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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2009
Issue number 788: April 6, 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. FDA approves new vaccine to prevent Japanese encephalitis
  2. IAC updates three of its most popular print materials: two screening questionnaires and a patient-education piece about adult vaccinations
  3. IAC's Video of the Week is the PBS documentary "The Polio Crusade"
  4. Influenza complications have killed 43 U.S. children during the current influenza season. It is vital to continue vaccinating through the spring months
  5. MMWR article encourages U.S. residents to be vaccinated against influenza before traveling to the southern hemisphere
  6. AAP makes its audiocast training course on countering vaccine misinformation available at no cost through April 30
  7. IAC's laminated versions of the 2009 child/teen and adult immunization schedules offer significant advantages over paper versions. Place your order today and use them throughout 2009!
  8. "CDC Features" includes information for parents on rotavirus vaccine and on detecting autism
  9. World Hepatitis Day is May 19
  10. MMWR publishes report on worldwide progress in interrupting wild poliovirus transmission during 2008
 
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 788: April 6, 2009
1.  FDA approves new vaccine to prevent Japanese encephalitis

On March 30, FDA issued a press release announcing that it has approved a new vaccine to prevent Japanese encephalitis. The press release is reprinted below in its entirety.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved IXIARO, a vaccine to prevent Japanese encephalitis (JE) which is caused by a mosquito-transmitted virus found mainly in Asia. IXIARO will be the only vaccine for JE available in the United States.

"This vaccine offers protection for individuals who travel to or live in areas where outbreaks are known to occur," said Karen Midthun, MD, acting director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

In Asia, JE affects about 30,000 to 50,000 people each year, resulting in 10,000 to 15,000 deaths. JE is rarely seen in the United States, with very few cases reported among civilians and military traveling from the United States to Asia.

The virus that causes JE affects membranes around the brain, and mild infections can occur without apparent symptoms other than fever and headache. In people who develop severe disease, JE usually starts as a flu-like illness but can worsen, causing high fever, neck stiffness, brain damage, coma, or even death. The disease is transmitted via infected mosquitoes; it is not spread from human to human.

IXIARO is a second-generation JE vaccine, in that it is manufactured using cell culture technology leading to improved manufacturing efficiency as well as more reliable control of the vaccine manufacturing process. This technology utilizes an established bank of cells that can be drawn from at any time contributing to the assurance of consistent vaccine quality. It also enhances the ability to rapidly manufacture a vaccine on a large scale if needed, without compromise to the vaccine's safety or effectiveness.

Clinical studies were conducted in more than 800 healthy men and women in the United States and Europe. Participants received either IXIARO or JE-VAX, another U.S.-licensed vaccine that is no longer being manufactured. The studies found that IXIARO produced sufficient levels of antibodies in the blood to protect against JE. IXIARO requires two doses instead of JE-VAX's three.

The vaccine was well tolerated and the most commonly reported adverse events were headache, muscle pain and pain, swelling, and tenderness at the injection site. Overall, it was more tolerable and had fewer side effects than the comparator, JE-VAX.

IXIARO is manufactured by Intercell Biomedical, Livingston, U.K.

For more information, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/jencephalitis and http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccines.htm



To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2009/NEW01981.html

To access the package insert for military use of the vaccine, go to: http://www.fda.gov/cber/label/ixiaromilitaryLB.pdf

To access the package insert for commercial use of the vaccine, go to: http://www.fda.gov/cber/label/ixiarocommercialLB.pdf

To access the approval letter, go to:
http://www.fda.gov/cber/approvltr/ixiaro03009L.htm

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2 IAC updates three of its most popular print materials: two screening questionnaires and a patient-education piece about adult vaccinations

IAC recently updated two patient screening questionnaires, "Screening Questionnaire for Child and Teen Immunization" and "Screening Questionnaire for Adult Immunization." On both questionnaires, the word "x-ray" has been replaced by "radiation" in a question that assesses if administering live virus vaccines should be postponed for people who have received radiation or other treatments. Also on both questionnaires, antiviral drugs have been added to a question that assesses if administering certain live virus vaccines should be deferred for people who have received antiviral drugs or other biological products.

