Home
|
About IAC
|
Contact
|
A-Z Index
|
Donate
|
Shop
|
SUBSCRIBE
Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2009
Issue number 780: February 16, 2009
Please click here to subscribe to IAC Express as well as other FREE IAC periodicals.
Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. IAC's popular laminated versions of the 2009 child/teen and adult immunization schedules are now available. Place your order today!
  2. Vaccine Court rules that MMR vaccine, when administered with thimerosal-containing vaccines, does not cause autism
  3. Lead author "changed and misreported" research data published in the 1998 Lancet article that sparked MMR-autism scare, Sunday Times investigation indicates
  4. IAC's Video of the Week features a specialized image analysis of several phases of cough airflow
  5. February issue of CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter recently released
  6. CDC's update on 2008-09 influenza season indicates increasing activity beginning at the end of January
  7. Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--through spring 2009
  8. American Idol's Brook White will give a concert at the school of the teen whose video wins an influenza prevention contest
  9. Correction: Error fixed on Korean version of HPV vaccine VIS
  10. "CDC Features" includes information that encourages vaccination to protect children against Hib disease
  11. Project Immunize Virginia plans the tenth Vaccine Update Conference for April 3 in Richmond
 
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 780: February 16, 2009
1.  IAC's popular laminated versions of the 2009 child/teen and adult immunization schedules are now available. Place your order today!

A pair of 2009 laminated immunization schedules will be a useful and welcome addition to every exam room at your practice site. We offer them for two age groups. The child/teen immunization schedule is for people ages 0 through 18 years. It is adapted from CDC's "Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years, United States, 2009," which was endorsed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy of Family Physicians. The adult schedule is for those older than 18. It is adapted from CDC's "Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, United States, 2009," which was endorsed by Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American College of Physicians.

For the second year in a row, IAC has included a significant feature on the two laminated schedules. The laminated child/teen schedule includes a "Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Children and Teens." The laminated adult schedule includes a "Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Adults." IAC adapted the guides from "General Recommendations on Immunization: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices," which was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on December 1, 2006. IAC recently updated the two guides to reflect contraindications and precautions found in vaccine-specific recommendations that were published after December 1, 2006. Healthcare professionals will find the updated guides extremely valuable in making an on-the-spot determination about vaccinating any patient.

The new 2009 laminated schedules are coated in plastic to withstand heavy-duty use. They come complete with essential footnotes and are printed in color for easy reading. Each schedule has six pages (i.e., three double-sided pages), and when folded, measures 8.5" x 11".

To learn more about the schedules, to view images of each, or to order online or download an order form, visit www.immunize.org/shop

Prices start at $10 each for 1-4 copies and drop to $6.50 each for 5-19 copies. Discount pricing is available for 20 or more copies. For quotes on customizing or placing orders in excess of 999 schedules, call (651) 647-9009 or email admininfo@immunize.org

Back to top
   
2 Vaccine Court rules that MMR vaccine, when administered with thimerosal-containing vaccines, does not cause autism

On February 12, three Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued separate rulings related to autism and vaccine injury compensation cases. As reported in CDC's February 2009 Immunization Works newsletter, "each of the Special Masters ruled that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, whether administered alone or in conjunction with thimerosal-containing vaccines, were not causal factors in the development of autism or autism spectrum disorders." A link to the February Immunization Works is given at the end of this IAC Express article.

The rulings are part of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding created by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to handle the large number of claims (more than 4,900) that vaccines induce autism. The rulings can be appealed. Links to the rulings are given at the end of this IAC Express article.

Also on February 12, Every Child By Two (ECBT) issued a press release on the rulings, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association issued statements. Links to the HHS, AAP, and AMA statements are given at the end of this IAC Express article. The ECBT press release is reprinted below.


FEDERAL COURT DECLARES VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims today exonerated vaccines in the debate over the causes of autism. The three judges ruled that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR), given in combination with thimerosal-containing vaccines, does not cause autism. The ruling is consistent with 18 major scientific studies which have failed to show a link between vaccines and the widely-diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder.

The decision is the result of an extensive deliberation by three Special Masters, judges responsible for claims filed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. In his opinion on general causation, and the specific case of Michelle Cedillo, Special Master George Hastings wrote, "The petitioners have failed to persuade me that there is validity to any of their general causation arguments, and have also failed to persuade me that there is any substantial likelihood that Michelle's MMR vaccination contributed in any way to the causation of any of Michelle's own disorders." Hastings further stated that the advice given to the Cedillos by their physicians "suggesting a causal connection between Michelle's MMR vaccination and her chronic conditions have been very wrong."

