Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 311            May 6, 2002

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. VAERS reports can now be completed and submitted online
  2. Children's Vaccine Program at PATH publishes paper on global immunization issues
  3. OSHA issues bulletin on work-related international travel and infectious disease
  4. Good going! Sixty-one Congress members signed the letter supporting more immunization funding
  5. NASTAD offers guide on viral hepatitis within HIV/AIDS programs
  6. CDC publishes report on surveillance of wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus in 2000-2001

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May 6, 2002
VAERS REPORTS CAN NOW BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED ONLINE

Next time you need to submit an adverse event report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), you can do so online. VAERS, a cooperative program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has announced a secure, web-based adverse event reporting form. The identity of the vaccine recipient will not be made available to the public.

To report adverse events electronically, follow these steps:

  1. Go to: www.vaers.org
  2. Click on "Vaers Web Submission" in the lefthand column
  3. Click on "Enter VAERS Data" in the lefthand column

The new electronic form is as user-friendly as any paper form, but for those who prefer the latter, hard copies of the VAERS form (PDF format, 23K) can be printed from the VAERS home page at: http://www.vaers.org

If you have questions or would like to request that a VAERS form be sent to you by mail, call the VAERS 24-hour information line at (800) 822-7967 or email info@vaers.org

Completed forms may be sent by mail to:

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
P.O. Box 1100
Rockville, MD 20849-1100
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May 6, 2002
CHILDREN'S VACCINE PROGRAM AT PATH PUBLISHES PAPER ON GLOBAL IMMUNIZATION ISSUES

The Children's Vaccine Program at PATH (CVP) has published its Occasional Paper #5, "The Case for Childhood Immunization." Written by CVP Director Mark Kane, M.D., M.P.H., and CVP Advocacy, Communications, and Training Specialist Heidi Lasher, this 15-page paper provides an excellent overview of immunization need and potential worldwide.

"The Case for Childhood Immunization" is a beautifully designed document about a not-so-beautiful topic. In addition to several moving photos of people in different countries, nine charts and graphs bring  home the magnitude of, for instance, "Global Mortality from Vaccine Preventable Diseases (1999)" and the regional breakdown of "34 Million Children Not Fully Immunized (1999)." One-paragraph sidebars about diseases tell you quickly and memorably the main facts that we all should know about the worst infections and the deaths and disability that they cause.

Along with other partners in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), CVP aims to improve immunization among "the 74 poorest countries of the world. . . to protect an additional 34 million children and save approximately 3 million lives per year."

To print a camera-ready copy (PDF format) of "The Case for Childhood Immunization," go to: http://www.childrensvaccine.org/html/ip_advocacy.htm#occp5

To learn more about the Children's Vaccine Program at PATH, go to: http://www.childrensvaccine.org

If you are unable to print PDF files, you may request copies of the paper by email at info@childrensvaccine.org
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May 6, 2002
OSHA ISSUES BULLETIN ON WORK-RELATED INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE

On April 17, 2002, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of the U.S.  Department of Labor, released a new Technical Information Bulletin titled "Safety and Health During International Travel." According to the Bulletin, 35 percent of international travel by U.S. residents in 2000 was work-related, and an increasing amount of all international travel has been to countries in which infectious disease is prevalent, including hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, rabies, poliomyelitis, and meningococcal disease. Therefore, business travelers should consider risk of exposure to infectious disease as an occupational hazard and take appropriate preventive measures, including vaccination. The nonprofit health policy research group Partnership for Prevention publicly commended OSHA for issuing this Bulletin and raising employer and employee awareness of the risks of exposure to infectious disease while abroad.

In a press release, OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw stated, "Our new technical information bulletin will help international travelers take care of their health while they take care of business."

The third of three recommendations at the end of the Bulletin reads as follows:

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U.S. workers who travel abroad should be familiar with the infectious diseases to which they may be exposed. With this knowledge, they may modify their behavior to avoid contracting infection, obtain necessary medication and vaccinations before travel, and recognize symptoms of disease.

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To print a camera-ready copy (PDF format) of "Safety and Health During International Travel," go to: http://www.osha.gov/dts/tib/tib_data/tib20020412.pdf

For further information or to request a mailed copy of the Bulletin, call OSHA at (202) 693-2095.

