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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2008
Issue number 756: September 29, 2008
 
Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. Resource from Dr. Ari Brown can help healthcare professionals work with vaccine-hesitant parents
  2. AAP releases policy statement on recommendations for influenza immunization of children
  3. Multi-vaccine VIS updated with new information about rotavirus vaccines
  4. Families Fighting Flu expands website and offers new resources including a not-to-be-missed new video
  5. Read description and reviews of Dr. Paul Offit's new book, "Autism's False Prophets"
  6. CDC publishes information on influenza vaccination coverage of adults in the 2006-07 influenza season
  7. CDC publishes information on influenza vaccination coverage of children age 6-23 months in the 2006-07 influenza season
  8. CDC publishes information on influenza vaccination coverage of children age 6-59 months in the 2007-08 influenza season
  9. CDC updates its Seasonal Flu web section with additional education materials
  10. CDC reports on influenza activity in the United States and worldwide from May 18-September 19, 2008
  11. IAC revises print piece for public about hepatitis A
  12. MMWR reports on progress on measles elimination in Japan
  13. WHO recommends influenza vaccine strains for southern hemisphere
  14. Errata: MMWR publishes corrections to articles on pediatric general immunization and influenza vaccination rates
  15. Hepatitis Foundation International summit to be held November 13-14 in Las Vegas
 
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 756: September 29, 2008
1.  Resource from Dr. Ari Brown can help healthcare professionals work with vaccine-hesitant parents

In response to the recent media attention given to vaccines, autism, and other controversies concerning vaccines, IAC received permission to reprint and distribute information for parents previously published by Dr. Ari Brown in her book "Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year."

The new 6-page article is titled "Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby's Shots." In it, Dr. Brown discusses the etiology of autism, vaccines and autism, mercury preservatives in vaccines, the Poling case, MMR vaccine and autism, additives in vaccines, the number of recommended vaccines in the childhood schedule, and more in a respectful and readable style. Feel free to make copies and give them to parents with vaccine concerns.

Ari Brown, MD, FAAP, is a practicing pediatrician in Austin, TX, who received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and did her pediatric residency at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital.

To download this exciting new ready-to-copy article for parents on vaccine concerns, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2068.pdf

For more information about Dr. Ari Brown and her book titled "Baby 411," go to
http://www.windsorpeak.com/baby411/default.html

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2 AAP releases policy statement on recommendations for influenza immunization of children

On September 8, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a policy statement online (ahead of print) made by AAP's Committee on Infectious Diseases. Titled "Prevention of Influenza: Recommendations for Influenza Immunization of Children, 20082009," this statement updates the recommendations for routine use of influenza vaccine in children and adolescents.

To access a web-text (HTML) version of this statement, go to:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/peds.2008-2449v1

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this statement, go to:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2008-2449v1

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3 Multi-vaccine VIS updated with new information about rotavirus vaccines

On September 18, CDC posted an updated interim edition of the pediatric multi-vaccine VIS. This edition has been made consistent with the recently updated rotavirus VIS by noting the availability of two rotavirus vaccines in the "Routine Childhood Vaccines" section and adding "irritability" to the mild problems listed for rotavirus in the "Vaccine Risks" section.

Otherwise, the VIS is identical to the 1/30/08 edition. Providers using the multi-vaccine VIS when administering Rotarix should begin using the new edition now. When Rotateq is administered, the older edition may be used until your older multi-vaccine VIS supply is used up.

To access the 9/18/08 interim pediatric multi-vaccine VIS from the IAC website, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/vis_multi1.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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4 Families Fighting Flu expands website and offers new resources including a not-to-be-missed new video

Families Fighting Flu (FFF) has expanded its website to better educate parents, families, physicians, and members of the media about the seriousness of influenza in children as well as the importance of increasing influenza vaccination rates in children age 6 months-18 years.

New features of the website include Flu Fact vs. Fiction, a section outlining common misperceptions about influenza and the influenza vaccine; downloadable materials for parents and physicians, including posters and flyers; and chapters from a new book by Jon Abramson, MD, and his daughter Rebecca titled "Families Fighting Flu: A Guide for Parents."