"This is a real victory for children and a great day for science," said pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit, chief of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "I hope that this decision will finally put parents' fears to rest and that we can once again concentrate on protecting children from the resurgence of deadly vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough."

"What is most important about these decisions is that the three cases were decided based on the overwhelming body of science," said Randolph Moss, partner and co-chair of the Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group at WilmerHale. "The Special Masters looked at the scientific evidence and credited the opinions of the scientific experts."

"It is a great relief to public health advocates to see that the Special Masters have based their judgment on the expert opinions of the scientific community," said Amy Pisani, MS, executive director of Every Child By Two. "We are hopeful that parents will have confidence in their decision to protect children against deadly diseases by vaccinating them on time."

This is the first of two decisions to be issued in what the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has dubbed the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. The second ruling will decide whether thimerosal-containing vaccines alone can cause autism. These judgments will decide over 5,000 claims that autism is caused by vaccines pending in this court.


To access the three rulings, go to:
http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/node/5026

To access the ECBT press release, go to:
http://www.vaccinateyourbaby.org/news/releases/2009/021209_press_release.cfm

To access the February issue of Immunization Works, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/news/newsltrs/imwrks Click on the link titled "FEB" under the banner titled "2009 Newsletters Available Online."

To access the HHS statement, go to:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/02/20090212a.html

To access the AAP statement, go to:
http://www.aap.org/featured/vaccinecourt.htm

To access the AMA statement, go to:
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/no-index/news-events/vaccines-autism.shtml

Back to top
   
3 Lead author "changed and misreported" research data published in the 1998 Lancet article that sparked MMR-autism scare, Sunday Times investigation indicates

On February 8, Britain's Sunday Times published "MMR Doctor Andrew Wakefield Fixed Data on Autism." Written by reporter Brian Deer, the article is based on a Sunday Times investigation. Portions of the article are reprinted below.


The doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients' data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in the Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children's conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children's ailments as described in the Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.

Despite involving just a dozen children, the 1998 paper's impact was extraordinary. After its publication, rates of inoculation fell from 92% to below 80%. Populations acquire "herd immunity" from measles when more than 95% of people have been vaccinated.

Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease. . . .


To access the February 8 Sunday Times article, go to:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683671.ece

Three side-bar articles accompanied the February 8 article. Links to those follow:
To access "Hidden Records Show MMR Truth," go to:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683643.ece

To access "How the MMR Scare Lead to the Return of Measles," go to:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683687.ece

To access "MMR: Key Dates in the Crisis," go to:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683642.ece

OTHER MATERIAL FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM RELATED TO THE MMR SCARE
The research paper the Lancet published in 1998 was the subject of controversy in February 2004, when the Lancet's editors issued a statement indicating that they had recently been made aware that the paper's authors had not disclosed a possible conflict of interest. The editors apologized for publishing the paper. To access the editors' statement, go to:
http://image.thelancet.com/extras/statement20Feb2004web.pdf

In March 2004, 10 of the research paper's 13 authors retracted the paper's interpretation that a link exists between MMR vaccine and autism. To access the retraction from the website of Sunday Times reporter Brian Deer, go to:
http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-retraction.pdf

To access other material pertinent to the MMR scare from Brian Deer's website, go to: http://briandeer.com/mmr-lancet.htm

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator for doctors in the UK. Among its other functions, it registers doctors to practice medicine. In July 2007, GMC initiated a still-ongoing public inquiry into the conduct of Andrew Wakefield.

OTHER PERTINENT RESOURCES
Developed by IAC, "MMR Vaccine Does Not Cause Autism: Examine the evidence!" presents 25 studies that refute any connection between autism and MMR. To access it, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4026.pdf

An article titled "Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses" by Drs. Jeffrey Gerber and Paul Offit is currently available online, courtesy of Clinical Infectious Diseases. To access this article in PDF format, go to: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/596476

Back to top
   
4 IAC's Video of the Week features a specialized image analysis of several phases of cough airflow

IAC encourages IAC Express readers to watch a 40-second video that shows a person coughing, expelling a turbulent jet of air that is captured in a specialized image analysis. Several phases of cough airflow are revealed. The image is made available by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The video will be available on the home page of IAC's website through February 22. 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. It may take a few moments for the video to begin playing; please be patient!

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.

To view IAC's video collection, go to:
http://www.vaccineinformation.org/video

Back to top
   
5 February issue of CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter recently released

CDC recently released the February 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.

The February issue's "Front Page News" article focuses the Vaccine Court's decision, which is covered in article #2 of this issue of IAC Express. Other information in the February Immunization Works has already appeared in previous issues of IAC Express. Following is the text of some articles we have not covered.


