008. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) spearheads this annual observance to coordinate awareness-raising activities that focus on adult and adolescent immunization. NAIAW provides an excellent opportunity for individuals and organizations to promote the importance of adult and adolescent immunization. To help in that effort, the CDC website has posted resources relevant to NAIAW.

One is the 2008 NAIAW Campaign Kit developed by NFID. It provides resources to help educate consumers and healthcare workers about adolescent and adult immunization. Organizations may duplicate materials and modify information in the NAIAW kit to fit unique needs in promoting adult and adolescent immunization. NFID requests that acknowledgement of this publication be included whenever material from the campaign kit is reproduced in another publication or website.

To access the kit, go to:
http://www.nfid.org/pdf/publications/naiaw08.pdf

NOTE: Because of the enormous size of this file, please be patient while the file downloads. The screen will remain blank during this process.

Another resource is the array of materials posted on the CDC website that relate to adult immunization. These include information on the adult immunization schedule, vaccine administration, strategies for adult immunization services, patient education materials, immunization records, and more.

To access these resources, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/spec-grps/adults.htm

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5 CDC updates its Seasonal Flu web section with a multitude of materials for healthcare professionals

CDC recently updated its Seasonal Flu website with numerous materials for healthcare professionals to use during the 2008-09 influenza season. Each of the following is an index that offers professionals access to many resources.

2008-09 Influenza Prevention & Control Recommendations (ACIP)--organized for ease of use, with separate links to each topic presented in the recommendations:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip

Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Resources for Health Professionals: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination

Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol

Antiviral Agents for Seasonal Influenza: Information for Health Professionals: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals

Free Flu Materials (flyers and other materials that encourage patients to be vaccinated; these are available for download only--no printed versions are available for order):
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery

For additional influenza materials pertinent to healthcare professionals, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals

The National Influenza Vaccine Summit's website also contains extensive information and resources on influenza. Visit www.preventinfluenza.org often.

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6 Current VISs for influenza vaccines available in Chinese, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese

Dated 7/24/08, the current VISs for trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV; injectable) and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV; nasal spray) are now available in Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. The current VIS for the injectable vaccine is also available in Thai. IAC gratefully acknowledges the California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch, for the Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese translations and Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, Los Angeles, for the Thai translation.

TIV vaccine VIS
To access the Chinese version of the TIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/ch_flu06.pdf

To access the Tagalog version of the TIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/ta_flu06.pdf

To access the Thai version of the TIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/th_flu06.pdf

To access the Vietnamese version of the TIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/vn_flu06.pdf

To access the English version of the TIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/2flu.pdf

LAIV vaccine VIS
To access the Chinese version of the LAIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/chLAIV06.pdf

To access the Tagalog version of the LAIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/taLAIV06.pdf

To access the Vietnamese version of the LAIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/vnLAIV06.pdf

To access the English version of the LAIV vaccine VIS, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/liveflu.pdf

For information about the use of VISs, and for VISs in more than 35 languages, visit IAC's VIS web section at http://www.immunize.org/vis

For general information about VISs from CDC's website go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis

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7 October 21 is the date of IZTA's teleconference on the "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign

The Immunization Coalitions Technical Assistance Network (IZTA) conference call on October 21 will present information on the "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign, which is sponsored by Every Child by Two (ECBT) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. IZTA is a program of the Center for Health Communication, Academy for Educational Development.

The "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign's purpose is to urge parents to immunize their babies against vaccine-preventable diseases and address misinformation about immunization. Learn how your coalition can benefit from the campaign's materials and key messages. The presenter is Amy Pisani, ECBT's executive director.

The October 21 call will be held at 1PM, ET. To register, send an email to izta@aed.org Include this message: "Sign me up for the Every Child By Two call."

For additional information, or to access earlier programs, go to:
http://www.izta.org/confcall.cfm

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8 September issue of CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter recently released

CDC recently released the September issue of its monthly newsletter Immunization Works; it will soon be posted 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.

Some of the information in the September issue has already appeared in previous issues of IAC Express. Following are titles of articles IAC Express has already covered:

  • Vaccine Coverage Rates Remain High
  • Cost-Effectiveness of HPV Vaccine
  • Immunization Scheduler Makes It Simple for Parents and Providers to Catch-up on Kids' Immunizations
  • Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
  • It's Their Turn! Initiative: Supporting Adolescent Immunization in your Health Department
  • Clinical Vaccinology Course
  • Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases 2008
  • Pink Book, New Printing

Following is the text of articles we have not covered.


