Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 338            September 30, 2002

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. MMWR publishes notice about the updated post-event Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines
  2. GAO report examines issues involved in ensuring an adequate supply of childhood vaccines
  3. Order now! IAC's Adult Immunization Record Cards will help your patients stay up-to-date during flu season and beyond
  4. New! CDC's web-based Childhood Immunization Scheduler makes it easier to keep track of vaccination due dates
  5. MMWR publishes notice of expansion of eligibility for influenza vaccine through the Vaccines for Children Program
  6. FDA approves new treatment for chronic hepatitis B
  7. New! 2002-2003 influenza VIS now in Chinese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese
  8. MMWR publishes notice about upcoming National Adult Immunization Awareness Week
  9. Fifth National Immunization Coalition Conference set for May 28-30, 2003; abstracts due November 1
  10. Provider alert! Date for submitting your plan for HIPAA compliance is October 15

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September 30, 2002
MMWR PUBLISHES NOTICE ABOUT THE UPDATED POST-EVENT SMALLPOX RESPONSE PLAN AND GUIDELINES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Notice to Readers titled "Updated Post-Event Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines" in the September 27, 2002, issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The entire notice reads as follows:

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CDC has released an updated version of the post-event Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines. This is the second revision to these guidelines since they were released in November 2001.

Version 3 of the guidelines contains an important addition-the "Smallpox Vaccination Clinic Guide." This guide provides the operational and logistical considerations associated with implementing a large-scale, voluntary vaccination program as part of a multifaceted response to a confirmed smallpox outbreak. Following a confirmed smallpox outbreak within the United States, rapid, voluntary vaccination of a large segment of the population might be required to 1) supplement priority surveillance and containment control strategies in areas with smallpox cases, 2) reduce the at-risk population for additional intentional releases of smallpox virus if the probability of such occurrences is considered significant, and 3) address heightened public concerns about access to voluntary vaccination.

The most important component of smallpox containment is the rapid identification, isolation, and vaccination of close contacts of infected patients and contacts of their contacts (i.e., ring vaccination). This strategy involves identification of infected persons through intensive surveillance, isolation of infected persons, vaccination of household contacts and other close contacts of infected persons (i.e., primary contacts), and vaccination of household and other potential contacts of the primary contacts (i.e., secondary contacts).

The clinic guide will assist planning for larger-scale, post-event vaccination when exposure circumstances indicate the need to supplement the ring vaccination approach with broader protective measures. The clinic guide describes the activities and staffing needs associated with large-scale  smallpox vaccination clinics, including suggested protocols for vaccine safety monitoring and treatment. The clinic guide provides an example of a model smallpox clinic and provides samples of pertinent clinic consent forms and patient information sheets that would be used at a clinic.

The clinic guide and the Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines, Version 3 are available at http://www.cdc.gov/smallpox CDC will take additional steps to increase preparedness to respond to a smallpox exposure of any magnitude, including updates to the Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines. Updates on infection control, in-hospital isolation recommendations, post-event vaccination protocols, and outbreak response strategies are under way and will be posted on the CDC
website.

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To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5138a6.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5138.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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September 30, 2002
GAO REPORT EXAMINES ISSUES INVOLVED IN ENSURING AN ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF CHILDHOOD VACCINES

On September 13, 2002, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued "Childhood Vaccines: Ensuring an Adequate Supply Poses Continuing Challenges."

The 43-page report answers three questions asked by the United States Congress:

  1. To what extent have recent childhood vaccine shortages affected immunization policies and programs?
     
  2. What factors have contributed to the recent shortages, and have they been resolved?
      
  3. What strategies are federal agencies considering to help mitigate disruptions in the vaccine supply?

For a camera-ready (PDF) copy of the report, go to: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02987.pdf

To order a free copy from GAO, call (202) 512-6000.
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September 30, 2002
ORDER NOW! IAC'S ADULT IMMUNIZATION RECORD CARDS WILL HELP YOUR PATIENTS STAY UP-TO-DATE DURING FLU SEASON AND BEYOND

Since introducing its Adult Immunization Record Cards two months ago, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has shipped more than a half million cards to health care providers across the United States. To give you an idea of how popular the cards are, here are two example orders: The Michigan Department of Community Health and a Pennsylvania health plan recently ordered 100,000 cards and 61,000 cards, respectively.

If you haven't ordered your cards yet, you still have time before flu vaccine administration season begins. It's a perfect opportunity to remind adults that vaccines aren't just for kids. Once they see the vaccinations listed on their cards, many will realize they are also due for a Td booster or perhaps a pneumococcal shot.

