Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 484            October 11, 2004

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. CDC publishes hard copy of the electronic version of ACIP's October 5 interim influenza vaccination recommendations
  2. News alert: "Current Issues in Immunization" net conference will focus on influenza immunization and vaccine supply
  3. New: Provider and patient information sheets about influenza vaccine shortage now posted on CDC's "Influenza" web section
  4. New: September issue of CDC's "Immunization Works" electronic newsletter is posted on the NIP website
  5. New: October 2004 issue of "NEEDLE TIPS" provides lots of resources on childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization
  6. New: Encourage your patients to view clips from "Fragile Lives--Immunization at Risk" on IAC's online video library
  7. New translation: "Protect yourself against hepatitis A & B: A guide for gay and bisexual men" now available in Spanish
  8. IAC revises its professional-education pieces "Guide to contraindications" and "Doctors sued for failing to immunize"
  9. IAC revises its patient-education pieces "Are you 11-19 years old?" and "If you were born in these places, find out your hepatitis B status"
  10. Massive cross-border polio vaccination campaigns are planned to immunize 80 million African children

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ABBREVIATIONS: AAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians; AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics; ACIP, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; FDA, Food and Drug Administration; IAC, Immunization Action Coalition; MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; NIP, National Immunization Program; VIS, Vaccine Information Statement; VPD, vaccine-preventable disease; WHO, World Health Organization.
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October 11, 2004
CDC PUBLISHES HARD COPY OF THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF ACIP'S OCTOBER 5 INTERIM INFLUENZA VACCINATION RECOMMENDATIONS

CDC published "Interim Influenza Vaccination Recommendations, 2004-05 Influenza Season" in the October 8 issue of MMWR. The interim recommendations were originally published electronically in the web-based "MMWR Dispatch" on October 5.

To access a web-text (HTML) version of the hard copy of the interim recommendations, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5339a6.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5339.pdf

To receive a FREE electronic subscription to MMWR (which includes new ACIP statements), go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwrsubscribe.html
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October 11, 2004
NEWS ALERT: "CURRENT ISSUES IN IMMUNIZATION" NET CONFERENCE WILL FOCUS ON INFLUENZA IMMUNIZATION AND VACCINE SUPPLY

On October 7, the NIP website posted information that the topics for the net conference "Current Issues in Immunization" have been changed in response to Chiron Corporation's announcement that its trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine will not be available in the United States for the 2004-05 influenza season. The net conference will now focus on influenza immunization and influenza vaccine supply.

The conference will take place on October 14, from noon to 1PM ET, as scheduled. The registration deadline has been extended to midnight October 13 or whenever the course is full. Registration is required as space is limited. To register for the conference, go to: http://www2.cdc.gov/nip/isd/ciinc/default.asp

The program will combine a telephone audio conference and simultaneous online visual content. Participants can join the Q&A session by telephone or Internet. For instructions and system requirements, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/ed/ciinc/instructions.htm

For additional information, call (404) 639-8225 or go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/ed/ciinc
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October 11, 2004
NEW: PROVIDER AND PATIENT INFORMATION SHEETS ABOUT INFLUENZA VACCINE SHORTAGE NOW POSTED ON CDC'S "INFLUENZA" WEB SECTION

On October 8, CDC posted five newly developed information sheets related to the influenza vaccine shortage on its "Influenza" web section. Following are links to the five pieces:

FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
(1) "FDA Authorization of Influenza Vaccine Redistribution: Level 3" lists the documentation required of hospitals and other health care entities when redistributing influenza vaccine during the current vaccine shortage. One page. To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/fdaredistribution.htm

(2) "Questions & Answers: 2004-05 Flu Season" answers common questions about vaccine supply, partial doses, and more. Three pages. To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/0405season.htm

(3) "2004-05 Flu Vaccine Shortage: Who Should Get Vaccinated" is a fact sheet about the shortage and who should get vaccinated this season. Two pages. To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/0405shortage.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/pdf/0405shortage.pdf

FLYERS FOR PATIENTS
(4) "Who should get a flu vaccination?" outlines the priority groups for whom influenza vaccination is recommended this season. One page. To access a ready-to-copy version (PDF), go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery/images04_05/whoshould1.pdf

"Who should get a flu vaccination? One page, with photos. To access a ready-to-copy version (PDF), go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery/images04_05/whoshould2.pdf

(5) "Vaccination is not the only way to help prevent the flu" lists actions people can take to stop the spread of germs and protect themselves from sickness. One page. To access a ready-to-copy version (PDF), go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery/images04_05/notonlyway1.pdf

"Vaccination is not the only way to help prevent the flu" With photos. The link to this document was not posted at the time "IAC EXPRESS" was published.

