Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 356            December 20, 2002

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Happy holidays from all of us at IAC
  2. FDA approves new pediatric combination vaccine
  3. Representative Henry Waxman writes members of Congress about childhood immunization and vaccine safety
  4. Bilingual adult vaccination guide, "Vaccines: We All Need Them!" now available
  5. CDC's National Immunization Program seeks applicants for Chief of Program Operations Branch
  6. CDC's "Terrorism Preparedness Compendium" has added links to articles about smallpox management from 1960s to 1980s

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December 20, 2002
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US AT IAC

All of us at the Immunization Action Coalition wish the readers of "IAC EXPRESS" a safe, happy, and relaxing holiday season. Drive safely, wear your seat belt, and get your flu shot, if you haven't already.

This is our last issue for 2002. We're publishing today instead of Monday, December 23, because many of you will be gone that week. We'll be back in January 2003.
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December 20, 2002
FDA APPROVES NEW PEDIATRIC COMBINATION VACCINE

According to a notice posted on the website of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on December 16, the FDA approved Pediarix, a combination vaccine distributed in the United States by GlaxoSmithKline. It protects infants against five diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and hepatitis B. Currently, it requires nine injections to immunize an infant against these diseases. With Pediarix, only three injections are needed.

The Immunization Action Coalition anticipates more detailed information on the use of the vaccine will be available in a Notice to Readers in "Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report" in January 2003.

To access a camera-ready (PDF) version of the 26-page prescribing information from the FDA website, go to: http://www.fda.gov/cber/label/dtapsmi121302LB.pdf
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December 20, 2002
REPRESENTATIVE HENRY WAXMAN WRITES MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ABOUT CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATION AND VACCINE SAFETY

In a letter dated December 10 and titled "Update on Vaccine Safety," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) informed his House and Senate colleagues about what he termed "an issue of vital public health significance: childhood immunization."

Citing the existence of "serious confusion and misinformation about vaccine safety, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), and the vaccine preservative thimerosal," Mr. Waxman stated that the letter's goal was to give House and Senate members "correct information about these topics in order to prepare for future legislative efforts in this area and to respond to constituents' concerns."

At the letter's conclusion, Mr. Waxman wrote: "The available evidence does not support the allegation that vaccines can cause autism. . . . The issues surrounding thimerosal, vaccine safety, and the VICP are complicated and deserve deliberate, well-informed debate." In the letter, he also referred his colleagues to four websites for information on vaccine safety and the alleged connection between vaccines and autism.

To access a camera-ready (PDF) version of Rep. Waxman's letter on the website of the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), go to: http://www.immunize.org/news.d/waxman.pdf

To view the four websites Mr. Waxman referred his colleagues to, go to:

  1. http://www.immunizationinfo.org
    (the website of the National Network for Immunization Information)
     
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/nip
    (the website of the National Immunization Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
     
  3. http://www.aap.org
    (the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics)
     
  4. http://www.naar.org
    (the website of the National Alliance for Autism Research)

For an array of additional information on vaccines and autism, go to IAC's "Vaccine Safety" web pages at http://www.immunize.org/safety
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December 20, 2002
BILINGUAL ADULT VACCINATION GUIDE, "VACCINES: WE ALL NEED THEM!" NOW AVAILABLE

Available in English and Spanish, "Vaccines: We All Need Them! What Every Adult Should Know," was released earlier this month by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

The guide is intended to raise English-speaking and Spanish-speaking adults' awareness of the importance of immunization in preventing disease throughout life. It contains a copy of the Adult Recommended Immunization Schedule, general information about adolescent and adult immunization, an overview of seven vaccine-preventable diseases and their vaccines, an adult immunization record card, and additional resources including toll-free hotlines and websites.

To access a camera-ready (PDF) version of the bilingual guide from the Alliance's website, go to: http://www.hispanichealth.org/adult_vacunas.pdf

For a print copy of the bilingual guide or for a referral to no-cost or low-cost vaccination services in your community, call the Alliance's bilingual help line at (866) 783-2645.

For additional information, visit the Alliance's website at http://www.hispanichealth.org
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December 20, 2002
CDC'S NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CHIEF OF PROGRAM OPERATIONS BRANCH

The National Immunization Program (NIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Immunization Services Division is accepting applications for the Chief of its Program Operations Branch in Atlanta. This is a GS-15-level position and is open through December 31.

The Immunization Action Coalition is making the information available as a service to "IAC EXPRESS" readers. Following are excerpts from a recruiting letter written by Tamara J. Kicera, Chair of the Search Committee.

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NIP's mission is to prevent disease, disability and death in children and adults through vaccination--to this end, immunization efforts have been among THE most successful public health efforts in history, ranging from the elimination and near-elimination of smallpox and polio, respectively, to drastically reduced morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases for persons of all ages.

But significant challenges remain (for example, large racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage levels among adults), and other challenges may be re-emerging with the potential threat of bioterrorism. We believe that this position--which will oversee more than $1 billion in fiscal and technical assistance to 64 grantees to purchase vaccine and implement evidence-based immunization strategies, with emphasis on populations at highest risk for under-immunization--is among the most exciting at CDC, and demands an individual with excellent management, leadership, and program implementation skills. . . .

Persons interested in applying for this position should follow the procedures outlined in the [official] announcement, which has been posted both internally and externally . . . .

[I]f you need additional information regarding this position, please contact me [Tamara J. Kicera] directly at (404) 639-1860.

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To access a copy of the official job announcement, which includes information about application procedures, go to CDC's website at http://www2.cdc.gov/hrmo/viewdetail.asp?AnnouncementNumber=1-03-135
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December 20, 2002
CDC'S "TERRORISM PREPAREDNESS COMPENDIUM" HAS ADDED LINKS TO ARTICLES ABOUT SMALLPOX MANAGEMENT FROM 1960S TO 1980S

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Notice to Readers, "Additions to Terrorism Preparedness Compendium," in the December 20 issue of "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" (MMWR). The additions comprise eleven articles published in MMWR from 1963 to 1985. According to the notice, the articles "describe the last cases of naturally occurring smallpox, previous recommendations regarding smallpox vaccination, and adverse events related to the smallpox vaccine."

The complete compendium is divided into three topic areas: smallpox, anthrax, and other terrorism related reports and recommendations. It contains 45 articles culled from 35 previous MMWR issues,  most published in the last two years.

To access the complete compendium from the MMWR website, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/indexbt.html

To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5150a4.htm

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5150.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 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 December 20, 2002