Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 160            May 1, 2000

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Help send kids with hepatitis to camp this summer!
  2. CDC publishes surveillance summaries on Lyme disease and influenza
  3. CDC publishes report on meningococcal disease among pilgrims to Mecca
  4. CDC publishes article on progress toward global polio eradication
  5. CDC publishes article on surveillance for adverse events associated with anthrax vaccine
  6. Sign on to this site! W.H.O. offers "Safe Injection Global Network" (SIGN) website
  7. Don't let it fly by! "Early bird" registration deadline is May 5 for National Immunization Conference
  8. California's meningococcal disease satellite broadcast set for May 18
  9. National Vaccine Program Office sponsors Workshop on Aluminum in Vaccines, May 11-12

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(1)
May 1, 2000
HELP SEND KIDS WITH HEPATITIS TO CAMP THIS SUMMER!

Through contributions made to the Gary Schatz Memorial Fund, Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDs) is planning to send children living with chronic hepatitis to camp this summer. Now is a great time to donate to this special memorial fund! 

For the first time ever, kids with hepatitis B and C will have the opportunity to go to camp at "The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp," the Connecticut camp originally formed by actor Paul Newman for children living with life-threatening diseases. The cost for each child to travel to and attend the camp is approximately $800-1000. To date, PKIDs is still trying to find funds for seven children to participate. 

PKIDs' effort honors the life and work of Dr. Gary Schatz, a tireless international leader in the fight against viral hepatitis. On August 2, 1999, Dr. Schatz died in a tragic vehicular accident in Zanzibar where he was on a hepatitis B prevention assignment for the World Health Organization. 

Children were at the heart of Dr. Schatz's public health work in the years before his death. For more than two decades Dr. Schatz worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, retiring from the Hepatitis Branch in 1995. In 1997, Dr. Schatz founded Plexus Health Group, a nonprofit organization whose mission included getting hepatitis B vaccine into the arms of high-risk refugee and immigrant children. In this spirit, Dr. Schatz's family established the memorial fund with PKIDs.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Gary Schatz Memorial Fund, send contributions to The Gary Schatz Memorial Fund, c/o PKIDs, PO Box 5666, Vancouver, WA 98668.

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding this fund, call PKIDs at (360) 695-0293.
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(2)
April 28, 2000
CDC PUBLISHES SURVEILLANCE SUMMARIES ON LYME DISEASE AND INFLUENZA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new issue of "MMWR Surveillance Summaries" on April 28, 2000. In this issue, CDC has combined two surveillance documents: "Surveillance for Lyme Disease --United States, 1992-1998" and "Surveillance for Influenza --United States, 1994-95, 1995-96, and 1996-97 Seasons."

1. SURVEILLANCE FOR LYME DISEASE--UNITED STATES, 1992-1998

The summary's "Abstract" states in part: "During 1992-1998, a total of 88,967 cases of Lyme disease was reported to CDC by 49 states and the District of Columbia, with the number of cases increasing from 9,896 in 1992 to 16,802 in 1998.... Lyme disease is a highly focal disease, with the majority of reported cases occurring in the northeastern and north-central United States....

"... The results presented in this report will help clinicians evaluate the prior probability of Lyme disease and provide the framework for targeting human Lyme disease vaccine use and other prevention and treatment  interventions."

To obtain the complete text version (HTML format) of the Lyme disease surveillance summary online, go to:  http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss4903a1.htm

2. SURVEILLANCE FOR INFLUENZA--UNITED STATES, 1994-95,
1995-96, AND 1996-97 SEASONS

This surveillance report focuses on three influenza seasons, summarizing U.S. influenza surveillance data from October 1994 through May 1997, from both active and passive surveillance systems. The "Abstract" of the report states that "Local surveillance data are important because of geographic and temporal differences in the circulation of influenza types/subtypes."

The "Introduction" of the report states in part: 
"Epidemics of influenza occur nearly every year during the winter months and are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in the United States, including an average of approximately 114,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths per year. Annual vaccination is recommended for groups at increased risk, including adults aged greater than or equal to 50 years, persons with underlying chronic health conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and certain metabolic conditions), and women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy."