The professional and patient pieces above are listed on the following web page, along with other materials. Check this page frequently for new postings:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccineshortage.htm
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October 11, 2004
NEW: SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF CDC'S "IMMUNIZATION WORKS" ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER IS POSTED ON THE NIP WEBSITE

The September issue of "Immunization Works," a monthly email newsletter published by CDC, is available on NIP's website. The newsletter offers members of the immunization community non-proprietary information about current topics. CDC encourages its wide dissemination.

Some of the information in the September issue has already appeared in previous issues of "IAC EXPRESS." Following is the text of five articles we have not covered.

PLEASE NOTE: The September issue of "Immunization Works" was published before CDC published "Interim Influenza Vaccination Recommendations, 2004-05 Influenza Season" on October 5. To access the interim recommendations, please refer to "IAC EXPRESS" article #1 above. For additional information about the interim recommendations, see the "IAC EXPRESS: Extra Edition" of October 6 at http://www.immunize.org/genr.d/issue483.htm

The interim recommendations take precedence over previously published recommendations. Consequently, much of the information given in a section of the September "Immunization Works" titled "2004-05 Influenza Season Begins" is now obsolete. The editors of "IAC EXPRESS" have deleted obsolete information from the text of the "Immunization Works" material reprinted below.

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2004-05 INFLUENZA SEASON BEGINS: . . . . There are 2 types of influenza vaccine: an injectable "flu shot" and a nasal-spray vaccine. The flu shot contains killed virus. It is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. The nasal-spray vaccine contains weakened live viruses. It is approved for use in healthy people 5 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. . . .

Childhood Influenza Vaccination Coverage for the 2002-2003 Influenza Season was also released [in the September 24 issue of MMWR] by CDC. CDC estimates that only 4.4 percent of the nation's children aged 6-23 months were fully vaccinated against influenza during the 2002-03 influenza season, the first season CDC encouraged influenza vaccination for healthy children. This first CDC report on childhood influenza vaccination coverage also estimates that only 7.4 percent of the children aged 6 to 23 months had received at least one dose of the vaccine. . . . For the full MMWR article, including state coverage rates, visit http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5337a1.htm

OTHER IMMUNIZATION NEWS

AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OFFERS WEB-BASED DIRECTORY OF INFLUENZA VACCINATION CLINICS: The American Lung Association [ALA] implemented a web-based directory of influenza vaccination clinics throughout the nation during the 2003-2004 season and the public response was overwhelming. There were a record-setting 150 million links to the Flu Shot Directory during October and November 2003. For the upcoming season, all local health departments and others who have scheduled flu clinics have the opportunity to be included in this directory by sending an email request to findaflushot@lungusa.org A reply to this email promptly will be sent from ALA with further instructions. For more detailed information, visit the Lung Association Flu Shot Directory web page at http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=192108

RESPONSE TO NEUROLOGY ARTICLE ON "RECOMBINANT HEPATITIS B VACCINE AND THE RISK OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS": A recently published article in the journal "Neurology" looks at the potential link between hepatitis B vaccine and an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). The authors concluded that the findings of the study are consistent with the hypothesis that immunization with hepatitis B vaccine is associated with an increased risk of MS. However, CDC agrees with the conclusion of the "Neurology" editorial accompanying the article that "the data presented do not provide proof of an association sufficient to implement policy changes with regard to immunization programs." This study only looked at adults--and as noted in the editorial accompanying the article, "the present study stands in contra[s]t to multiple studies and expert panels that have concluded that there is no link between hepatitis B vaccine and MS." There have been at least seven scientific studies and four expert panels that have failed to identify an association between hepatitis B vaccine and MS. As the accompanying editorial states, this study has a number of important weaknesses that greatly limit its ability to make sound conclusions. For example, in the study, only 11 of the 163 people . . . had ever received hepatitis B vaccine--the other 152 people with MS had never received hepatitis B vaccine. As such, the sample size is too small to draw definitive conclusions. Hepatitis B vaccine provides proven protection against a virus, [which] before routine childhood immunization programs, was estimated to infect 200,000 to 300,000 people each year in the U.S. Of these, about 11,000 were hospitalized and 20,000 remained chronically infected. Overall, an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States have chronic HBV [hepatitis B virus] infection, and 4,000 to 5,000 people die each year from hepatitis B-related chronic liver disease or liver cancer.