NCIRD NEWS
INTERIM LEADERSHIP CHANGES WITHIN NCIRD: CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) has recently experienced some interim leadership changes. Dr. Anne Schuchat--who has served as NCIRD's Director since 2006--will now serve as CDC's Interim Deputy for Science and Program. To advise partners of the changes, Dr. Schuchat has written a letter [a portion of which follows]: During my detail, Beth Bell, MD, MPH, will serve as Acting Director and Jane Seward, MBBS, MPH, will serve as Acting Deputy Director of NCIRD. Melinda Wharton is continuing her detail as Acting Director of the Immunization Safety Office.


OTHER NEWS & SUMMARIES

GLOBAL HEALTH COMMUNITY COMMITS OVER $630 MILLION TO ERADICATE
POLIO: In a recent push to eradicate polio--a crippling and sometimes fatal disease that paralyzes children--Rotary International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the British and German governments recently committed more than $630 million in new funds. In addition to pledging needed funds, leaders urged additional donors and leaders of countries where polio still exists to join them in aggressive push for eradication. Polio has been completely eliminated in the Americas, the Western Pacific, and Europe, but the wild polio virus persists in Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. It is in these four countries that the most serious challenges exist, including vaccine effectiveness (India), low vaccination coverage rates (Nigeria), and access problems due to conflict (Afghanistan and Pakistan). Imported cases from these countries threaten other developing nations.


GET READY FOR NATIONAL INFANT IMMUNIZATION WEEK: National Immunization Week (NIIW) will be celebrated April 25-May 2, 2009, in conjunction with Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA). The theme for NIIW is "Love them. Protect them. Immunize Them." Visit the NIIW Events web page (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw) for planning and evaluation resources, public relations materials, and communication campaign materials. Add your local activity to the National Calendar of NIIW Events (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/2009/activity-form.htm)


ACIP MEETING: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP; http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/acip/default.htm) will hold its next meeting on February 25-26, 2008, at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. This meeting is open to the general public, but advanced registration is required.


PARENTS WHO QUESTION VACCINES: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a new audiocast training, "Countering Vaccine Misinformation" (http://www.prepaudio.org/default.aspx?id=16), to assist pediatricians and others in responding to parents' concerns about vaccines. The training is part of a monthly series and is offered free of charge through April 30, 2009.


INCREASING ADULT VACCINATION RATES: WHAT WORKS: CDC's training course on adult immunization has been revised to reflect recently approved recommendations from The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Increasing Adult Vaccination Rates: What Works (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/self-study.htm#whatworks) is a web-based self-paced course that outlines tips and proven strategies to strengthen a clinic's adult immunization rates. Free continuing education credits are available.

Issues of Immunization Works are posted on CDC's Vaccines & Immunizations website a few days after publication. To access the February issue, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/news/newsltrs/imwrks Click on the link titled "FEB" under the banner titled "2009 Newsletters Available Online."

Back to top
   
6 CDC's update on 2008-09 influenza season indicates increasing activity beginning at the end of January

CDC published "Update: Influenza Activity--United States, September 29, 2008-January 31, 2009" in the February 13 issue of MMWR. Portions of the article are reprinted below.


From September 28, 2008, to January 31, 2009, influenza activity remained low in the United States but began to increase at the end of January. Thus far during the 2008-09 influenza season, influenza A viruses have predominated and are antigenically related to the 2008-09 influenza vaccine strains. Oseltamivir resistance has been detected in nearly all of the influenza A (H1N1) viruses tested so far during the 2008-09 season, with high levels of adamantane resistance among influenza A (H3N2) viruses. This report summarizes U.S. influenza activity since the last update and reviews interim recommendations for the use of influenza antiviral medications. . . .

Outpatient Illness Surveillance
Since September 28, 2008, the weekly percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) reported by approximately 1,500 U.S. sentinel providers comprising the U.S. Outpatient ILI Surveillance Network (ILINet), has ranged from 0.9% to 2.3%, which was reported during the most recent surveillance week. This is below the national baseline of 2.4% based on a 3-year average of noninfluenza weeks. Four surveillance regions (East North Central, East South Central, New England, and West South Central) reported levels at or above their respective region-specific baselines. The five other surveillance regions reported percentages below their region-specific baselines.

Pneumonia- and Influenza-Related Mortality
For the week ending January 31, 2009, pneumonia or influenza was reported as an underlying or contributing cause of death for 7.0% of all deaths reported to the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System. This is below the epidemic threshold of 7.9% for that week. Since September 28, 2008, the weekly percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza ranged from 6.0% to 7.5%, remaining below the epidemic threshold.

