Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 328            August 5, 2002

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. CDC announces end of temporary shortage of varicella vaccine
  2. CDC reports on vaccination coverage levels among U.S. children in 2001
  3. Hepatitis B Foundation adds Vietnamese informational chapter to its website
  4. Early announcement: Louisiana's Shots for Tots Conference is set for December 5-6 in New Orleans
  5. CDC studies impact of temporary DTaP shortage in Puerto Rico

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August 5, 2002
CDC ANNOUNCES END OF TEMPORARY SHORTAGE OF VARICELLA VACCINE

On August 2, 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published "Notice to Readers: Resumption of Routine Schedule for Varicella Vaccine" in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The entire text of this important Notice reads as follows:

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Supplies of varicella vaccine (VARIVAX[R]) in the United States have become sufficient to permit the resumption of the routine schedule as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) (1-3). Childcare and school attendance provisions requiring children to receive the varicella vaccine should be reinstituted.

A temporary shortage of varicella vaccine in the United States resulted from a voluntary interruption of manufacturing operations by Merck & Co., Inc., the only U.S. manufacturer of varicella vaccine (4). During the vaccine shortage, ACIP recommended the delay of the routine childhood varicella vaccine dose from age 12-18 months until age 18-24 months (1,2) and made additional recommendations for prioritizing use in the event of a persistent shortage (4).

Health-care providers should review the vaccination status of their patients and administer varicella vaccine as appropriate. Recall programs for deferred unvaccinated persons should be instituted. CDC will continue to monitor vaccine supply. Updates about vaccine supply and shortages are available at http://www.cdc.gov/nip.

References

  1. CDC. Prevention of varicella: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1996;45 (No. RR-11).
  2. CDC. Prevention of varicella: updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1999;48 (No. RR-6).
  3. CDC. Recommended childhood immunization schedule--United States, 2002. MMWR 2002;51:31-3.
  4. CDC. Shortage of varicella and measles, mumps and rubella vaccines and interim recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR 2002;51:190-1.

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To obtain the complete text of this Notice to Readers online, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5130a5.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5130.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.
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August 5, 2002
CDC REPORTS ON VACCINATION COVERAGE LEVELS AMONG U.S. CHILDREN IN 2001

On August 2, 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published "National, State, and Urban Area Vaccination Coverage Levels Among Children Aged 19-35 Months--United States, 2001" in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). According to the article, "estimated  vaccination coverage differed substantially among states" in 2001, ranging from 81.7 percent in Rhode Island to 63.2 percent in New Mexico. Among urban areas, the highest coverage rate was achieved in Jefferson County, Alabama, at 79.5 percent, and the lowest was in Detroit, Michigan, at 57.7 percent. According to the article, the findings "indicate a substantial nationwide increase in coverage with 1 or more doses of varicella vaccine (VAR), generally steady coverage for other vaccines nationwide, and wide variability in coverage among the states and urban areas. . . ."

The article includes two tables. Table 1 shows nationwide coverage levels for individual vaccines from 1997 through 2001, not including pneumococcal vaccine, which was first recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in October 2000 and which will be included in National Immunization Survey (NIS) estimates next year. Table 2 shows estimated coverage levels by state and selected urban areas.

To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5130a2.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5130.pdf
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August 5, 2002
HEPATITIS B FOUNDATION ADDS VIETNAMESE INFORMATIONAL CHAPTER TO ITS WEBSITE

The Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) has offered unique web-page articles about hepatitis B for Chinese and Korean "language chapters" provide accessible and culturally appropriate information for people in high-risk ethnic communities. An English version of each chapter is available for use by family members or health care providers in discussing the material.

Each language chapter includes text written by a high-profile community physician. The Vietnamese chapter features a section by Dr. Huy N. Trinh, a gastroenterologist in San Jose, California, with a specialty in hepatitis B and liver cancer.

To view the Vietnamese chapter web page, go to:
http://www.hepb.org/v

To print a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of the Vietnamese chapter, go to: http://www.hepb.org/v/0614HBF1VIE.pdf

For the English version of the Vietnamese chapter, go to:
http://www.hepb.org/v.english

For more information, contact the Hepatitis B Foundation by email at info@hepb.org or phone at (215) 489-4900.
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August 5, 2002
EARLY ANNOUNCEMENT: LOUISIANA'S SHOTS FOR TOTS CONFERENCE IS SET FOR DECEMBER 5-6 IN NEW ORLEANS

The 11th annual "Shots for Tots" conference will take place at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in the French District of New Orleans, Louisiana, from noon on December 5 through 3:30 p.m. on December 6, 2002.

The conference will include speakers, workshops, exhibits, and an "icebreaker" with food and music. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Ray Strikas from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Contact and credit hours will be available pending approval by credentialing offices.

The registration fee is $15. You can call Gina Deris at (504) 483-1900 for a registration form or print one from the "Shots for Tots" website at: http://www.shotsfortots.com/html/registration.html

Registrations should be sent to:

Gina Deris
Coordinator
Immunization Program
4747 Earhart Boulevard
Suite 107
New Orleans, LA 70125

For more information on "Shots for Tots," call (800) 251-BABY [(800) 251-2229), email info@shotsfortots.com, or go to: http://www.shotsfortots.com
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August 5, 2002
CDC STUDIES IMPACT OF TEMPORARY DTaP SHORTAGE IN PUERTO RICO

On August 2, 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published "Impact of Vaccine Shortage on Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Coverage Rates Among Children Aged 24 Months--Puerto Rico, 2002" in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This article is the first to examine the effect of the DTaP shortage, which began in the spring of 2001, on vaccination coverage levels. While DTaP3 (third dose) vaccination coverage among Puerto Rican children aged 24 months was similar in 2001 and 2002, according to the article (98.3 percent and 99.1 percent, respectively), coverage for DTaP4 (fourth dose) was only 31.8 percent in 2002, down significantly from 95.8 percent in 2001.

As stated in the Editorial Note to the article, "The decrease in DTaP4 coverage among children in Puerto Rico might herald similar findings for other parts of the United States. . . . Because children included in NIS [National Immunization Survey] are slightly older than those included in PRIS [Puerto Rico Immunization Survey] and the larger NIS sample size results in a 6-month delay between data collection and reporting of results, declines in DTaP4 coverage levels in other parts of the United States monitored by NIS might not be recorded until late 2002 at the earliest. The maximum impact of the shortage might not be recorded until the second half of 2003, when all children in the cohort surveyed will be old enough to have received DTaP4 during the shortage period."

To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5130a3.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5130.pdf

 

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 August 5, 2002