VAERS PROGRAM PROMOTED: 50,000 pediatricians and travel medicine physicians throughout the U.S. recently received a letter from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking continued use and support of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This letter, along with other VAERS resources, is available online for all health care providers and interested parties at http://www.vaers.org VAERS is a cornerstone of U.S. immunization safety monitoring. Although reporting of adverse events following administration of some childhood vaccines [is] required by law, the system is highly dependent on voluntary submission of reports by health care providers. VAERS provides a central registry where providers can inform CDC and FDA about adverse events that individuals may experience following immunization. For additional information or assistance on vaccine adverse event reporting, contact the VAERS Program at info@vaers.org or call (800) 822-7967.

MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, AND RESOURCES

PHYSICIAN AND PHARMACIST VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: CDC is seeking people who would like to be pilot testers for immunization training programs. These are mostly self-study programs that can be done through a CD-ROM or over the Internet. We are currently seeking physicians and pharmacists. The typical pilot testing effort is to review a training program, take the evaluation, and provide feedback. The process can take from 2 to 4 hours. Pilot testers can obtain continuing education credits once the training program becomes approved for CE credit. If interested, please contact Melissa Barnett at mbarnett2@cdc.gov or (404)639-6202.

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To access the complete September issue from the NIP website, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/news/newsltrs/imwrks/imwrks.htm and click on the month.
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October 11, 2004
NEW: OCTOBER 2004 ISSUE OF "NEEDLE TIPS" PROVIDES LOTS OF RESOURCES ON CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENT, AND ADULT IMMUNIZATION

IAC recently mailed the latest issue of "NEEDLE TIPS" (October 2004) to 115,000 health professionals and others who work in the field of immunization. Packed with immunization resources for health professionals, patients, and parents, the 24-page issue is well worth downloading. All articles and education pieces, except editorials, have been thoroughly reviewed by immunization and hepatitis experts at CDC.

PLEASE NOTE: Current as of September 20, 2004, the resources in the October "NEEDLE TIPS" do not contain the most recent information on influenza vaccine and vaccine supply. On October 5, ACIP developed interim influenza vaccine recommendations in response to Chiron Corporation's announcement that its trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine will not be available in the United States for the 2004-05 influenza season. The information in the interim recommendations is not reflected in any of the influenza information published in the October "NEEDLE TIPS."

HOW TO READ "NEEDLE TIPS" ON THE WEB
You can view selected articles from the table of contents below or download the entire issue from the Web.

To view the table of contents with links to individual articles, go to: http://www.immunize.org/nt

The PDF file of the entire issue, linked below, is large at 1.65 megabytes. Some printers cannot print such a large file. For tips on downloading and printing PDF files, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/tips.htm

To download a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of the October issue, go to: http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/n31.pdf

The articles in the October issue fall into five broad areas: (1) general immunization information, (2) hepatitis information, (3) influenza vaccine information, (4) childhood and adolescent immunization resources, and (5) adult immunization resources.

(1) GENERAL IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION

ANSWERS TO PROFESSIONALS' QUESTIONS, VACCINE NEWS, AND RELIABLE SOURCES OF IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION. In "Ask the Experts--Immunization Questions," CDC specialists answer questions about influenza immunization and vaccine storage and handling. "Vaccine Highlights" presents information on recommendations, schedules, specific vaccines, and vaccine safety. Updated in August, "Reliable Sources of Immunization Information" gives health professionals and the public a listing of reputable immunization websites, hotlines, books, and videos.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Ask the Experts--Immunization Questions," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/expert31.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/expert31.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Vaccine Highlights," go to: http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/vaccin31.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/vaccin31.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Reliable Sources of Immunization Information," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4012.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4012.htm