To access the expanded FFF website, go to:
http://www.familiesfightingflu.org

FFF and CDC have collaborated on a video titled "Why Flu Vaccination Matters: Personal Stories from Families Affected by Flu." Be sure you watch it and that parents know about it too. The 7 minute video can be accessed from the FFF website or from YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/cdcflu

Families Fighting Flu is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization established in 2004 that is made up of families and healthcare practitioners. Each family has experienced first-hand the death of a child due to influenza or has had a child experience severe medical complications from influenza. FFF is dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against influenza every year.

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5 Read description and reviews of Dr. Paul Offit's new book, "Autism's False Prophets"

A new book by Paul Offit, MD, titled "Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure" was published this month. The publisher, Columbia University Press, provided the following description of the book.


Children with autism have been placed on stringent diets, subjected to high-temperature saunas, bathed in magnetic clay, asked to swallow digestive enzymes and activated charcoal, and injected with various combinations of vitamins, minerals, and acids. Instead of helping, these therapies can hurt those who are most vulnerable, and particularly in the case of autism, they undermine childhood vaccination programs that have saved millions of lives. An overwhelming body of scientific evidence clearly shows that childhood vaccines are safe and does not cause autism. Yet widespread fear of vaccines on the part of parents persists.

In this book, Paul A. Offit, a national expert on vaccines, challenges the modern-day false prophets who have so egregiously misled the public and exposes the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities, and politicians who support them. Offit recounts the history of autism research and the exploitation of this tragic condition by advocates and zealots. He considers the manipulation of science in the popular media and the courtroom, and he explores why society is susceptible to the bad science and risky therapies put forward by many anti-vaccination activists.


Columbia University Press also provided the following reviews of Dr. Offit's book.


"No one has been more vocal--or courageous--than Paul A. Offit in exposing the false and dangerous claims of the growing anti-vaccine movement. Offit's latest book lays waste to the supposed link between autism and vaccination while showing how easily Americans have been bamboozled into compromising the health of their own children. 'Autism's False Prophets' is a must read for parents seeking to fully understand the risks and rewards of vaccination in our modern world."David Oshinsky, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in the history category for his book "Polio: An American Story"

"Every child has a right to be vaccinated against deadly diseases. We started Every Child By Two to protect children from diseases. It didn't occur to me that I would also have to protect them from misinformation about life-saving vaccines. Paul A. Offit's book sets the facts straight." Rosalynn Carter, former first lady, co-founder of Every Child By Two

"A definitive analysis of a dangerous and unnecessary controversy that has put the lives of children at risk. Paul A. Offit shows how bad science can take hold of the public consciousness and lead to personal decisions that endanger the health of small children. Every parent who has doubts about the wisdom of vaccinating their kids should read this book." Peter C. Doherty, Ph.D., St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and Nobel Laureate in Medicine for fundamental contributions in Immunology

"As a parent it is my job to protect my children. Hearing all the rumors about vaccine side effects made me question the right thing to do. This book makes it clear that vaccines save lives, and that they clearly do not cause autism."

Amy Pisani, mother

You can buy "Autism's False Prophets" at your local bookstore, from the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites, or from Columbia University Press by clicking here.

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6 CDC publishes information on influenza vaccination coverage of adults in the 2006-07 influenza season

CDC published "State-Specific Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Adults--United States, 2006-07 Influenza Season" in the September 26 issue of MMWR. A summary made available to the press is reprinted below.


Based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey, in the 2006-07 season, influenza vaccination coverage among persons aged 18-49 years with high-risk conditions, persons aged 50-64 years, and persons aged >=65 years were 35.1 percent, 42.0 percent, and 72.1 percent, respectively, which indicated that vaccination rates in the 2006-07 season increased compared with the 2005-06 season, but coverage was not higher than during the pre-vaccine shortage 2003-2004 season.

Influenza epidemics occur seasonally and result in substantial morbidity and mortality in the United States. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for anyone who wants it for their own protection as well as for prevention of transmission to others, but among adults especially for all persons aged >=50 years and persons 18-49 years of age with high-risk conditions.

Influenza vaccination levels for the 2006-07 season and the magnitude of change from the previous season varied among regions, state/U.S. territories, high-risk, and racial/ethnic groups. Further efforts are needed to increase influenza vaccination coverage among adult populations in the United States.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5738a1.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5738.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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7 CDC publishes information on influenza vaccination coverage of children age 6-23 months in the 2006-07 influenza season

CDC published "Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 6-23 Months--United States, 2006-07 Influenza Season" in the September 26 issue of MMWR. The first paragraph of the article is reprinted below, excluding references.


