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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2008
Issue number 761: November 3, 2008
 
Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. Dr. Paul Offit dispels myth of vaccine-autism link on NBC's Today Show and in Newsweek magazine
  2. Updated: IAC revises its parent-education resource "When Do Children and Teens Need Vaccinations?"
  3. Parents PACK email newsletter recounts a polio survivor's harrowing experience during a 1953 polio outbreak
  4. The "Flu Clinic Locator" gives the public a way to find an influenza clinic and providers a way to promote their clinics
  5. Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--through spring 2009
  6. CDC's Seasonal Flu web section updates information for parents, workplaces, patients, and providers
  7. It's coming right up: November 14-16 is the date for NFID's Clinical Vaccinology course in Bethesda, MD
  8. MMWR reports on progress toward eliminating rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in the Americas during 2003-08
  9. MMWR reports that labels on pediatric over-the-counter cough and cold medicines will be modified to indicate that the products are not intended for use in children younger than age 4 years
 
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 761: November 3, 2008
1.  Dr. Paul Offit dispels myth of vaccine-autism link on NBC's Today Show and in Newsweek magazine

On October 30, Dr. Paul Offit was interviewed on NBC's Today Show by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor. Dr. Offit is chief of Infectious Diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is also the author of a recently published book, "Autism's False Prophets: Bad science, risky medicine, and the search for a cure." (Information about the book appears at the end of this IAC Express article.)

Titled "Doctor disputes vaccine, autism link," an online video of the NBC interview is available at
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27440647

The Nov. 3 issue of Newsweek magazine includes an article based on an interview with Dr. Offit. Titled "Stomping through a Medical Minefield: The author of a new book about autism says exactly what he thinks about vaccines and other hot topics," the article is available online at http://www.newsweek.com/id/165644

IAC Express editor's note: The websites of television networks and national magazines typically retain online videos of interviews and online versions of articles for a limited time. IAC Express encourages interested readers to access the online versions of the interview and article above as soon as possible.

Dr. Offit's new book was published in September by Columbia University Press. To order it directly from the publisher, go to:
http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-14636-4/autisms-false-prophets/webFeatures

The book is also available on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites and from your local bookseller.

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2 Updated: IAC revises its parent-education resource "When Do Children and Teens Need Vaccinations?"

IAC recently updated its parent-education print resource "When Do Children and Teens Need Vaccinations?" Sections pertaining to the vaccines that protect against rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), and influenza were revised.

To access the updated version of "When Do Children and Teens Need Vaccinations?" go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4050.pdf

IAC's Print Materials web section offers healthcare professionals and the public nearly 250 FREE, English-language materials (many also available in translation), which we encourage website users to print out, copy, and distribute widely. To access all of IAC's free print materials, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/printmaterials

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3 Parents PACK email newsletter recounts a polio survivor's harrowing experience during a 1953 polio outbreak

The October issue of Parents PACK, an electronic newsletter published by the Vaccine Education Center (VEC) of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has a feature article of special interest to parents and healthcare professionals.

Titled "Perspective of a Polio Survivor," the article is written by Janice Nichols, a polio survivor who has written a book about how her family was affected by polio in the 1950s. Nichols lost her twin brother to polio in 1953, during a polio outbreak in her community, DeWitt, New York. Shortly after, Nichols herself was diagnosed with the disease. Six other children in the classroom shared by Nichols and her brother were also diagnosed.

To access the October issue of Parents PACK, go to:
http://www.chop.edu/consumer/jsp/division/generic.jsp?id=89364

For additional information about the Parents PACK newsletter, including subscription information, go to:
http://www.chop.edu/consumer/jsp/division/generic.jsp?id=79354

Information about Nichols's book, "Twin Voices: A memoir of polio, the forgotten killer," is available at
http://www.twinvoices.com/About_Twin_Voices.html

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4 The "Flu Clinic Locator" gives the public a way to find an influenza clinic and providers a way to promote their clinics

A project of the American Lung Association, the "Flu Clinic Locator" gives individuals a way to find an influenza clinic that's near their home or workplace. And it gives healthcare providers a way to promote their clinics to people in their community. In either case, the first step is to go to http://www.flucliniclocator.org

To find a clinic: Individuals enter their home or workplace zip code and other information in the tinted box titled "Flu Clinic Locator," located toward the right of the page. The individual is then taken to a chart that gives the location of nearby influenza clinics, their dates and times, and their distance from the zip code entered.