(2) HEPATITIS INFORMATION

ANSWERS TO PROFESSIONALS' QUESTIONS AND HEPATITIS A INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS. In "Ask the Experts--Hepatitis A and B," CDC specialists answer a range of questions about immunization against viral hepatitis. Updated in September, the two-page patient education brochure "Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease: Vaccination can protect you" succinctly explains the disease and vaccine.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Ask the Experts--Hepatitis A and B," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/expert31.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/expert31.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4080a.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4080a.htm

(3) INFLUENZA VACCINE INFORMATION

PEOPLE TO VACCINATE AGAINST INFLUENZA. The following two professional-education pieces can help health care professionals decide whom to immunize against influenza. Remember that on October 5, ACIP issued interim recommendations about priority populations for receiving influenza vaccine. Information from the interim recommendations is NOT reflected in the education pieces that follow. To access the interim recommendations, see article #1 above.

Updated in June, "Standing Orders for Administering Influenza Vaccine to Adults" provides a protocol that clinics and practices can use to implement standing orders. Updated in June, "Give these people influenza vaccine" is a checklist of groups for whom influenza vaccine is recommended.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Standing Orders for Administering Influenza Vaccine to Adults" go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3074.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3074.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Give these people influenza vaccine," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/2013flu.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/2013flu.htm

(4) CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENT IMMUNIZATION RESOURCES
The following three articles will be particularly useful to medical professionals who see pediatric patients.

VACCINE SAFETY NEWS, AN ACCOUNT OF A TODDLER'S DEATH FROM COMPLICATIONS OF INFLUENZA, AND TIPS FOR PARENTS ON CARING FOR A CHILD AFTER VACCINATION. The article "IOM Report: No Association Between Autism and MMR Vaccine and Thimerosal-containing Vaccines" has excerpts from an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that found no evidence of an association between childhood vaccines and autism. "Unprotected people . . . Toddler's death spurs parents to action" recounts the events leading up to the death of an unvaccinated child from complications of influenza in 2003. Updated in September, the two-page parent education piece "After the shots . . . What to do if your child has discomfort" gives parents advice about how to care for their child, when to call a health professional, and how to dose a child with acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce pain and fever.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "IOM Report: No Association Between Autism and MMR Vaccine and Thimerosal-containing Vaccines," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/iom.pdf

No web-text (HTML) version is available.

"Unprotected people . . . Toddler's death spurs parents to action" is not available electronically. For information on obtaining a copy, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/story.pdf

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "After the shots . . . What to do if your child has discomfort," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4015.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n17/p4015.htm

(5) ADULT IMMUNIZATION RESOURCES

CURRENT VACCINATION RATES FOR THREE VACCINES COMMONLY GIVEN TO ADULTS. "How's your state doing?" shows how states measure up in providing college students with meningococcal education and/or vaccine and residents of long-term care facilities with influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. It also lists states that authorize pharmacists to administer vaccines.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "How's your state doing?" go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n31/states.pdf

No web-text (HTML) version is available.

PATIENT AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION ABOUT ADULT IMMUNIZATION. If you provide vaccination services to adults, the following educational resources are pertinent. Educate your adult patients about their lifelong need for vaccinations with the one-page patient-education piece "Vaccinations for Adults: You're NEVER too old to get immunized!" (updated in August). Updated in July, the two-page professional-education piece "Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization" distills hundreds of pages of ACIP recommendations for adult immunization into a document that can be printed on one double-sided sheet of 8-1/2" x 11" paper.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Vaccinations for Adults: You're NEVER too old to get immunized!" go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4030a.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n18/p4030new.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of "Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2011b.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2011b.htm
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October 11, 2004
NEW: ENCOURAGE YOUR PATIENTS TO VIEW CLIPS FROM "FRAGILE LIVES—IMMUNIZATION AT RISK" ON IAC'S ONLINE VIDEO LIBRARY

The Children's Vaccine Program (CVP) at PATH recently gave IAC permission to add segments from the film "Fragile Lives--Immunization at Risk" to IAC's online video library. "Fragile Lives" is a documentary written, produced, and directed by Jenny Barraclough, an award-winning filmmaker from the United Kingdom. Scott Wittet of CVP is the executive producer; WHO and UNICEF are production partners.