Children aged <5 years have more influenza-related medical-care visits compared with older children, and those aged <2 years are at the greatest risk for influenza-related hospitalizations. In 2002, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) encouraged annual influenza vaccination of children aged 6-23 months and then, in 2004, recommended vaccination for this group. Two doses, spaced at least 4 weeks apart, are recommended to fully vaccinate children aged <9 years who are receiving influenza vaccination for the first time. This report, based on data from the 2007 National Immunization Survey (NIS), provides an assessment of influenza vaccination coverage among children aged 6-23 months during September-December of the 2006-07 influenza season. Nationally, 31.8 percent of children received 1 or more doses of influenza vaccine, and 21.3 percent were fully vaccinated, with substantial variability among states. The findings underscore the need to increase interest in and access to influenza vaccination for more children in the United States. Further study is needed to identify knowledge deficits or logistical barriers that might contribute to continued low influenza vaccination coverage among young children.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5738a2.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5738.pdf

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8 CDC publishes information on influenza vaccination coverage of children age 6-59 months in the 2007-08 influenza season

CDC published "Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 6-59 Months--Eight Immunization Information System Sentinel Sites, United States, 2007-08 Influenza Season" in the September 26 issue of MMWR. The first paragraph of the article is reprinted below, excluding references.


Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza-associated morbidity and mortality. However, influenza vaccination coverage among children historically has been low. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual vaccination with influenza vaccine for all children aged 6-59 months. Previously unvaccinated children and children who received only 1 vaccine dose for the first time in the previous influenza season are recommended to receive 2 influenza vaccine doses. To assess vaccination coverage among children aged 6-59 months during the 2007-08 influenza season, CDC analyzed data from the eight immunization information system (IIS) sentinel sites. For the eight sites, an average (unweighted) of 40.8 percent of children aged 6-23 months received 1 or more influenza vaccine doses, and an average of 22.1 percent were fully vaccinated. Among children aged 24-59 months, an average of 22.2 percent received 1 or more doses, and an average of 16.5 percent were fully vaccinated. These results indicate that influenza vaccination coverage among children remains low and highlight the need to identify additional barriers to influenza vaccination and to develop more effective interventions to promote vaccination of children aged 6-59 months who are at high risk for influenza-related morbidity and mortality.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5738a3.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5738.pdf

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9 CDC updates its Seasonal Flu web section with additional education materials

CDC recently updated its Seasonal Flu website with more resources for the 2008-09 influenza season, including the following three new web pages.

Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm

Protecting Against Influenza (Flu): Advice for Caregivers of Children Less Than 6 Months Old
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/infantcare.htm

Seasonal Flu Information for Schools & Childcare Providers
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/index.htm

In addition, CDC is currently featuring influenza on its home page at http://www.cdc.gov The link provided there goes to a page of influenza information for the public titled "Flu Season is Here: Learn How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones." This page can also be accessed directly at
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/FLU

Visitors to this page are encouraged to send an influenza vaccination-themed electronic postcard to friends or loved ones from click here.

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

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

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10.  CDC reports on influenza activity in the United States and worldwide from May 18-September 19, 2008

CDC published "Influenza Activity--United States and Worldwide, May 18-September 19, 2008" in the September 26 issue of MMWR. The first two paragraphs of the Editorial Note are reprinted below, excluding references.


During May 18-September 19, 2008, influenza A (H1), influenza A (H3), and influenza B viruses were detected worldwide. The influenza virus type and subtype that will predominate, the severity of influenza-related disease activity, and the level of antiviral resistance during the 2008-09 influenza season cannot be forecast in advance of the influenza season. However, of the isolates submitted for antigenic characterization during May through early September from Northern and Southern Hemisphere countries, the majority were antigenically similar to the viruses contained in the 2008-09 influenza vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere.

Annual influenza vaccination remains the best method for preventing influenza and its potentially severe complications. When vaccine strains are well matched to influenza viruses circulating during the influenza season, vaccine effectiveness typically exceeds 50 percent and can be as high as 70-90 percent in healthy adults. Data from an interim within-season vaccine effectiveness study during the 2007-08 influenza season showed that overall vaccine effectiveness for prevention of medically attended, laboratory-confirmed influenza infection was 44 percent, despite a suboptimal match between two of the three vaccine strains and the predominant circulating strain. Vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2), the subtype most frequently associated with increases in influenza-related complications and deaths, was 58 percent. These data demonstrate that influenza vaccination can offer substantial benefit, even in years where the match between circulating strains and vaccine strains is suboptimal.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5738a4.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5738.pdf

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11.  IAC revises print piece for public about hepatitis A

IAC recently reviewed and revised an educational piece for the public titled "Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. Vaccination can protect you!" Updated information includes the age for routine childhood immunization and changes regarding pre-travel and post-exposure prophylaxis.

