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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2008
Issue number 772: December 22, 2008
Please click here to subscribe to IAC Express as well as other FREE IAC periodicals.
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Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. Now available online: Needle Tips
  2. Now available online: Vaccinate Adults for adult medicine specialists
  3. Happy holidays from all of us at IAC
  4. California Immunization Coalition develops three Q&A fact sheets to help clinicians answer parents' common questions
  5. IAC updates VIS dates on "It's federal law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)"
  6. Available only until January 20, CDC's "Immunization Encounter" webcast is well worth watching
  7. IAC's Video of the Week features children with pneumonia in the Philippines
  8. December issue of the AAP Immunization Initiatives Newsletter has information on CPT codes for immunization administration
  9. Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--through spring 2009
  10. CDC issues a Health Advisory with interim recommendations for using antiviral medications in the midst of a high prevalence of Oseltamivir-resistant influenza A (H1N1) viruses
  11. A packed schedule of events makes this year's National Influenza Vaccination Week the biggest ever!
  12. Color template of special influenza gift cards now available from the National Influenza Vaccine Summit
  13. New: CDC posts updated information on supply of hepatitis A vaccine and on status of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines
  14. Office of Minority Health releases strategies to address chronic hepatitis B in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander populations
  15. December issue of CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter recently released
 
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 772: December 22, 2008
1.  Now available online: Needle Tips

The December 2008 issue of Needle Tips is now available for viewing and downloading.

This free, popular, semi-annual, 24-page resource for health professionals is packed full of easy-to-read and CDC-reviewed educational content as well as other resources for childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization.

Here are the articles in this issue:

  • Ask the Experts
  • Vaccine Highlights
  • Need help responding to vaccine-hesitant parents? Science-based materials are available from these respected organizations
  • Sample Vaccine Policy Statement--ready for you to adapt to your practice
  • Don't take chances with your family's health--make sure you all get vaccinated against influenza every year!
  • Influenza education materials for patients and staff
  • IAC's "Top 20" free print materials for healthcare professionals and patients
  • IAC's "Top 20" most visited web pages
  • Summary of Recommendations for Childhood and Adolescent Immunization
  • Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization

To view the table of contents with links to individual articles, go to: http://www.immunize.org/nt

To download the ready-to-print (PDF) version of the entire issue (2.3 MB in size), go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n39/n39.pdf

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2 Now available online: Vaccinate Adults for adult medicine specialists

The December 2008 issue of Vaccinate Adults is now available for viewing and downloading.

As many of you know, this free, semi-annual, 12-page publication for adult medicine specialists and others who provide immunization services to adults is packed full of easy-to-read, CDC-reviewed, up-to-date educational information.

Here are the articles in this issue:

  • Ask the Experts
  • Don't take chances with your family's health--make sure you all get vaccinated against influenza every year!
  • Influenza education materials for patients and staff
  • Immunization Action Coalition's top print and electronic materials, all available free at www.immunize.org
  • Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization

To view the table of contents with links to individual articles, go to: http://www.immunize.org/va

To download the ready-to-print (PDF) version of the entire issue (1.7 MB in size), go to: http://www.immunize.org/va/va22.pdf

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3 Happy holidays from all of us at IAC

All of us at IAC wish the readers of IAC Express a safe, happy, and relaxing holiday season--free from influenza.

We will not be producing an issue on December 29. We'll email you the next issue on January 5.

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4 California Immunization Coalition develops three Q&A fact sheets to help clinicians answer parents' common questions

The California Immunization Coalition recently developed the following Q&A fact sheets, which are intended to help clinicians answer parents' most common questions:

Vaccine Safety: 10 Facts for Parents:
http://immunizeca.org/documents/IMM-916_web.pdf

Vaccine Safety: Responding to Parents' Top 10 Concerns:
http://immunizeca.org/documents/IMM-917_web.pdf

Talking with Parents about Vaccine Safety:
http://immunizeca.org/documents/IMM-915_web.pdf

For more information, go to: http://immunizeca.org

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5 IAC updates VIS dates on "It's federal law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)"

IAC recently revised a healthcare-professional resource, "It's federal law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)." The piece has been updated with the dates of the most current VISs.

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to use the piece as a way to be sure they are giving their patients the most current VISs. To do this, just print out a copy of the updated piece at http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2027.pdf Look at chart titled "Most current versions of VISs." Check the dates on your VISs against the dates on the chart.

If your supply of VISs contains any out-of-date ones, go to www.immunize.org/vis There you will find information about the use of VISs and have access to VISs in several languages.

