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Immunization Action Coalition

IAC Express 2011

Issue number 920: March 28, 2011

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 expands Zostavax vaccine age indications to include adults ages 50 through 59 years
  2. Spotlight on immunize.org: handy "Quick Links"
  3. IAC's Video of the Week reminds nurses and the public to keep their immunizations up to date
  4. IAC updates "Meningococcal: Questions & Answers"
  5. The Vaccine Education Center's "Parents PACK" website and newsletter give parents up-to-the minute information about vaccines
  6. CDC's April 21 Net Conference will cover general recommendations for combination vaccines
  7. Proportion of deaths from influenza and pneumonia remains higher than expected, so please keep vaccinating!
  8. World TB Day was observed on March 24; U.S. did not meet the national goal of eliminating TB by 2010
  9. CDC reports on U.S. trends in tuberculosis in 2010
  10. Award-winning DVD! "Immunization Techniques: Best Practices with Infants, Children, and Adults"--from the California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch
  11. Iowa Immunization Conference planned for June 8-9 in Des Moines
  12. West Virginia Immunization Summit scheduled for June 9-10 in Charleston, WV
 
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 920: March 28, 2011
1.  FDA expands Zostavax vaccine age indications to include adults ages 50 through 59 years

On March 24, FDA approved Zostavax vaccine (Merck) for use in adults ages 50 through 59 years. Zostavax, a live attenuated virus vaccine, is indicated to prevent herpes zoster (shingles). Zostavax received initial FDA approval in 2006 for use in adults age 60 years and older.

Also on March 24, FDA issued a related press release; portions of it are reprinted below.


In the United States shingles affects approximately 200,000 healthy people between the ages of 50 and 59, per year. It is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is a virus in the herpes family and the same virus that causes chickenpox. After an attack of chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in certain nerves in the body. For reasons that are not fully understood, the virus can reappear in the form of shingles, more commonly in people with weakened immune systems and with aging.

"The likelihood of shingles increases with age. The availability of Zostavax to a younger age group provides an additional opportunity to prevent this often painful and debilitating disease" said Karen Midthun, MD, director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Shingles is characterized by a rash of blisters, which generally develop in a band on one side of the body and can cause severe pain that may last for weeks, and in some people, for months or years after the episode. . . .


To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm248390.htm
 
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2 Spotlight on immunize.org: handy "Quick Links"

Looking for quick access to your favorite sections on immunize.org? Look no further. IAC's Quick Links page provides easy-to-remember links to IAC's most frequently visited web sections on immunize.org.

To make it easier for you to navigate immunize.org, we've developed a series of links to IAC's most popular web sections and resources. To go directly to our most frequently visited pages, all you need to do is type in a keyword or abbreviation following this URL: http://www.immunize.org/

Here are a few examples: Needle Tips: add "nt" [i.e., http://www.immunize.org/nt]; IAC Express: add "express" [i.e., http://www.immunize.org/express]; Handouts for Patients and Staff: add "handouts" [i.e., http://www.immunize.org/handouts]; and Vaccine Information Statements: add "vis" [i.e., http://www.immunize.org/vis].

MORE QUICK LINKS
Ask the Experts: http://www.immunize.org/askexperts

Image Library: http://www.immunize.org/photos

Influenza: http://www.immunize.org/influenza

Standing Orders for Vaccination: http://www.immunize.org/standing-orders

For an alphabetical listing of more than 80 quick links, visit: http://www.immunize.org/quicklinks
 
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3 IAC's Video of the Week reminds nurses and the public to keep their immunizations up to date

IAC encourages IAC Express readers to watch a 40-second public service announcement (PSA) developed by the American Nurses Association (ANA). It reminds nurses and the public to keep their immunizations up to date, particularly those that protect against influenza and pertussis. The increase in pertussis cases and recent pertussis-related infant deaths in California highlight the importance of teens, adults, and healthcare workers getting a one-time dose of Tdap vaccine.