To access the revised "Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. Vaccination can protect you!" go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4080.pdf

IAC's Print Materials web section has more than 175 FREE, ready-to-copy English-language materials for healthcare professionals and the public--as well as many in translation. To access all of IAC's free print materials, go to: http://www.immunize.org/printmaterials

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12.  MMWR reports on progress on measles elimination in Japan

CDC published "Progress Toward Measles Elimination--Japan, 1999-2008" in the September 26 issue of MMWR. The first paragraph of the article is reprinted below.


In 2005, the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region (WPR) set a target date of 2012 for measles elimination in all WPR member states. In Japan, measles control strategies have included 1) a nationwide public awareness campaign implemented in 2001 to promote timely vaccination with the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) administered on or after age 12 months, and 2) a 2-dose MCV schedule with the second dose (MCV2) administered at age 5-6 years, adopted in 2006 in accordance with the recommended WPR measles elimination strategy. However, during 2007-2008, Japan experienced a large measles outbreak, which resulted in exportation of measles cases from Japan into countries where measles elimination had been achieved. This report describes the epidemiology of measles in Japan during 1999-2008 and approval of a National Measles Elimination Plan in December 2007 that includes recommendations for immunization strategies, case-based measles surveillance, and monitoring to ensure elimination of measles by 2012. Measles continues to be endemic in Japan, with most cases occurring in children before school entry, except for 2007 and 2008, when a shift to an older age group was observed. With implementation of the National Measles Elimination Plan, Japan is expected to make progress toward achieving the WPR measles elimination goal.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5738a5.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5738.pdf

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13.  WHO recommends influenza vaccine strains for southern hemisphere

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that influenza vaccines for the southern hemisphere's 2009 flu season be based on the same three viral strains as this year's vaccines.

To read WHO's "Recommended Composition of Influenza Vaccines for Use in the 2009 Southern Hemisphere Influenza Season," go to:
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/influenza/200809Recommendation.pdf

To read an article about the WHO recommendations from the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy, University of Minnesota, click here.

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14.  Errata: MMWR publishes corrections to articles on pediatric general immunization and influenza vaccination rates

CDC published " Errata: Vol. 56, Nos. 34 and 37" in the September 26 issue of MMWR. The article is reprinted below in its entirety.


In Vol. 56, No. 34, in the report, "National, State, and Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19-35 Months--United States, 2006," minor errors (generally one tenth of 1%) occurred in national, state, and local coverage estimates for the combined 4:3:1:3:3:1 vaccine series and for certain individual vaccines. For the 4:3:1:3:3:1 vaccine series, the national coverage estimate should read 76.9%. Similarly, national vaccination coverage estimates for poliovirus; measles, mumps, and rubella; hepatitis B; and varicella vaccines should read 92.8%, 92.3%, 93.3%, and 89.2%, respectively.

In Vol. 56, No. 37, in the report, "Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 6-23 Months--United States, 2005-06 Influenza Season," minor errors occurred in national, state, and local coverage estimates of influenza vaccination coverage. The national coverage estimate for 1 or more doses of influenza vaccine should read 32.2%, and the national coverage estimate for children fully vaccinated with influenza vaccine should read 20.9%.

Additional information is available at
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/stats-surv/nis/data/tables_2006.htm


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5738a7.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5738.pdf

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15.  Hepatitis Foundation International summit to be held November 13-14 in Las Vegas

The Southwest Viral Hepatitis Summit will be held November 13-
14, 2008, in Las Vegas, NV. The conference is sponsored by
Hepatitis Foundation International (HFI) and is intended for
physicians, physician assistants, nurses, psychologists,
counselors, outreach workers, patient advocates, and others
working with people who are affected by or infected with viral
hepatitis.

For information about the agenda or registration, go to:
http://www.hepfi.org/pdfs/SouthWest_Summit_Registration_&_Agenda.001.pdf

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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.