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6 Available only until January 20, CDC's "Immunization Encounter" webcast is well worth watching

Originally broadcast on December 18, CDC's webcast "The Immunization Encounter: Critical Issues" is an outstanding resource for all healthcare professionals involved in any aspect of immunization delivery, from those who administer vaccine to those who set vaccine policy for their organizations. A link to the webcast will be available until January 20, 2009. To access it, go to: http://www2a.cdc.gov/phtn/webcast/imm-encounter2008

The webcast will become available as a self-study DVD and Internet-based program in 4-6 weeks after the webcast. Check back in late January 2009 at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed

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7 IAC's Video of the Week features children with pneumonia in the Philippines

IAC encourages IAC Express readers to watch a six-minute BBC News video about pneumonia among children in the Philippines. Titled "Pneumonia: The struggle to breathe," the video profiles 12-year-old Rosalie who, like many other children in the Philippines, has already suffered from pneumonia several times.

The video will be available on the home page of IAC's website through January 4. To access it, go to: http://www.immunize.org and click on the image under the words Video of the Week, which you'll find toward the top of the page.

Remember to bookmark IAC's home page to view a new video every Monday. While you're at our home page, we encourage you to browse around--you're sure to find resources and information that will enhance your practice's immunization delivery.

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8 December issue of the AAP Immunization Initiatives Newsletter has information on CPT codes for immunization administration

Two features in the December issue of the AAP Immunization Initiatives Newsletter provide clinicians with useful information about CPT codes for immunization administration. The features are "Immunization Administration Code Update" and "Pediatric Practice in Action! Recording Lot Numbers for Vaccines with Multiple, Linked Lot Numbers."

The December issue offers additional immunization information. To access it, go to:
http://www.cispimmunize.org/resour/pdf/December2008_enews.pdf

To be added to the newsletter listserv, email cispimmunize@aap.org with "Newsletter" in the subject line and your name and email address in the body of the email.

To access archived issues, go to:
http://www.cispimmunize.org/resour/rsc_main.html

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

Influenza vaccine for the 2008-09 influenza season is widely available, and the supply is robust. If you run out of vaccine in your work setting, please place another order. Influenza vaccination efforts should continue through the winter holidays and into the spring months of 2009.

For abundant information about influenza vaccination, visit the following two websites often. They 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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10.  CDC issues a Health Advisory with interim recommendations for using antiviral medications in the midst of a high prevalence of Oseltamivir-resistant influenza A (H1N1) viruses

On December 19, CDC's Health Alert Network (HAN) issued an official CDC Health Advisory titled "CDC Issues Interim Recommendations for the Use of Influenza Antiviral Medications in the Setting of Oseltamivir Resistance among Circulating Influenza A (H1N1) Viruses, 2008-09 Influenza Season." The first paragraph is reprinted below; a link to the complete advisory is given at the end of this IAC Express article.


Although influenza activity is low in the United States to date, preliminary data from a limited number of states indicate that the prevalence of influenza A (H1N1) virus strains resistant to the antiviral medication oseltamivir is high. Therefore, CDC is issuing interim recommendations for antiviral treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza during the 2008-09 influenza season. When influenza A (H1N1) virus infection or exposure is suspected, zanamivir or a combination of oseltamivir and rimantadine are more appropriate options than oseltamivir alone. Local influenza surveillance data and laboratory testing can help with physician decision-making regarding the choice of antiviral agents for their patients. The 2008-09 influenza vaccine is expected to be effective in preventing or reducing the severity of illness with currently circulating influenza viruses, including oseltamivir-resistant influenza A (H1N1) virus strains. Since influenza activity remains low and is expected to increase in the weeks and months to come, CDC recommends that influenza vaccination efforts continue. . . .

To access the entire December 19 health advisory, go to:
http://www2a.cdc.gov/HAN/ArchiveSys/ViewMsgV.asp?AlertNum=00279

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11.  A packed schedule of events makes this year's National Influenza Vaccination Week the biggest ever!

[The following is cross posted from CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter, December 2008.]

THIRD ANNUAL NIVW IS BIGGEST YET: National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW; http://www.cdc.gov/flu/NIVW), December 8-14, concluded with promising results from a packed schedule of events, coupled with designated vaccination days for specific audiences.

CDC kicked off NIVW with a satellite radio media tour which began on Monday, December 8, and carried over into Children's Influenza Vaccination Day (December 9), with a total of 28 interviews completed across the country. These interviews included a CDC influenza expert as well as a representative from Families Fighting Flu. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NIFD) hosted a Spanish-language radio tour as well.

Events were also held to commemorate Senior Vaccination Day (December 11). For instance, the District of Columbia Department of Aging sponsored a two-day health fair, December 10-11, at the Armory in Washington, DC, where 3,000 people attended. A special influenza vaccination event was held at the health fair and several hundred seniors were vaccinated. The Visiting Nurse Association sponsored influenza events in 11 states to reach seniors and others.

As part of Healthcare Worker Vaccination Day (December 12), CDC offered a webinar, "Current Issues in Immunization," to discuss influenza vaccination of healthcare works and encourage late-season vaccination efforts. More than 500 people registered for the webinar, which featured Andrew Kroger, MD, of CDC, and guests from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Kaiser Permanente of Northern California. Other events were held throughout the country to promote vaccination of healthcare workers. For instance, a vaccination event was also held at the American Association of Respiratory Care Therapists' annual meeting in Anaheim, CA, encouraging health professionals to commit to flu vaccination. Those who committed were eligible to enter a raffle for Katherine Heigl designer scrubs. In addition, an award was offered to the hospital or doctor's practice with the most creative strategy for getting their healthcare staff vaccinated.