Printed on smudge-proof, rip-proof, waterproof paper, the card is a way for adult patients to keep track of their vaccination status for life. It comes pre-folded to fit in a wallet, and its bright, canary-yellow color makes it easy to spot among credit cards and other items.

The cost for one 250-count box is $25; two boxes (500 cards) cost $45; three boxes (750 cards), $60;four boxes (1,000 cards), $70. Additional pricing for larger quantities can be found on the online order form (see link below).

To view a color image of IAC's Adult Immunization Record Card, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/adultizcards/pictures.htm

To order IAC's Adult Immunization Record Cards online (including online with a purchase order), go to:
https://www.immunize.org/adultizcards/index.htm

To print an order form to send with payment information by fax or mail, go to:
https://www.immunize.org/adultizcards/izorder.pdf

If you have questions about IAC's Adult Immunization Record Cards, call us at (651) 647-9009, or email us at admin@immunize.org
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September 30, 2002
NEW! CDC'S WEB-BASED CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULER MAKES IT EASIER TO KEEP TRACK OF VACCINATION DUE DATES

The task of helping a parent remember when a child is due for certain vaccines has now become simpler. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through the National Immunization Program, recently launched a web-based Childhood Immunization Scheduler for parents. It is available in English and Spanish.

The scheduler can be used for any child five years of age or younger but is especially useful for very young children, who may receive up to 20 shots in the first two years of life.

Health professionals are encouraged to refer new parents to the scheduler so they can make an individualized schedule for their child, using the child's birth date and name. (In the interest of privacy, no entered data are retained.)

The scheduler program is based on the current vaccine recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The program will be updated each time national immunization recommendations change. Parents (and caregivers who provide these schedules for patients) are advised, therefore, to make new schedules for children at least once a year, or whenever childhood immunization recommendations are revised.

In addition, the scheduler has links to sites where parents can become more informed about various immunization issues before their child's healthcare visits.

To try out this exciting new childhood immunization tool from CDC yourself, make up a birth date for an infant or toddler and go to: http://www2.cdc.gov/nip/scheduler_le/default.asp
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September 30, 2002
MMWR PUBLISHES NOTICE OF EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR INFLUENZA VACCINE THROUGH THE VACCINES FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Notice to Readers titled "Expansion of Eligibility for Influenza Vaccine Through the Vaccines for Children Program" in the September 27, 2002, issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The entire notice reads as follows:

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On June 20, 2002, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) adopted a resolution expanding the group of children eligible for influenza vaccine coverage under the Vaccines for  Children (VFC) program. The resolution extends VFC coverage for influenza vaccine to all VFC-eligible children aged 6-23 months and VFC-eligible children aged 2-18 years who are household contacts of children aged 2 years or less. The resolution becomes effective on March 1, 2003, for vaccine to be administered during the 2003-04 influenza vaccination season and subsequent seasons. ACIP is expanding VFC influenza coverage because children aged 23 months or less are at substantially increased risk for influenza-related hospitalizations.

For the upcoming 2002-03 influenza season, no changes are being made to groups of children eligible for influenza vaccine under the VFC program. Children aged 6 months-18 years who are eligible for the VFC program and who have a high-risk medical condition or are household members of a person at high risk for complications may receive influenza vaccine through the program. Groups of children with high-risk medical conditions include those who 1) have chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, including asthma; 2) have required medical follow-up or hospitalization during the preceding year because of chronic metabolic diseases (including diabetes mellitus), renal dysfunction, hemoglobinopathies, or immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications); 3) are receiving long-term aspirin therapy; 4) are residents of long-term care facilities; and 5) are adolescent females in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season (typically November-March).

The availability of additional supplies of influenza vaccine through the VFC program for the 2003-04 season will be based on anticipated need. VFC providers should provide their state's vaccination program with accurate and practical estimates of the number of VFC patients they plan to vaccinate.  Accurate estimates are essential to ensure an adequate supply of vaccine and to avoid vaccine wastage.

ACIP recommendations for the 2002-03 influenza season are available at
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5103a1.htm

Information about the VFC program is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vfc/

The VFC Resolution for Influenza Vaccine (10/98-4) is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vfc/flu.pdf

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To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5138a7.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5138.pdf
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September 30, 2002
FDA APPROVES NEW TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC HEPATITIS B

On September 20, 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an announcement about the approval of Hepsera (adefovir dipivoxil) tablets for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, CA, developed the drug. The following information about the new license is from the FDA website:

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September 20, 2002

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the approval of Hepsera (adefovir dipivoxil) tablets for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in adults with evidence of active viral replication and either elevations in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST), or histologically active disease.

