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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2010
Issue number 849: February 1, 2010
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. CDC's Health Alert Network notifies clinicians about voluntary recall of certain lots of Sanofi Pasteur H1N1 vaccine in prefilled syringes
  2. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $10 billion to accelerate global vaccine efforts
  3. PedvaxHIB again available for vaccination against Haemophilus influenza type b
  4. MMWR reports on H1N1 influenza outbreaks in long-term-care facilities
  5. Keep vaccinating against seasonal and H1N1 influenza!
  6. CDC and Medscape present series of expert commentaries
  7. IAC's Video of the Week features HHS Secretary Sebelius visiting a school-based H1N1 influenza vaccination clinic
  8. Compelling PSAs about adult immunization now available
  9. IAC revises "Seek emergency medical care if you or a family member shows the signs below"
  10. IAC adds Indonesian-language VISs to its website
  11. WHO publishes the December 2009 meeting report of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety
 
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 849: February 1, 2010
1.  CDC's Health Alert Network notifies clinicians about voluntary recall of certain lots of Sanofi Pasteur H1N1 vaccine in prefilled syringes

On January 29, CDC's Health Alert Network (HAN) issued a CDC Health Update titled "Non-Safety-Related Voluntary Recall of Unused Doses from Certain Lots of Sanofi Pasteur H1N1 Vaccine in Pre-Filled Syringes." The summary is reprinted below.


As part of its quality assurance program, Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., performs routine, ongoing testing of influenza vaccines after the vaccine has been distributed to healthcare providers to ensure that the vaccine continues to meet required specifications. In recent testing of its influenza A (H1N1) monovalent vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur found five distributed lots of single-dose, pre-filled syringe pediatric (0.25 mL) vaccine and one distributed lot of single-dose pre-filled syringe for older children and adults (0.5 mL) vaccine had potency below pre-specified limits. The manufacturer is conducting a non-safety related voluntary recall of any unused doses of these affected lots of vaccine. Information will be sent by Sanofi Pasteur to providers who received vaccine from the affected lots.


To access the complete HAN CDC Health Update, which includes lot numbers, go to:
http://www2a.cdc.gov/HAN/ArchiveSys/ViewMsgV.asp?AlertNum=00306

For more information, call CDC's toll-free information line, (800) CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348, which is available 24 hours a day, every day.

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2 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $10 billion to accelerate global vaccine efforts

Bill and Melinda Gates announced today that their foundation will commit $10 billion over the next 10 years to help research, develop, and deliver vaccines for the world's poorest countries.

The Gateses said that increased investment in vaccines by governments and the private sector could help developing countries dramatically reduce child mortality by the end of the decade, and they called for others to help fill critical financing gaps in both research funding and childhood immunization programs.

To read the complete press release from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, click here.

To read a related press release from WHO, go to:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2010/gates_gavi_20100129/en/

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3 PedvaxHIB again available for vaccination against Haemophilus influenza type b

As of January 21, Merck's PedvaxHIB is fully available again in the U.S. for routine vaccination. CDC has updated its Current Vaccine Shortages & Delays web page to reflect this information: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/shortages (see note 2)

To access Merck's related letter to customers, go to:
https://www.merckvaccines.com/PedvaxHIB_letter_121509.pdf

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4 MMWR reports on H1N1 influenza outbreaks in long-term-care facilities

CDC published "Outbreaks of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Among Long-Term-Care Facility Residents--Three States, 2009" in the January 29 issue of MMWR. The first paragraph is reprinted below.


Hospitalization and death from seasonal influenza are more common among older adults and in long-term-care facilities (LTCFs). Early data from the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) outbreak indicated that attack rates among persons aged >=65 years were lower than in other age groups, and anti-influenza A antibodies that cross-react with 2009 H1N1 could be detected in up to one third of healthy adults aged >60 years. Based on these early data and anticipation of limited initial supplies of 2009 H1N1 vaccine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) identified priority groups for vaccination, which did not include persons aged >=65 years who did not have higher risk for influenza or its complications. During October and November 2009, CDC received reports of 2009 H1N1 outbreaks in LTCFs in Colorado, Maine, and New York. This report summarizes the three outbreaks, which involved facilities primarily housing older patients. These outbreaks illustrate that, despite the lower risk for infection with 2009 H1N1 among persons aged >=65 years compared with seasonal influenza, 2009 H1N1 outbreaks still can occur in LTCFs. These outbreaks also underscore the importance of respiratory illness surveillance and recommended infection-control procedures in LTCFs. All healthcare personnel should be vaccinated against seasonal influenza and 2009 H1N1. LTCF residents should receive seasonal influenza vaccination, and should be vaccinated against 2009 H1N1 after assessment of vaccine availability at the local level indicates that demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met.

