Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

IAC EXPRESS

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Issue Number 488            October 27, 2004

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Please tell CBS your thoughts about the importance of their Oct. 20 broadcast on the public health impact of vaccine refusal
  2. Updated: CDC's "Influenza" web section adds new professional- and patient-education information on influenza vaccine shortage
  3. Erratum: "IAC EXPRESS" article about NIP's audio VISs contains an error

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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 27, 2004
PLEASE TELL CBS YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THEIR OCT. 20 BROADCAST ON THE PUBLIC HEALTH IMPACT OF VACCINE REFUSAL

On October 20, "60 Minutes Wednesday" aired "The Vaccine Question," which CBS promoted prior to broadcast as follows:

"Once upon a time, whooping cough used to be a parent's nightmare and a child killer. A half-century ago, a vaccine turned the disease into just a vivid name in history books. But history is starting to repeat itself. Today, there are more cases of whooping cough than at any time in 40 years. Doctors and public health officials point to several reasons for this--and one in particular worries them. It turns out that a growing number of Americans are refusing to vaccinate their children, and not just against whooping cough, but most of the other vaccinations routinely given children before the age of four. One reason: They hear claims that vaccines cause autism or other diseases."

CBS correspondent Dan Rather interviews parents and physicians, including Paul Offit, MD, director, Vaccine Education Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Barbara Loe Fisher, president, National Vaccine Information Center.

During the broadcast Offit states definitively, "I'm prepared to say that vaccines don't cause autism. When you choose not to get a vaccine, you're not going to lower your risk of autism. All you're going to do is increase your risk of getting a severe and potentially fatal infection."

The 12-minute segment includes video footage of three young children with wrenching paroxysms of cough from pertussis, and an interview with a mother whose 6-week-old infant nearly died from pertussis. (He was too young to have been vaccinated.)

If you missed the program, you can read the full transcript by going to the 60 Minutes II website at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/10/20/60II/main650368.shtml To view a video segment from the broadcast, click on the film icon under the words "FREE VIDEO," above Paul Offit's photo at the left of the screen.

The staff of IAC thinks CBS did an outstanding job in investigating the complex, controversial issue of vaccine refusal and in presenting it to a broad, general audience during prime time. It's important that health professionals let the media know when they've hit a bull's-eye, just as it is to let them know when they've missed the mark.

We urge "IAC EXPRESS" readers to take a few minutes to let the "60 Minutes Wednesday" staff know your thoughts about the broadcast or the transcript (if you missed the broadcast). Even writing only a couple of sentences will give CBS useful feedback.

You can send an email to 60II@cbsnews.com (mailto:60II@cbsnews.com) or use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this web page: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/10/20/60II/main650368.shtml

You can also write the program at the following address:
60 Minutes Wednesday
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

To order a transcript, call (800) 777-8398; to order a videotape, call (800) 848-3256.
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October 27, 2004
UPDATED: CDC'S "INFLUENZA" WEB SECTION ADDS NEW PROFESSIONAL- AND PATIENT-EDUCATION INFORMATION ON INFLUENZA VACCINE SHORTAGE

In the past few days, CDC posted newly developed or updated resources related to the influenza vaccine shortage on its "Influenza" web section. Following are links to the newly posted resources:

PROFESSIONAL-EDUCATION INFORMATION
"Questions & Answers: Information for Clinicians" has been updated as recently as October 23. New additions include information on procedures providers should take when they don't have enough influenza vaccine to vaccinate their high-risk patients. To access the Q&A section, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/qa_clinician.htm

"Fact Sheet: Who Should Get Flu Vaccine This Season" was updated on October 25. To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/pdf/0405shortage.pdf


PATIENT-EDUCATION INFORMATION
"Questions & Answers: 2004-05 Influenza Season" has been updated as recently as October 26. New additions include information on vaccinating international travelers, people with HIV, laboratory workers, and other topics. To access the Q&A section, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/0405season.htm

The one-page patient-education flyer "Who should and should not get a flu shot?" is now available in Spanish: "¿Quien debe vacunarse contra la gripe (la influenza o flu)?" To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery/images04_05/whoshould2_sp.pdf

The CDC web page "Influenza information in other languages" has been updated as recently as October 27. To access it, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/languages.htm

CDC's "2004-05 flu vaccine shortage" web section is being continually updated. Check it often at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccineshortage.htm
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October 27, 2004
ERRATUM: "IAC EXPRESS" ARTICLE ABOUT NIP'S AUDIO VISs CONTAINS AN ERROR

In the October 25 issue of "IAC EXPRESS," we inadvertently issued incorrect information about NIP's audio versions of VISs. The last sentence of the article titled "New: NIP makes audio versions of almost all VISs available on its website," states that a CD-ROM of the audio files is available. NIP informs us that a CD-ROM is NOT available.

"IAC EXPRESS" regrets the error and any difficulties it may have caused NIP or our readers.

 

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 27, 2004