Chronic hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.25 million Americans are chronically HBV infected.

Hepsera slows the progression of chronic hepatitis B by interfering with viral replication and causing DNA chain termination after its incorporation into viral DNA. . . .

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To read the complete FDA announcement, go to:
http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/2002/ANS01163.html
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September 30, 2002
NEW! 2002-2003 INFLUENZA VIS NOW IN CHINESE, VIETNAMESE, HAITIAN CREOLE, AND PORTUGUESE

The 2002-2003 Flu Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) is now available in Chinese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese on the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) website. IAC gratefully acknowledges the California Department of Health for providing the Chinese and Vietnamese VISs and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for providing the Haitian Creole and Portuguese VISs.

To obtain a copy of the 2002-2003 influenza VIS in Chinese, go to: http://www.immunize.org/vis/ch_flu02.pdf

To obtain a copy of the 2002-2003 influenza VIS in Vietnamese, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/vn_flu02.pdf

To obtain a copy of the 2002-2003 influenza VIS in Haitian Creole, go to: http://www.immunize.org/vis/ha_flu02.pdf

To obtain a copy of the 2002-2003 influenza VIS in Portuguese, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/pr_flu02.pdf

To obtain a copy of the 2002-2003 influenza VIS in English, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/2flu.pdf

For more information about the use of VISs and for VISs in a total of 28 languages, visit IAC's VIS web page at: http://www.immunize.org/vis
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September 30, 2002
MMWR PUBLISHES NOTICE ABOUT UPCOMING NATIONAL ADULT IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS WEEK

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Notice to Readers titled "National Adult Immunization Awareness Week, October 13-19, 2002" in the September 27, 2002, issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The entire notice reads as follows:

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This year's National Adult Immunization Awareness Week (NAIAW) will be October 13-19. NAIAW highlights the influenza vaccination season, which typically begins in early fall of each year. NAIAW emphasizes the need for health-care providers and public health officials to intensify their efforts to vaccinate adults and adolescents according to recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. In addition to specifying the appropriate use of influenza and pneumococcal  vaccines for adults and adolescents, the recommendations cover vaccination of adults and adolescents against diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, meningococcal disease, and varicella.

Information about NAIAW is available from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the National Coalition for Adult Immunization, and the National Partnership for Immunization, 4733 Bethesda Avenue, Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone, 301-656-0003; fax, 301-907-0878;e-mail, ncai@nfid.org; and online at http://www.nfid.org or http://www.partnersforimmunization.org

Additional information about influenza, the influenza vaccine, and influenza education materials is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/flu

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To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5138a5.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5138.pdf
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September 30, 2002
FIFTH NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION COALITION CONFERENCE SET FOR MAY 28-30, 2003; ABSTRACTS DUE NOVEMBER 1

The Fifth National Immunization Coalition Conference will take place in Phoenix-Scottsdale, AZ, on May 28-30, 2003. It will offer sessions tailored to local, state, and national coalitions, and address childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization issues as they relate to coalition efforts.

For a copy of the conference brochure and information on submitting abstracts, go to:
http://www.hsc.usf.edu/publichealth/conted/iz03.html

The deadline for submitting abstracts is November 1.

For questions about program or content, contact Debbie McCune Davis, Program Director, at (602) 253-0090, ext. 234 or by email at tapi@aachc.org
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September 30, 2002
PROVIDER ALERT! DATE FOR SUBMITTING YOUR PLAN FOR HIPAA COMPLIANCE IS OCTOBER 15

Certain healthcare providers are required to be compliant with the Transaction & Code Set Standards of the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). If you are one of these providers, you have two choices: (1) become compliant with the act by October 16, or (2) submit your plan for compliance by October 15 and get a one-year extension for becoming compliant. By submitting your compliance plan by the October 15 deadline and getting the one-year extension, you will have until October 16, 2003, to become compliant.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CME) is encouraging everyone to submit their compliance plans now, and to implement and test the new standards as soon as possible. CME states that electronic filing is fast and easy, and a filer will know immediately that the extension has been received.

To file electronically, go to: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/hipaa/hipaa2/ascaform.asp

If you have questions, call the HIPAA Hotline at (866) 282-0659, or email HIPPA at askhipaa@cms.hhs.gov

 

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 September 30, 2002