Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 149            March 20, 2000

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Two-dose hepatitis B vaccine schedule now an option for adolescents
  2. AAP publishes policy statement on varicella vaccine
  3. AAP publishes policy statement on Lyme disease prevention
  4. Employment opportunity! The Immunization Action Coalition is looking for an administrative assistant
  5. HFI National Hepatitis Congress and Walk on Washington scheduled for March 25-27, 2000
  6. The "Cat in the Hat" is back! IAC has a limited quantity of Dr.Seuss immunization posters to distribute
  7. CDC publishes announcement of public health surveillance course at Emory University
  8. CDC publishes erratum for March 10 MMWR article regarding influenza activity

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(1)
March 20, 2000
TWO-DOSE HEPATITIS B VACCINE SCHEDULE NOW AN OPTION FOR ADOLESCENTS

A new dosing schedule option is now available for hepatitis B vaccine for use in adolescents aged 11-15 years. In September 1999, the Food and Drug  Administration approved an application by Merck Vaccine Division for a two-dose hepatitis B vaccination schedule for adolescents 11 through 15 years of age. The schedule is approved for the use of two 10-mcg (adult)  doses of Recombivax HB. These two doses should be administered 4-6 months apart. Seroconversion rates and final antibody titers for the two-dose (10mcg) alternative schedule are similar to the traditional three-dose (5mcg) schedule.

This two-dose schedule is an "alternative" schedule. It may be used instead of the three-dose schedule if the clinician chooses to do so.

This schedule is approved ONLY for Merck's Recombivax HB using the adult dose (10mcg) of vaccine, and ONLY for children 11 through 15 years of age. If an adolescent has already begun the traditional three-dose schedule, he 
or she should not be changed to the alternative two-dose schedule. The two-dose schedule must not be started prior to 11 years of age, and must be completed before the child's 16th birthday.

On February 17, 2000, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices passed a Vaccines for Children (VFC) resolution to add Merck's alternative two-dose hepatitis B 10-mcg regimen to the VFC program. It is important to remember that vaccine supplied through the VFC program will not be available until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention negotiates a vaccine contract for this alternative dosing schedule.
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(2)
March 20, 2000
AAP PUBLISHES POLICY STATEMENT ON VARICELLA VACCINE

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases published a policy statement titled "Varicella Vaccine Update" in the January 2000 issue of "Pediatrics." The "Abstract" of the statement reads as follows:

"ABSTRACT. Recommendations for routine varicella vaccination were published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in May 1995, but many eligible children remain unimmunized. This update provides additional information on the varicella disease burden before the availability of varicella vaccine, potential barriers to immunization, efforts to increase the level of coverage, new safety data, and new recommendations for use of the varicella vaccine after exposure and in children with human immunodeficiency virus infections. Pediatricians are strongly encouraged to support public health officials in the development and implementation of varicella immunization requirements for child care and school entry."

To obtain the complete text version (HTML format) of this AAP policy statement, go to: http://www.aap.org/policy/re9941.html

The most recent (May 28, 1999) statement on varicella prevention from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is titled "Prevention of Varicella Updated Recommendations." To obtain the text version (HTML format) of this ACIP statement, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr4806a1.htm
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(3)
March 20, 2000
AAP PUBLISHES POLICY STATEMENT ON LYME DISEASE PREVENTION

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases published a policy statement titled "Prevention of Lyme Disease" in the January 2000 issue of "Pediatrics." The "Abstract" of the statement reads as follows:

"ABSTRACT. Lyme disease is currently the most frequently reported vector-borne illness in the United States, accounting for more than 95% of such cases. The purpose of this report is to provide recommendations for preventing Lyme disease, including the use of Lyme disease vaccine. Individuals can reduce their risk of Lyme disease by avoiding tick-infested habitats when in endemic areas. If exposure to tick-infested habitats cannot be avoided, individuals may reduce their risk of infection by using repellants, wearing protective clothing, and regularly checking for and removing attached ticks. Morbidity from Lyme disease can be reduced significantly by detecting  and treating the infection in its early stages; early and appropriate treatment almost always results in a prompt and uncomplicated cure. A Lyme disease vaccine (LYMErix, SmithKline Beecham, Collegeville, PA) was licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration on December 21, 1998, for persons 15 to 70 years of age. This vaccine seems to be safe and effective, but whether its use is cost-effective has yet to be clearly established. Use of this vaccine causes false-positive enzyme immunoassay results for Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be diagnosed in vaccinated persons by immunoblot testing. Decisions about the use of this vaccine should be based on an assessment of a person's risk as determined by activities and behaviors relating to tick exposure in endemic areas. This vaccine should be considered an adjunct to, not a replacement for, the practice of personal protective measures against tick exposure and the early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease."

To obtain the complete text version (HTML format) of this AAP policy statement, go to: http://www.aap.org/policy/re9942.html

The most recent (June 4, 1999) statement on Lyme disease vaccine from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is titled "Recommendations for the Use of Lyme Disease Vaccine." To obtain the text version (HTML format) of this ACIP statement, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr4807a1.htm
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(4)
March 20, 2000
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY! THE IMMUNIZATION ACTION COALITION IS LOOKING FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

If you or anyone you know might be interested in the following employment opportunity, please contact the Immunization Action Coalition. Application instructions are listed in the following job description:

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Pack up your administrative skills and come to work at the Immunization Action Coalition, an award-winning, national, nonprofit publishing organization. Join a small group of high-spirited professionals who are dedicated, meticulous, and need your outstanding organizational skills! We want a detail-oriented "people" person who handles multiple tasks and has extensive experience with databases and PCs. Proofreading or editing experience a plus. Full benefits and competitive salary.