To access the full article in web-text (HTML) format, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5903a3.htm

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5 Keep vaccinating against seasonal and H1N1 influenza!

Please continue to vaccinate patients against seasonal and H1N1 influenza. Remember: 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine will not protect people against seasonal influenza, and seasonal influenza vaccine will not protect against H1N1 influenza.

Providers who don't have seasonal influenza vaccine or H1N1 influenza vaccine can direct patients to the new Google Flu Shot Finder at http://www.google.com/flushot

Providers who are looking for seasonal influenza vaccine available for purchase, can check with IVATS (Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System). IVATS provides information about vaccine manufacturers and distributors with vaccine available for purchase. To access this information, go to: http://www.preventinfluenza.org/ivats/ivats_09_10.pdf

If you have high-risk patients who have not been vaccinated against seasonal influenza (e.g., residents in long-term care facilities), there is now more vaccine supply to fill those needs.

Following is a list of resources related to influenza disease and vaccination for healthcare professionals and the public.

The National Influenza Vaccine Summit website:
http://www.preventinfluenza.org

IAC's Seasonal Influenza web section:
http://www.immunize.org/influenza

IAC's H1N1 Influenza web section:
http://www.immunize.org/h1n1

CDC's Seasonal Flu web section:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu

CDC's 2009 H1N1 Flu web section:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu

To access IAC's print pieces related to influenza, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/printmaterials/dis_inf.asp

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6 CDC and Medscape present series of expert commentaries

CDC and Medscape have collaborated to present a special series of commentaries designed to deliver CDC's authoritative guidance directly to healthcare professionals. In this series, experts from CDC offer video commentaries on current topics important to all practicing clinicians, including 2009 H1N1 and seasonal influenza, pertussis, infection control, travel medicine, and more.

Medscape is a free resource for clinicians and other healthcare professionals that provides timely and relevant clinical information.

To view the available choices, go to: http://www.medscape.com/partners/cdc/public/cdc-commentary To access the commentaries, one must register with Medscape. There is no charge for this service.

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7 IAC's Video of the Week features HHS Secretary Sebelius visiting a school-based H1N1 influenza vaccination clinic

IAC encourages IAC Express readers to watch a 1-minute video in which HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visits a school-based vaccination clinic in Arlington, VA, and encourages children and adults to get vaccinated against H1N1 influenza.

The video will be available on the home page of IAC's website through February 7. To access it, go to: http://www.immunize.org and click on the image under the words Video of the Week. 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. To view an IAC Video of the Week from the past, go to the video archive at http://www.immunize.org/votw

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8 Compelling PSAs about adult immunization now available

The Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition, and several coalitions in the southeastern part of the state have collaborated to produce two public service announcements (PSAs) about adult immunization. The PSAs feature Paul Offit, MD, of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Everette James, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The story lines include four different scenarios: a couple involved in an international adoption, a high school graduate about to go to college, an adult who becomes the caretaker for an elderly relative, and a man who has cancer and must rely on the community to be immunized to protect his health.

You can watch a 2-minute PSA (featuring two of the scenarios) or a 17-minute PSA (featuring all of the scenarios) by going to the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition's website at http://www.immunizepa.org/projects/details.php?id=119 Information about ordering a video that includes both PSAs can be found on the same web page.

The videos can also be accessed through the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Adult Immunizations page here.

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9 IAC revises "Seek emergency medical care if you or a family member shows the signs below"

IAC recently revised "Seek emergency medical care if you or a family member shows the signs below--a life could be at risk!" The warning sign of "fever with rash" was removed as it was deemed to be too non-specific.

To access this revised ready-to-print (PDF) print piece, go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4073.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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10.  IAC adds Indonesian-language VISs to its website

The VISs for MMR, varicella, meningococcal, and childhood multi-vaccine are now available in Indonesian.

IAC gratefully acknowledges DT Interpreting and Wentworth Douglass Hospital, Dover, NH, for these VISs.

To access the new Indonesian translations, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/vis_indonesian.asp

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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11.  WHO publishes the December 2009 meeting report of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety

On January 29, the WHO publication Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) published "Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety [GACVS], 3-4, December 2009." An expert clinical and scientific advisory body, GACVS deals independently and with scientific rigor with vaccine safety issues of potential global importance.

The committee reviewed the safety of pandemic A (H1N1) influenza vaccines and the safety profile of a meningococcus A conjugate vaccine that will soon be deployed in sub-Saharan Africa. The committee also discussed the use of BCG vaccine in areas with a high prevalence of infection with HIV and reviewed progress of global monitoring of adverse events following immunization.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the January 29 issue, go to: http://www.who.int/wer/2010/wer8505.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.