The ANA video will be available on the home page of IAC's website through April 3. To access it, go to: http://www.immunize.org and click on the image under the words Video of the Week. To access it after April 3, go to: http://anaimmunize.org/Homepage-Category/PSA-Vaccination.aspx

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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4 IAC updates "Meningococcal: Questions & Answers"

IAC recently revised "Meningococcal: Questions and Answers," a handout for patients and parents. The piece was updated to reflect information from the January 2011 CDC recommendations for use of meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4210.pdf

To access a table with links to IAC's Q&A handouts for each vaccine, go to: http://www.immunize.org/handouts/vaccine-questions.asp

IAC's Handouts for Patients and Staff web section offers healthcare professionals and the public approximately 250 FREE English-language handouts (many also available in translation), which we encourage website users to print out, copy, and distribute widely. To access all of IAC's free handouts, go to: http://www.immunize.org/handouts
 
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5 The Vaccine Education Center's "Parents PACK" website and newsletter give parents up-to-the minute information about vaccines

Many IAC Express readers who are acquainted with the Vaccine Education Center's (VEC) "Parents PACK" newsletter may not know that VEC also has a "Parents PACK" website. It is a useful resource that you and your patient's parents may want to access.

"Parents PACK" WEBSITE
VEC created the site to (1) develop a dialog with parents about vaccines and (2) give parents a place where they can easily get answers to their questions and access up-to-date information about vaccines. To that end, the site offers users a way to submit online questions, provides answers to frequently asked questions, educates about age-specific vaccine needs, and much more.

The "Parents PACK" site offers an abundance of resources and is well worth exploring. To access it, go to: http://www.vaccine.chop.edu/parents

"Parents PACK" NEWSLETTER
The "Parents PACK" monthly email newsletter is for anyone who wants more information about immunizations. Each issue provides timely vaccine information, feature articles, vaccine questions and answers, information about immunizations around the world, and a trivia question.

To view the current issue, read feature articles, or subscribe, go to:
http://www.chop.edu/service/parents-possessing-accessing
-communicating-knowledge-about-vaccines/parents-pack-newsletter

Launched in October 2000, VEC is part of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It provides parents and healthcare professionals with accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
 
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6 CDC's April 21 Net Conference will cover general recommendations for combination vaccines

The next "Current Issues in Immunization" Net Conference will be held on April 21 from noon to 1PM Eastern Time. Andrew Kroger, MD, MPH, will speak on the general recommendations for combination vaccines. A second topic and speaker will be announced in the future; IAC Express will notify readers when this happens.

Registration is limited and will close on April 19 or when the course is full. To register, go to: http://www2.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/ciinc

IMPORTANT NOTE: The July 14 Net Conference has been rescheduled for June 2.
 
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7 Proportion of deaths from influenza and pneumonia remains higher than expected, so please keep vaccinating!

CDC reports that as of the week ending March 12, the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was at or above the level expected for the seventh consecutive week. Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older, so please keep vaccinating your patients.

If you don't have influenza vaccine, you can direct patients to the Google Flu Vaccine Finder. It helps the public find nearby locations where influenza vaccine is available. It's as simple as entering a zip code. Visit the Google Flu Vaccine Finder: http://www.google.com/flushot

To purchase supplies of influenza vaccine, visit IVATS, the Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System. IVATS is operated by the National Influenza Vaccine Summit and provides information about vaccine manufacturers and distributors who have influenza vaccine available for purchase. To access IVATS, go to: http://www.preventinfluenza.org/ivats

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

To access IAC's handouts related to influenza, including screening questionnaires, patient education pieces, and sample standing orders, go to: http://www.immunize.org/handouts/influenza-vaccines.asp

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8 World TB Day was observed on March 24; U.S. did not meet the national goal of eliminating TB by 2010

CDC published "World TB Day--March 24, 2011" in the March 25 issue of MMWR. The announcement is reprinted below in its entirety, excluding references.