To obtain the complete text version (HTML format) of the influenza surveillance summary, go to:  http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss4903a2.htm

To obtain both surveillance summaries as one camera-ready document (PDF format), go to: ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Publications/mmwr/ss/ss4903.pdf

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article five below.
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(3)
April 28, 2000
CDC PUBLISHES REPORT ON MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE AMONG PILGRIMS TO MECCA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article titled "Serogroup W-135 Meningococcal Disease Among Travelers Returning From Saudi Arabia--United States, 2000" in the April 28, 2000, issue of the MMWR. 

The article begins: "On April 9, 2000, CDC was notified by national public health agencies in several European countries of cases of serogroup W-135 meningococcal disease among pilgrims returning from the Hajj in Mecca and their close contacts. As of April 20, 2000, the New York City Department of Health had reported three cases of serogroup W-135 meningococcal disease in the United States."

The article's "Editorial Note" states in part: "Health departments and health-care providers should be aware of possible meningococcal disease among persons who recently traveled to Saudi Arabia or their household contacts who may not have traveled. Surveillance by local and state health departments should be enhanced for cases of meningococcal disease in persons who may have had contact with returning pilgrims or their families, or for any case of serogroup W-135 meningococcal disease. Health departments in areas with substantial numbers of returning pilgrims should consider disseminating information on the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease, particularly among returning pilgrims and their household contacts.

"If possible cases are identified, health-care providers should contact the local or state health department and CDC's Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, telephone (404) 639-3158. Any isolates should be saved and sent to CDC for further analysis."

To obtain the text version (HTML format) of this MMWR article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4916a2.htm

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article five below.
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(4)
April 28, 2000
CDC PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON PROGRESS TOWARD GLOBAL POLIO 
ERADICATION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article titled "Progress Toward Global Poliomyelitis Eradication, 1999" in the April 28, 2000, issue of the MMWR.

The article's "Editorial Note" states that substantial progress in polio eradication has been reported from all six WHO [World Health Organization] regions since 1988. However, "...the interruption of virus transmission by the end of 2000 or as soon as possible will be feasible only if extraordinary efforts are taken in priority countries where polio is endemic, including

  1. conducting extra NID [National Immunization Day] rounds during the rest of 2000 and in 2001;
  2. improving the quality of NIDs to reach all children, particularly children who have never received vaccine; 
  3. improving and maintaining AFP [Acute Flaccid Paralysis] surveillance;
  4. procuring sufficient vaccine to allow completion of polio eradication activities during 2000 and 2001;
  5. expanding efforts to establish days of tranquility and truces to allow vaccination of children in countries affected by conflict;
  6. meeting the projected financial shortage in external resources required through 2005; and
  7. strengthening and maintaining political commitment."

To obtain the text version (HTML format) of this MMWR article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4916a4.htm

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article five below.
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(5)
April 28, 2000
CDC PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON SURVEILLANCE FOR ADVERSE EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH ANTHRAX VACCINE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article titled "Surveillance for Adverse Events Associated with Anthrax Vaccination--U.S. Department of Defense, 1998-2000" in the April 28, 2000, issue of the MMWR. The introductory paragraph of this article reads in part:

"On the basis of program monitoring, as of April 12, 2000, 425,976 service members had received 1,620,793 doses of anthrax vaccine. Some service members have cited concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy in their decision to refuse vaccination, despite the possibility of administrative or disciplinary actions. To assess anthrax vaccination safety, DoD [U.S. Department of Defense] has conducted surveys of vaccinated personnel. This report describes three completed or ongoing surveys. The findings indicate that rates of local reactions were higher in women than men and that no patterns of unexpected local or systemic adverse events have been identified."

The MMWR report notes that the studies described in this article were not designed to detect or quantify chronic or long-term adverse events.

The article's "Editorial Note" directs readers to the following website for more information: 

AVIP [Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program] http://www.anthrax.osd.mil
(This site includes information on how to contact AVIP staff by e-mail.)