"Fragile Lives" explores the promise and challenges of immunization worldwide. Though immunization still saves three million young lives each year, millions more could be saved if there were enough vaccine and enough political will to protect all children in need. Sometimes war is the enemy of immunization, sometimes ethnic distrust, rumors and misinformation. But there are heroes as well--people dedicated to bringing immunization to every child, everywhere. Filmed on location in Africa, Asia, and Europe, "Fragile Lives--Immunization at Risk" brings to life the human face of immunization.

To view segments of this powerful documentary in RealPlayer format on IAC's website, go to:
http://www.vaccineinformation.org/video/cvp.asp

If you prefer, you can view the same segments in Windows Media Player 9 on the CVP website at
http://www.childrensvaccines.org/files/fragile-lives-0405.htm

Additional video clips and films can be accessed from IAC's video index page at http://www.vaccineinformation.org/video
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October 11, 2004
NEW TRANSLATION: "PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST HEPATITIS A & B: A GUIDE FOR GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN" NOW AVAILABLE IN SPANISH

A Spanish-language version of IAC's two-page patient-education brochure "Protect Yourself against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B . . . A Guide for Gay and Bisexual Men" is now available. Developed in April, the brochure educates men who have sex with men about their increased risk for contracting hepatitis A and hepatitis B and makes the case for getting immunized against them.

PLEASE NOTE: The brochure is intended for a gay audience in settings such as STD clinics and clinics for men who have sex with men. It is not intended for routine use in all clinic settings.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of the brochure in Spanish, go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4115-01.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4115-01.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of the brochure in English, go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4115.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4115.htm
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October 11, 2004
IAC REVISES ITS PROFESSIONAL-EDUCATION PIECES "GUIDE TO CONTRAINDICATIONS" AND "DOCTORS SUED FOR FAILING TO IMMUNIZE"

In September, IAC revised two of its one-page professional education pieces.

In "Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Adults," information about precautions in administering live, attenuated influenza vaccine to the close contacts of severely immunocompromised persons was changed.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of the revised piece, go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3072.pdf

No web-text (HTML) version is available.

Originally published in 1994, the article "Hospitals and Doctors Sued for Failing to Immunize" presents seven instances of hospitals and/or doctors being sued for failing to immunize against VPDs. The piece remains in demand among health professionals because so few case reports are available on the topic.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of the reissued piece, go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2060law.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/news.d/laws001.htm
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October 11, 2004
IAC REVISES ITS PATIENT-EDUCATION PIECES "ARE YOU 11-19 YEARS OLD?" AND "IF YOU WERE BORN IN THESE PLACES, FIND OUT YOUR HEPATITIS B STATUS"

In September, IAC revised two of its patient-education pieces.

"Are you 11-19 years old? Then you need to be vaccinated against these serious diseases!" is intended for teens and their parents. The information about indications for receiving influenza and hepatitis B vaccines was changed.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of the revised piece, go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/11teens8.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4020.htm

"If you, your parents, or your children were born in any of these places . . . give this brochure to your health care provider and ask to find out your hepatitis B status" is a two-page brochure. Information about hepatitis B treatment was changed.

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of the revised piece, go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4170ref.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4170.htm
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October 11, 2004
MASSIVE CROSS-BORDER POLIO VACCINATION CAMPAIGNS ARE PLANNED TO IMMUNIZE 80 MILLION AFRICAN CHILDREN

On October 2, UNICEF issued a press release announcing that leaders of the African Union and African heads of state are kicking off a series of cross-border vaccination campaigns that will immunize more than 80 million children against polio in sub-Saharan Africa. During October 8-12, thousands of volunteers, health workers, and members of Rotary International will go house to house, delivering polio vaccine to unimmunized children. A second round of campaigns will begin November 18, with similar activities planned throughout 2005. Ultimately, campaigns will take place in 23 countries.

The campaigns are vital to protecting African children from a looming polio epidemic and getting Africa's polio eradication program back on track. Sub-Saharan Africa had made tremendous progress in eradicating polio, stopping the disease in all but two countries (Nigeria and Niger). Over the past 18 months, however, 12 polio-free African countries have been re-infected by the virus. To date in 2004, 658 African children have been paralyzed by polio (87% of the global total).

To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.unicef.org/media/media_24201.html

 

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 October 11, 2004