OTHER NEWS & SUMMARIES

VACCINE INFORMATION STATEMENT UPDATE: An interim version of the rotavirus VIS, containing information about Rotarix, has been posted on the CDC website. Healthcare providers should use their discretion about retaining stocks of the previous rotavirus VIS. The new VIS is preferred, but parents of infants receiving RotaTeq may be given the older VIS while stocks remain.

Several VISs have also received minor updates. Changes could include correcting the web addresses of VAERS or the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or some of the older VISs, adding the new statement about the availability of translations, cleaning up fonts that don't print properly, etc. None of these changes affect the mandated purpose of VISs. Edition dates on these VISs have not changed, and it is not necessary to replace existing stocks. (Affected VISs are anthrax, DTaP, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib, HPV, Japanese encephalitis, pneumococcal conjugate, pneumococcal polysaccharide, polio, rabies, rotavirus, shingles, Tdap, typhoid, and yellow fever.)


MEETINGS, CONFERENCES & RESOURCES

NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION CONFERENCE: Make plans now to attend the National Immunization Conference (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/nic) scheduled March 30 April 2, 2009, at the Sheraton Dallas, Texas. Abstracts (http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2009/cfp.cgi) will be accepted through November 14, 2008. Early bird on-line registration is available. The deadline for early-bird registration (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/nic/#registration) is January 30, 2009.


2008 CONGENITAL CYTOMEGALOVIRUS CONFERENCE: The CDC and the Congenital CMV Foundation are pleased to sponsor the 2008 Congenital CMV Conference (http://www.rsvpbook.com/event_customization/CDC), to be held November 5-7 at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. Join an international community of scientists, academics, practitioners, and families to discuss congenital CMV research findings and how they can translate into public health action. Conference topics include: raising awareness of congenital CMV, establishing testing and screening standards, advancing treatment options, proposing preventive guidelines, and promoting vaccine initiatives. Emphasis will be placed on identifying obstacles to awareness, prevention, and treatment efforts and proposing practical solutions that will help alleviate the disease burden of congenital CMV. Continuing education credits will be provided.

Issues of Immunization Works are posted on CDC's Vaccines & Immunizations website a few days after publication. To access the September issue, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/news/newsltrs/imwrks Click on the link titled "Sep" under the banner titled "2008 Newsletters Available Online."

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9 Congressional Budget Office publishes "U.S. Policy Regarding Pandemic Influenza Vaccines"

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently published a report titled "U.S. Policy Regarding Pandemic-Influenza Vaccines." It focuses on the U. S. government's role in the development of new influenza vaccines and the capacity to manufacture them.

To access the report, go to:
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/95xx/doc9573/09-15-PandemicFlu.pdf

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10.  CDC launches online forum for exchanging ideas about HIV, hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention

[The following is cross posted from IAC's Hep Express electronic newsletter, 9/16/08.]

You are invited to exchange ideas on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention research and programs on Health Protection Perspectives, the new blog by Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

To access this new resource, go to
http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/blog

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11.  Hepatitis B Foundation focuses on hepatitis B in Asian/Pacific Islander communities

The Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) recently announced two opportunities for healthcare professionals to learn about hepatitis B in Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI) communities.

The first is a free CME course that focuses on screening, diagnosing, and treating chronic hepatitis B virus infection in A/PI communities. It is an interactive online Hepatitis B Clinical Consults Cases course intended for primary care physicians, particularly those who treat A/PI populations. It expires on September 15, 2009.

For detailed information and to register, go to:
http://www.hepb.org/cc/clinical_consults

The second is a free professional conference that focuses on the severity and impact of hepatitis B virus infection and liver cancer among Asians in the Philadelphia area. Scheduled for November 6 at Temple University, Philadelphia, it is intended for community health and outreach professionals who serve the Asian community.

For information and a link to the online registration form, go to: http://www.hepb.org/gateway/apiconference2008_homepage.html

Questions? Contact Dr. Gang Chen at gang.chen@hepb.org or (215) 589-6361.

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12.  Viet Hep B Free Project offers culturally appropriate information on its website

[The following is cross posted from IAC's Hep Express electronic newsletter, 9/16/08.]

The Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project has launched a program called the Viet Hep B Free Project which aims to increase knowledge about hepatitis B and receipt of hepatitis B testing in the Vietnamese community in Northern California.

The Viet Hep B Free Project's website has information about hepatitis B testing, vaccination, and treatment in English and Vietnamese at http://www.suckhoelavang.org/VietHepB

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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.