Readers may also call (877) 438-8222, a toll-free information line for inquiries from health-care providers, service members, and the public. 

To obtain the text version (HTML format) of this MMWR article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4916a1.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.
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(6)
May 1, 2000
SIGN ON TO THIS SITE! W.H.O. OFFERS "SAFE INJECTION GLOBAL  NETWORK" (SIGN) WEBSITE

Amidst strewn medical waste, a young boy rummages the ground to find used syringes that he can sell to local pharmacists. This image is just one of the powerful photographs available on the "Safe Injection Global Network" (SIGN) website, a comprehensive resource on international injection safety issues created by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

SIGN's website offers a variety of resources including injection safety factsheets, Q&As, resource lists, a glossary of terms, a PowerPoint downloadable slide presentation, and a photo gallery of images like the one described above. In addition, the site features official W.H.O. recommendations for the safe and appropriate use of injections, and a mathematical model by which individuals can estimate figures for regional transmission of hepatitis B, C, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

According to the organization's literature, SIGN was created to "prevent the adverse events of unsafe injection practices" via the combined force of its partner groups, which include United Nations organizations, non-governmental organizations, governments, donors, and universities sharing a common interest in a safe and appropriate use of injections.

Visit SIGN online at: http://www.injectionsafety.org
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(7)
May 1, 2000
DON'T LET IT FLY BY! "EARLY BIRD" REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS MAY 5 FOR NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION CONFERENCE

The 34th National Immunization Conference set for July 5-8 in Washington, DC, is the largest annual immunization conference in the United States. Participants must register before May 5 to take advantage of the "early bird" registration fee of $60. 

For registration information and to view a draft of the conference agenda, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/NIC/

You can also call the National Immunization Program at (404) 639-8225 or request information by fax at (404) 639-8828.

For a detailed list of upcoming immunization and hepatitis conferences, visit the Immunization Action Coalition's "Calendar of Events" at: http://www.immunize.org/calendar/
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(8)
May 1, 2000
CALIFORNIA'S MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE SATELLITE BROADCAST SET FOR MAY 18

"Armed with Information: Protecting College Students from Meningococcal Disease" is a live, interactive satellite broadcast for health professionals who want to know more about meningococcal disease prevention and management  strategies aimed at the high-risk, college-aged population. Produced by the California Distance Learning Health Network, this program is set for May 18, 2000, from 9:00 am to 10:30 am PT.

This course will address the history and changing epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the United States as well as specific risk factors for the disease, and will emphasize the importance of providing information about and access to vaccination for college-bound students and their parents. A question-and-answer session, in which participants can interact with infectious disease experts via toll-free telephone lines, will be included in this broadcast. Course instructors include:

Georges Peter, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
Brown University School of Medicine 
Director, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases 
Rhode Island Hospital 

and

William Schaffner, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine 
Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases 
Vanderbilt School of Medicine

CME and CEU credit will be available for participation in this program. For more information on registration or locations where you can view this broadcast, contact the California Distance Learning Health Network at (619) 594-3348 or by e-mail at cdlhn@projects.sdsu.edu

For a detailed list of upcoming immunization and hepatitis conferences, visit the Immunization Action Coalition's "Calendar of Events" at: http://www.immunize.org/calendar/
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(9)
May 1, 2000
NATIONAL VACCINE PROGRAM OFFICE SPONSORS WORKSHOP ON ALUMINUM IN VACCINES, MAY 11-12

The National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will sponsor a Workshop on Aluminum in Vaccines May 11-12, 2000. The Workshop will be held at the Caribe Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, immediately following the Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine Conference. Discussion topics include vaccine adjuvants, aluminum salts in vaccines, the pharmacology and toxicology of aluminum, and macrophagic myofascitis (MMF). Additional information is available on NVPO's website at: http://www.cdc.gov/od/nvpo/calendar.htm or contact Sandra Browning or Lena Kombo at (404) 687-6672.

For a detailed list of upcoming immunization and hepatitis conferences, visit the Immunization Action Coalition's "Calendar of Events" at: http://www.immunize.org/calendar/

 

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 May 1, 2000