For a more complete job description, visit: http://www.immunize.org/admin/jobopp6.htm

To apply for this position, visit: http://www.immunize.org/ then fax your resume by April 11 to (651) 647-9131, or mail it to:

Immunization Action Coalition
1573 Selby Ave., Suite 234
St. Paul, MN 55104
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(5)
March 20, 2000
HFI NATIONAL HEPATITIS CONGRESS AND WALK ON WASHINGTON SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 25-27, 2000

The Hepatitis Foundation International (HFI) is sponsoring its Third Annual National Hepatitis Congress and Walk on Washington on March 25, 26, and 27, at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA.

A "Support Group Leaders Workshop" will be held on Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 pm, and liver experts will discuss the latest advances in research and treatment of viral hepatitis on Sunday, March 26 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. HFI's awards banquet will be held Sunday evening at 7 pm. Honorees are Dr. Jay Hoofnagle, National Institute of Health; Dr. Mark Kane, Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program; and Patrick Zenner, President of Hoffman LaRoche, Inc. On Monday, March 27, buses will take participants up to Capitol Hill to meet and talk with congressional leaders. 

Registration for the congress is $30 (this does not include the luncheon or awards banquet dinner on Sunday). For more information about this congress, call HFI at (800) 891-0707, or visit HFI's website at: http://www.hepfi.org./walk2000.htm

For a detailed list of additional upcoming immunization and hepatitis conferences, visit the Immunization Action Coalition's "Calendar of Events" at: http://www.immunize.org/calendar/
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(6)
March 20, 2000
THE "CAT IN THE HAT" IS BACK! IAC HAS A LIMITED QUANTITY OF DR. SEUSS IMMUNIZATION POSTERS TO DISTRIBUTE

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is again offering Dr. Seuss posters for a limited time! A Dr. Seuss poster that features the "Cat in the Hat" is now available from IAC for national bulk distribution to anyone who wants to promote child health. 

This full-color poster broadcasts the message "Help Keep Kids Healthy," and promotes the National Immunization Information Hotline of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Created by CDC and the Department  of Health and Human Services, this poster measures 24" x 18". The minimum order is 100 posters; the maximum order is 300 per individual/group.

IAC has a limited quantity of these posters, and will distribute them on a first-come, first-served basis. All we ask is that you provide the cost of shipping and handling and we will mail them within 2-4 weeks of receiving your order. We can only ship posters within the United States.

PLEASE NOTE: We previously advertised the availability of Dr. Seuss posters on March 2, 2000. This current offer is NOT the same as that previous offer for a set of 3 different posters. 

To order your posters, go to the "Cat in the Hat" Poster Order Form on IAC's website at: http://www.immunize.org/news.d/seuss2.htm Print out this form, fill it in, and submit your request to IAC by fax or mail.
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(7)
March 17, 2000
CDC PUBLISHES ANNOUNCEMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE COURSE AT EMORY UNIVERSITY

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a "Notice to Readers" titled "Introduction to Public Health Surveillance Course" in the March 17, 2000, issue of the MMWR. The "Notice" reads as follows:

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CDC and Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health will cosponsor a course, "Introduction to Public Health Surveillance" during May 22-26, 2000,  at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The course is designed for state and local public health professionals.

The course will provide practicing public health professionals with the theoretic and practical tools necessary to design, implement, and evaluate effective  surveillance programs. Topics include overview and history of surveillance systems; planning considerations; sources and collection of data; analysis, interpretation, and communication of data; surveillance systems technology; ethics and legalities; state and local concerns; and future considerations. There is a tuition charge.

Deadline for applications is April 1. Additional information and applications are available from: 

Emory University
International Health Dept.
1518 Clifton Rd., N.E., Room 746
Atlanta, GA 30322
Telephone: (404) 727-3485
Fax: (404) 727-4590
World-Wide Web site:
http://www.sph.emory.edu/EPICOURSES
E-mail: pvaleri@sph.emory.edu

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To obtain the text version (HTML format) of this MMWR article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4910a6.htm

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article 8 below.
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(8)
March 17, 2000
CDC PUBLISHES ERRATUM FOR MARCH 10 MMWR ARTICLE REGARDING INFLUENZA ACTIVITY

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a notice titled "Errata: Vol. 49, No. 9" in the March 17, 2000, issue of the MMWR to correct errors in two articles published in the March 10, 2000, issue. One of the errata concerned the article titled "Update: Influenza Activity--United States, 1999-2000 Season."

To obtain the text version (HTML format) of this MMWR erratum, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4910a7.htm

HOW TO OBTAIN A FREE ELECTRONIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MMWR:
To obtain a free electronic subscription to the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" (MMWR), visit CDC's MMWR website at: http://www2.cdc.gov/mmwr Select "Free MMWR Subscription" from the menu at the left of the screen. Once you have submitted the required  information, weekly issues of the MMWR and all new ACIP statements (published as MMWR's "Recommendations and Reports") will arrive automatically by e-mail.

 

Immunization Action Coalition1573 Selby AvenueSt. Paul MN 55104
E-mail: admin@immunize.org Web: http://www.immunize.org/
Tel: (651) 647-9009Fax: (651) 647-9131

This page was updated on March 20, 2000