Influenza-Associated Hospitalizations
Hospitalizations associated with laboratory-confirmed influenza infections are monitored by two population-based surveillance networks, the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) and the New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN). No influenza-associated pediatric hospitalizations have been reported in the NVSN this season.

From October 31, 2008, to January 31, 2009, preliminary rates of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalization reported by EIP for children aged 0-4 years and 5-17 years were 0.8 per 10,000 and 0.04 per 10,000, respectively. For adults aged 18-49 years, 50-64 years, and >=65 years, the rates were 0.07, 0.1, and 0.3 per 10,000, respectively.

Influenza-Related Pediatric Mortality
Three influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2008-09 season. Two occurred during the week ending January 10, 2009 (reported from Colorado and Texas), and one during the week ending January 24, 2009 (reported from New York City). Two of the children had evidence of coinfection with Staphylococcus aureus, which was methicillin susceptible in one child and methicillin resistant in the other. . . .

Editorial Note:
From September 28, 2008, through January 31, 2009, the United States experienced low levels of influenza activity, but levels appeared to be increasing at the end of January. Activity is expected to increase throughout the country over the next few weeks. In 11 of the past 20 seasons, influenza activity has peaked during February or March. . . .

Vaccination remains the cornerstone of influenza prevention efforts. Influenza vaccination can prevent influenza virus infections from strains that are susceptible or resistant to antiviral medications. Thus far in the season, all influenza A (H1N1) viruses found to be oseltamivir resistant are antigenically similar to the components included in the 2008-09 vaccine. Vaccine is still available, and vaccination efforts should continue throughout the influenza season (which can persist as late as April or May) to protect as many persons from influenza and its complications as possible. . . .


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5805a4.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5805.pdf

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

Back to top
   
7 Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--through spring 2009

Influenza activity is increasing, and yearly vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its complications. It is important to continue vaccinating into the spring months. The supply of influenza vaccine is robust; if you run out of vaccine in your work setting, please place another order.

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

Back to top
   
8 American Idol's Brook White will give a concert at the school of the teen whose video wins an influenza prevention contest

The message of the "I Don't Want to Miss . . ." campaign is this: Teens--if you don't want to miss out on parties, sports, concerts, and other fun, be sure to get protected against influenza! The campaign's goal is to inform teens that they need to get vaccinated because they are among the people for whom annual influenza vaccination is recommended.

As an inducement for teens to get vaccinated and to get the influenza vaccination message out, singer/songwriter and former American Idol finalist Brooke White has agreed to appear in concert at the school of the student whose influenza-prevention public service announcement (PSA) wins the "I Don't Want to Miss . . ." contest.

To enter, a teen needs to create a video on SchoolTube.com explaining in 45-60 seconds what they would miss out on if they came down with influenza. The deadline for uploading the video is March 11.

To enter, go to: http://www2.schooltube.com/Contests/IDontWanttoMiss.aspx and follow directions.

For information on the "I Don't Want to Miss . . ." campaign, go to: http://www.idontwanttomiss.com

Back to top
   
9 Correction: Error fixed on Korean version of HPV vaccine VIS

The Korean version of the current (2/2/07) VIS for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was recently corrected. The error concerned the dosing schedule, which appears in section 3 on the first page of the VIS. IAC gratefully acknowledges the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Department Health and Mental Hygiene for the translation and the correction.

To access the corrected Korean version of the VIS for HPV vaccine, go to: http://www.immunize.org/vis/ko_hpv.pdf

To access the English version of the VIS for HPV vaccine, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/hpv.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

Back to top
   
10.  "CDC Features" includes information that encourages vaccination to protect children against Hib disease

The "CDC Features" web section includes information for parents about Hib disease. "Is Your Baby Protected against Hib Disease?" informs parents about the disease, its seriousness, and the vaccine that protects against it. This "CDC Feature" is quite timely as Hib disease has been in the news lately--five cases of Hib, including one death, were recently reported in Minnesota.

To access "Is Your Baby Protected against Hib Disease? go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HibDisease

To access an alphabetical index of all "CDC Features," go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/az

Back to top
   
11.  Project Immunize Virginia plans the tenth Vaccine Update Conference for April 3 in Richmond

Project Immunize Virginia is sponsoring the tenth Vaccine Update Conference: Addressing Parents' Concerns. It is planned for April 3 in Richmond. Dr. William Atkinson, medical epidemiologist with NCIRD, is among the presenters.

For complete conference details, go to:
http://www.immunizeva.org/vaccine_update_conference

Back to top
   
Immunization Action Coalition  •  2550 University Avenue West  •  Suite 415 North  •  Saint Paul, Minnesota  •  55114
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.