For CDC travel health recommendations, including immunizations and other preventive measures, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/travel
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May 6, 2002
GOOD GOING! SIXTY-ONE CONGRESS MEMBERS SIGNED THE LETTER SUPPORTING MORE IMMUNIZATION FUNDING

To those who called or wrote their representative in Congress last month, you made a difference! When we informed you that Congress members had an opportunity to unite behind a $65 million immunization increase for 2003 (see IAC EXPRESS #308 at http://www.immunize.org/genr.d/issue308.htm), only 35 had agreed to sign a letter indicating their support to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. A few days after our "Action Needed" message went out, that number reached 61.

Following is the list of Congress members who signed the letter:

Spencer Bachus (AL)
John Baldacci (ME)
Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Tom Barrett (WI)
Ken Bentsen (TX)
Howard Berman (CA)
David Bonior (MI)
Robert A. Brady (PA)
Corrine Brown (FL)
Julia Carson (IN)
John Conyers, Jr. (MI)
Joe Crowley (NY)
Elijah Cummings (MD)
Danny Davis (IL)
John Dingell (MI)
Eliot Engel (NY)
Anna Eshoo (CA)
Chaka Fattah (PA)
Harold Ford (TN)
Bart Gordon (TN)
Gene Green (TX)
Joel Hefley (CO)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX)
Steny H. Hoyer (MD)
Dale Kildee (MI)
Gerald Kleczka (WI)
Jim Langevin (RI)
Rick Larsen (WA)
John Lewis (GA)
Zoe Lofgren (CA)
Bill Luther (MN)
Robert Matsui (CA)
Betty McCollum (MN)
Michael McNulty (NY)
Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA)
Patsy Mink (HI)
Dennis Moore (KS)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
Doug Ose (CA)
Major Owens (NY)
Frank Pallone (NJ)
Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ)
Chip Pickering (MS)
Charlie Rangel (NY)
Lynn Rivers (MI)
Marge Roukema (NJ)
Marge Roukema (NJ)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA)
Loretta Sanchez (CA)
Bernie Sanders (VT)
Adam Schiff (CA)
Ronnie Shows (MS)
Adam Smith (WA)
Vic Snyder (AR)
Ted Strickland (OH)
Ellen Tauscher (CA)
Tom Udall (NM)
Henry Waxman (CA)
Robert Wexler (FL)
Roger Wicker (MS)
Al Wynn (MD)
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May 6, 2002
NASTAD OFFERS GUIDE ON VIRAL HEPATITIS WITHIN HIV/AIDS PROGRAMS

The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) has published the first chapter of a guide for HIV/AIDS programs that plan to add viral hepatitis prevention, treatment, counseling, and more to their current activities.

This 20-page chapter, titled "Starting Up: First Steps Towards the Integration of Viral Hepatitis into HIV/AIDS/STD Programs," covers topics ranging from needs assessment to securing funding.

As stated on page one, "The existence of a well-developed HIV/AIDS/STD infrastructure presents a prime opportunity to address viral hepatitis efficiently and effectively. . . . Nonetheless, the introduction of such a broad new area of focus into HIV/AIDS/STD programs does not `just happen' but rather entails a sometimes complex and lengthy process." This clearly written guide promises to clarify and simplify that process considerably.

To print a camera-ready copy (PDF format) of "Starting Up: First Steps Towards the Integration of Viral Hepatitis into HIV/AIDS/STD Programs," go to: http://www.nastad.org/pro_viral_hepatitis.asp?menu=pro

For further information, contact Laurie Schowalter, M.P.H., NASTAD Viral Hepatitis Program Manager, by phone at (202) 434-8090 or email at lschowalter@nastad.org
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May 6, 2002
CDC PUBLISHES REPORT ON SURVEILLANCE OF WILD AND VACCINE-DERIVED POLIOVIRUS IN 2000-2001

On May 3, 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published "Laboratory Surveillance for Wild Poliovirus and Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus, 2000-2001" in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The Global Laboratory Network for Poliomyelitis Eradication was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) after the 1988 World Health Assembly resolution to eradicate poliomyelitis.

The Editorial Note to the article reads in part as follows:

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During 2000-2001, the laboratory network initiated genomic sequencing of all wild poliovirus isolates and expanded its mandate to include surveillance for VDPV [vaccine-derived poliovirus], which preliminary evidence indicates is rare. Laboratory surveillance conducted by the network documented the interruption of indigenous transmission in the Western Pacific Region, the elimination of poliovirus lineages in remaining reservoir countries, and the importation of poliovirus into polio-free countries.

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To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5117a2.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5117.pdf

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://www.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 email. 

 

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 6, 2002