World TB Day is observed each year on March 24 to commemorate the date in 1882 when Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). Worldwide, TB remains one of the leading causes of death from infectious disease. World TB Day provides an opportunity for TB programs, nongovernmental organizations, and others to describe problems and solutions related to the TB pandemic and to support worldwide TB control efforts. The U.S. theme for 2011's observance is TB Elimination: Together We Can!

Despite a continued decline in U.S. TB rates, the national goal of TB elimination by 2010 was not met. TB case rates decreased among both foreign-born and U.S.-born persons, but the incidence of TB in the United States is disproportionally greater among foreign-born persons and racial/ethnic minorities.

CDC is committed to eliminating TB in the United States. Progress in meeting the goal of TB elimination will hinge on improving TB control and prevention activities among disproportionately affected populations. This progress also will require better diagnostic tests and screening strategies for persons with latent TB infection, shorter treatment regimens, an effective vaccine, and improvements in TB control globally. Additional information about World TB Day and CDC's TB elimination activities is available at http://www.cdc.gov/tb/events/worldtbday


To access the announcement, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6011a1.htm
 
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9 CDC reports on U.S. trends in tuberculosis in 2010

CDC published "Trends in Tuberculosis--United States, 2010" in the March 25 issue of MMWR. A portion of a press summary is reprinted below.


PRESS SUMMARY:
Preliminary data from CDC's National TB Surveillance System show that although TB reached an all-time low in the U.S. in 2010, TB continues to significantly affect many communities, including racial/ethnic minorities, foreign-born individuals, and persons living with HIV.  . . . The authors note that additional steps are needed to accelerate progress against TB and guard against resurgence of the disease.


To access the full article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6011a2.htm
 
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10.  Award-winning DVD! "Immunization Techniques: Best Practices with Infants, Children, and Adults"--from the California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Immunization Branch, has updated its award-winning training video, "Immunization Techniques: Best Practices with Infants, Children, and Adults." The 25-minute program can be used to train new employees and to refresh the skills of experienced staff. The video demonstrates the skills and techniques needed to administer vaccines to patients of all ages. It includes instruction on the following:
  • Selecting, preparing, and administering injectable, oral, and nasal vaccines
  • Documenting immunizations
  • Making patients comfortable and educating them
  • Facilitating staff and patient communication

Prices start at $17 each for 1-9 copies and are greatly reduced for large orders, dropping to $3 each for 1,000-1,499 copies.

To learn more about the DVD, and find out how to order it, go to: http://www.immunize.org/shop/toolkit_iztechdvd.asp

For quotes on larger quantities, call (651) 647-9009 or email admininfo@immunize.org

The Immunization Action Coalition is the only nationwide vendor of this new DVD.

Note for healthcare settings located in California: Contact your local health department immunization program for a free copy.

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11.  Iowa Immunization Conference planned for June 8-9 in Des Moines

The 2011 Iowa Immunization Conference will be held in Des Moines on June 8-9. Speakers include William Atkinson, MD, MPH, CDC; Paul Offit, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Gregory Poland, MD, Mayo Clinic.

For comprehensive conference details, and access to the conference brochure, go to: https://www.trainingresources.org and scroll down to the hyperlink titled "2011 Iowa Immunization Conference 'Immunize for a Better Life'."

For additional information, call (515) 309-3315.

To register online, go to https://www.trainingresources.org/logon.aspx Log-on is required.
 
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12.  West Virginia Immunization Summit scheduled for June 9-10 in Charleston, WV

Planned for June 9-10 in Charleston, WV, the West Virginia Immunization Summit will be an action-oriented event targeted toward a variety of public and private organizations interested in addressing and resolving immunization issues.

For additional information, go to: http://www.immunizenow.org/education/izsummit/default.aspx

To register, email teresa.tucker@wvruralhealth.org
 
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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.