On the adult vaccination piece "Vaccinations for Adults: You're never too old to get immunized!" cigarette smoking has been added as an indication for pneumococcal vaccination for people ages 19 through 64 years. This reflects a change ACIP recently made to its pneumococcal vaccine recommendation. Other changes were also made to the piece.

To access the updated "Screening Questionnaire for Child and Teen Immunization," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4060.pdf

To access the updated "Screening Questionnaire for Adult Immunization," go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4065.pdf

To access the updated "Vaccinations for Adults: You're never too old to get immunized!" go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4030.pdf

IAC's Print Materials web section offers healthcare professionals and the public approximately 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 IAC's Video of the Week is the PBS documentary "The Polio Crusade"

IAC encourages IAC Express readers to watch "The Polio Crusade," a 54-minute documentary that aired on PBS. It weaves the personal accounts of polio survivors with the story of an ardent crusader who fought on their behalf while scientists raced to eradicate the dreaded disease. Notes: (1) viewers can pause the video and move forward and back by putting their cursor into the middle of the online screen; (2) viewers may need to install Adobe Flash Player to watch the video.

The video will be available on the home page of IAC's website through April 13. 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

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4 Influenza complications have killed 43 U.S. children during the current influenza season. It is vital to continue vaccinating through the spring months

In the week of March 22-28, CDC received reports of eight more U.S. children killed by complications from influenza; the total of reported pediatric influenza deaths this influenza season now stands at 43.

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.

Many resources regarding influenza disease and vaccination are available to healthcare professionals and the public. Following is a list of some of them.

To access the National Influenza Vaccine Summit website, go to:
http://www.preventinfluenza.org

To access CDC's Seasonal Flu web section, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu

To access IAC's print piece titled "Don't take chances with your family's health--make sure you all get vaccinated against influenza every year!" go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4069.pdf

In March, CDC posted several updated resources on its Seasonal Flu web section. Here are links to some of them:

Datos importantes sobre la influenza o gripe estacional:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/espanol/keyfacts.htm

Sintomas de la influenza (gripe):
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/espanol/symptoms.htm

Datos importantes sobre la vacuna contra la influenza o gripe estacional: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/espanol/keyfacts.htm

Los ninos, la influenza y la vacuna contra la influenza (gripe):
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/espanol

Free flu materials:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery

International influenza surveillance:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/intsurv.htm

Seasonal influenza vaccination resources for health
professionals: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination

Flu symptoms & severity:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm

Influenza: The disease: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease

Preventing seasonal flu:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

Key facts about seasonal influenza (flu):
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

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5 MMWR article encourages U.S. residents to be vaccinated against influenza before traveling to the southern hemisphere

CDC published "Use of Northern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccines by Travelers to the Southern Hemisphere" in the April 3 issue of MMWR. A portion of a summary made available to the press is reprinted below.


Influenza is the most common vaccine-preventable disease among travelers. Influenza viruses circulate during October-March in the northern hemisphere, from April-September in the southern hemisphere, and year round in the tropics. This year, influenza vaccines used in the northern hemisphere during the 2008-09 season are the same as those recommended for the upcoming 2009 southern hemisphere season. Persons from the northern hemisphere who are recommended for annual vaccination or who want to avoid influenza illness should be being vaccinated before travel to the southern hemisphere or the tropics, or when traveling as part of a tour group that includes persons from areas where influenza circulates during April–September (e.g., the southern hemisphere).


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5812a4.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5812.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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6 AAP makes its audiocast training course on countering vaccine misinformation available at no cost through April 30

[The following is cross posted from "Got Your Shots? News," the Minnesota Department of Health's electronic immunization newsletter, March 2009.]