To promote a clinic: Providers interested in having their clinics listed will find detailed information by clicking on the box titled "All About the Flu Clinic Locator." It is located in the vertical bar to the left of the page. Providers will be taken to a page of information and instructions.

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5 Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--through spring 2009

Influenza vaccine for the 2008-09 influenza season is available. Vaccination should continue through the spring months of 2009. 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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6 CDC's Seasonal Flu web section updates information for parents, workplaces, patients, and providers

CDC recently updated the following pages on its Seasonal Flu web section:

"Seasonal Flu Information for Parents" (new content)
"Free Flu Materials" (Spanish-language poster and flyer)
"Seasonal Flu Information for Workplaces & Employees" (redirected links)
"Patient & Provider Information" (listings added for Georgia, Texas, and Virginia)

To access these resources, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/whatsnew.htm and click on the pertinent link.

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 www.preventinfluenza.org often.

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7 It's coming right up: November 14-16 is the date for NFID's Clinical Vaccinology course in Bethesda, MD

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases' (NFID) Clinical Vaccinology course will be held November 14-16 in Bethesda, MD. It is intended for primary care physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, public health specialists, infectious disease specialists, and other healthcare professionals involved with clinical aspects of vaccinology. Continuing education credit is available.

To access the course brochure, go to:
http://www.nfid.org/pdf/conferences/idcourse08.pdf

To register online, go to:
https://secure.bnt.com/webresponse/nfid/idcourse08

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8 MMWR reports on progress toward eliminating rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in the Americas during 2003-08

CDC published "Progress Toward Elimination of Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome--the Americas, 2003-2008" in the October 31 issue of MMWR. Portions of a summary made available to the press are reprinted below.


In 2003, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) established a goal of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) elimination in the Americas by the year 2010. To accomplish this goal, PAHO developed a comprehensive rubella and CRS elimination strategy. During 19982006, confirmed rubella cases decreased 97.8 percent (from 135,947 to 2,998) in the Americas. However, during 2007, rubella outbreaks occurred in three countries (i.e., Argentina, Brazil, and Chile). This report summarizes overall progress toward reaching 2010 goals of eliminating rubella and CRS. With the completion of the campaigns in Argentina, Brazil, and Haiti, all countries will have implemented the recommended PAHO strategy by the end of 2008, with the expectation of reaching the 2010 rubella and CRS elimination goals.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the MMWR article, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5743a4.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5743.pdf

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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9 MMWR reports that labels on pediatric over-the-counter cough and cold medicines will be modified to indicate that the products are not intended for use in children younger than age 4 years

CDC published "Revised Product Labels for Pediatric Over-the-Counter Cough and Cold Medicines" in the October 31 issue of MMWR. The article is reprinted below in its entirety, excluding references.


October 7, 2008, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association announced that the leading manufacturers of pediatric over-the-counter cough and cold medicines would voluntarily modify the labels on these products to state that they should not be used in children aged <4 years.

Previous product labels stated that these medicines should not be used in children aged <2 years. Existing products with these labels will not be removed immediately from store shelves but are expected to be replaced eventually with newly labeled products. Healthcare providers should be aware of the new labels and should alert parents and caregivers to this change.

Serious injuries and deaths have been reported among infants and children who received over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, but most adverse events resulted from overdoses or unsupervised ingestions. To promote child safety, the Food and Drug Administration and CDC have developed materials to educate parents, healthcare providers, and consumers about how and when these products can be used safely. Additional information is available at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2008/new01899.html


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the article, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5743a5.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5743.pdf

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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.