Much work was also done behind the scenes to promote, coordinate, and monitor NIVW events. Media reports referencing NIVW were present in 171 newspapers, 35 television reports, 47 blogs, and also recognized in Time magazine. Approximately 350 orders were received for the popular flu video vignette, "Why Flu Vaccine Matters: Personal Stories from Families Affected by Flu." National and state/local organizations submitted over 50 NIVW activities to CDC's website. Activities were received from The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), CVS Pharmacy's MinuteClinic, and the Visiting Nurses Association of America, just to name a few. Promotional messages and educational materials were shared via print/radio ads, email, in press briefings, a Notice to Readers in CDC's  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), and on various partner websites.

CDC relies heavily on its network of partner organizations to promote NIVW messages and vaccination, and would like to thank everyone who planned NIVW activities or helped get out NIVW messages.

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12.  Color template of special influenza gift cards now available from the National Influenza Vaccine Summit

The National Influenza Vaccine Summit (NIVS) recently posted a color template of special holiday gift cards that you can print out and include with your holiday greeting cards. The idea for the influenza gift cards originated with the Maryland Partnership for Prevention.

To access the color template, go to: http://www.preventinfluenza.org/newsletters/gift_cards.pdf The template was created to be printed on sheets of Avery 8371 business card stock, which produce ten 2" x 3-1/2" cards per sheet. After printing, fold cards back and forth along perforations to separate.

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13.  New: CDC posts updated information on supply of hepatitis A vaccine and on status of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines

On December 16, CDC posted updated information on the supply of Vaqta (Merck) pediatric/adolescent hepatitis A vaccine and adult hepatitis A vaccine. CDC also posted information on the availability of Merck's Attenuvax measles vaccine, Mumpsvax mumps vaccine, and Meruvax rubella vaccine. The updated information is reprinted below in its entirety.


HEPATITIS A VACCINE
Merck & Co. had previously experienced production delays that resulted in temporarily not accepting orders for Pediatric and Adult hepatitis A vaccines (Pediatric & Adult VAQTA). As of December 1, 2008, Merck's Pediatric/Adolescent formulation of hepatitis A vaccine, VAQTA, is available for ordering. Based on current information, it is estimated that the Adult formulation of VAQTA will be available in second quarter 2009. GSK production and supply of their Pediatric and Adult hepatitis A vaccine (Pediatric & Adult Havrix) and their Adult hepatitis A/hepatitis B combination vaccine (Twinrix) are currently in good supply to meet demand.

MEASLES, MUMPS, RUBELLA VACCINES
On Friday, December 15, 2008, Merck announced that it was not currently producing or taking orders for the monovalent vaccines ATTENUVAX (measles vaccine), MUMPSVAX (mumps vaccine), and MERUVAX (rubella vaccine). Merck will continue to meet the public health and medical need for vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella by providing M-M-R II in adequate supply to meet demand in the U.S. and to help meet the demand internationally.

For comprehensive information on vaccine shortages and delays,
go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/shortages

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14.  Office of Minority Health releases strategies to address chronic hepatitis B in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander populations

On December 16, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health issued a press release regarding a report titled "Goals and Strategies to Address Chronic Hepatitis B." Portions of the press release are reprinted below.


More health education, awareness, and screenings, improved access to care and treatment, and increased research are needed to reduce and eventually eliminate chronic hepatitis B among Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islander communities (AAs/NHOPIs), a federal report recommends.

The report was created by members of The National Task Force on Hepatitis B Expert Panel, and staff members of HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Office of Minority Health.

Hepatitis B, the world's most common serious viral infection of the liver, can cause premature death from liver disease or liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis B and liver cancer caused by hepatitis B in AAs/NHOPIs [constitutes] one of the most serious but frequently neglected racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States.

"We must find more effective and far-reaching strategies if we are to succeed in reducing the toll hepatitis B takes on our health, well-being, and productivity," said Garth Graham, MD, MPH, deputy assistant secretary for minority health. "By calling attention to hepatitis B and creating strategies to fight it, we can take the steps necessary to make a difference in communities that are impacted by this deadly disease." . . . .


To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.omhrc.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=7304&lvl=1&lvlID=10

To access the report, go to:
http://www.omhrc.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=190 and click on the links in the box titled Table of Contents.

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15.  December issue of CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter recently released

CDC recently released the December 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.

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

  • Eastern Mediterranean Region Achieves Measles Goals Three Years Early
  • VIS for [PCV 7]
  • Plans in Progress to Update the U.S. National Vaccine Plan
  • Fact Sheet for Parents
  • Mark Your Calendars for NIC

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

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Immunization Action Coalition  •  Saint Paul, MN
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.