"Countering Vaccine Misinformation"--This new audiocast training program by the American Academy of Pediatrics is part of a monthly series offered free of charge through April 30, 2009, at http://www.prepaudio.org/default.aspx?id=16

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7 IAC's laminated versions of the 2009 child/teen and adult immunization schedules offer significant advantages over paper versions. Place your order today and use them throughout 2009!

IAC's 2009 laminated immunization schedules are a must for every immunization setting: from conventional health clinics and private practices to walk-in shot clinics in workplaces, pharmacies, schools, and other sites. IAC offers the laminated schedules for two age groups. The child/teen immunization schedule is for people ages 0 through 18 years; the adult schedule is for those older than 18. Though both are adapted from the immunization schedules that were posted on the CDC website in January, the laminated schedules offer these advantages over downloadable paper versions:

  • Coated in thick plastic, the laminated schedules are washable and will hold up to a year's worth of use as teaching tools that providers in any immunization setting can use to give patients and parents authoritative information about the vaccines recommended for various age groups. You can also use them as a handy reference to consult at a moment's notice.
     
  • For the second year in a row, IAC has added a significant feature to the two laminated schedules. Each includes a guide to contraindications and precautions for the pertinent age group (i.e., the child/teen schedule has a guide to contraindications and precautions for child/teen vaccines, and the adult schedule has a guide for adult vaccines). Healthcare professionals will find these guides extremely valuable in making an on-the-spot determination about vaccinating any patient they see in any immunization setting.

The durable laminated schedules 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".

For specific information about the child/teen schedule, to view images of it, or to order online or download an order form, visit http://www.immunize.org/shop/schedule_child.asp

For specific information about the adult schedule, to view images of it, or to order online or download an order form, visit http://www.immunize.org/shop/schedule_adult.asp

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

To learn about other essential immunization resources available for purchase from IAC, go to: http://www.immunize.org/shop

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8 "CDC Features" includes information for parents on rotavirus vaccine and on detecting autism

The "CDC Features" web section recently added two features of interest for parents of young children. One, titled "Protect Your Child Against Rotavirus," presents information on rotavirus disease and the vaccines that prevent it. The other, titled "Detect Autism Early. Learn the Signs of Healthy Child Development," presents basic information on ways to measure a child's developmental milestones. It also has links to activities a child should be doing at various intervals between ages 3 months and 60 months and behavior to be concerned about.

To access the feature on rotavirus, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Rotavirus

To access the feature on detecting autism, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DetectAutism

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

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9 World Hepatitis Day is May 19

Scheduled for May 19, World Hepatitis Day is intended to increase global awareness of the prevalence of and seriousness of viral hepatitis disease.

For information on planning efforts in the U.S., visit the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable at
http://www.nvhr.org/WHD-2009.htm

For information on the global campaign, go to:
http://www.worldhepatitisday.org

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10.  MMWR publishes report on worldwide progress in interrupting wild poliovirus transmission during 2008

CDC published "Progress Toward Interruption of Wild Poliovirus--Worldwide, 2008" in the April 3 issue of MMWR. A summary made available to the press is reprinted below in its entirety.


There have been major challenges to polio eradication in 2008 that require more local political accountability and continued campaign efforts in insecure areas to be successful. Only four countries have never interrupted wild poliovirus circulation. However, the number of polio cases increased by 26 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, and 14 previously polio-free countries have had polio cases after importation of poliovirus in 2008. Of the four endemic countries, India came closest to interrupting transmission, but increased poliovirus circulation occurred in other countries in 2008. In Afghanistan, the increase is due to security problems, in Pakistan due to security problems and management problems even in secure areas, and in Nigeria due to continued inadequate management and planning of vaccination campaigns on top of a weak health system. All these issues prevent appropriate vaccination of young children. Management improvements in some areas in Pakistan and Nigeria demonstrate effective interventions that could be scaled-up.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5812a3.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5812.pdf

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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.