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Issue Number 499            December 20, 2004

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Happy Holidays from all of us at IAC
  2. ACIP expands priority groups for inactivated influenza vaccination
  3. ACIP issues an interim resolution regarding the groups eligible to receive VFC influenza vaccine
  4. Corrected Spanish-language VIS for live attenuated influenza vaccine now on IAC's website
  5. CDC reports on estimated influenza vaccination coverage in the U.S. during September 1-November 30, 2004
  6. CDC summarizes survey data on influenza vaccination of high-priority persons in the U.S. during October-November 2004
  7. Update: CDC continues to supplement its website with information related to the influenza vaccine shortage
  8. December issue of CDC's "Immunization Works!" electronic newsletter now available on the NIP website
  9. MMWR tells readers where to find information about influenza disease and vaccine
  10. "Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, United States, October 2004-September 2005" now on NIP website
  11. New: CDC and Clean Hands Coalition offer parents and teachers resources to help children avoid colds and influenza
  12. CDC reports on the U.S. public's awareness of influenza-prevention measures and willingness to use them
  13. CDC reports on respiratory syncytial virus activity in the U.S. during 2003-04

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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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December 20, 2004
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—without the flu.

This is our last issue for 2004. We'll email you the next issue on January 3, 2005.
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December 20, 2004
ACIP EXPANDS PRIORITY GROUPS FOR INACTIVATED INFLUENZA VACCINATION

On December 17, CDC issued a press release announcing that ACIP has expanded the priority groups for inactivated influenza vaccine. Effective January 3, 2005, in areas where vaccine supply is sufficient to meet demand, priority groups will include adults ages 50-64 years and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of persons in high-risk groups. The press release is reprinted below in its entirety.

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For immediate release
December 17, 2004

CDC'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON IMMUNIZATION PRACTICES EXPANDS PRIORITY GROUPS FOR INACTIVATED INFLUENZA VACCINATION

Adults aged 50-64 and close contacts of persons in high-risk groups will be eligible for influenza vaccination in areas where vaccine supply is sufficient to meet demand.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) expanded the list of priority groups recommended to receive inactivated influenza vaccine this flu season, depending on the availability of influenza vaccine in state or local health jurisdictions.

Effective January 3rd, in locations where state and local health authorities judge vaccine supply to be adequate to meet demand, the priority groups for inactivated influenza vaccine will include adults age 50-64 and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of persons in high-risk groups. People in the high-risk groups for serious complications from influenza include persons aged 65 years or older, children aged less than 2 years, pregnant women, and people of any age who have certain underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease, transplant recipients, or persons with AIDS.

"In most communities we're still targeting vaccine to the people in the highest priority groups," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC. "The challenge is that in some places, health departments and private providers currently do not have enough demand from people in those priority groups. We don't want those doses to go to waste, so some states are expanding to make good use of those doses. The ACIP's recommendation is consistent with this approach."

In response to this season's vaccine shortage, the ACIP previously recommended inactivated influenza vaccine for all children aged 6–23 months, adults aged 65 years and older, persons aged 2–64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions, all women who will be pregnant during the influenza season, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, children aged 6 months–18 years on chronic aspirin therapy, healthcare workers involved in direct patient care, and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged <6 months.

The ACIP suggested that health departments and healthcare providers implement the expanded recommendations on January 3, 2005, to provide more time for unvaccinated persons in current priority groups to seek vaccination. In addition, for those who need it, this date will also enable health officials to plan for expanded efforts to reach the new priority groups.

"Mid-season estimates of vaccination rates are below rates from last season for adults in priority groups. We urge persons in priority groups to continue to seek vaccination" said Dr. Gerberding. "If you're 65 or older or you have any kind of chronic condition or you're a healthcare worker who takes care of patients directly or if you're pregnant, you really should get a flu shot this year and we're working hard to make sure it's available in your community."

The Committee also passed a resolution for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program that expands the groups of eligible children to receive VFC influenza vaccine to include VFC-eligible children who are household contacts of persons in high-risk groups. This expansion of VFC is effective today.

Influenza activity has been low so far this season. However, it is still early and the timing and level of influenza activity is unpredictable. The level of reported influenza activity can change at any time.

For more information about influenza and influenza vaccination visit www.cdc.gov/flu

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To obtain a copy of the press release, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r041217.htm
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December 20, 2004
ACIP ISSUES AN INTERIM RESOLUTION REGARDING THE GROUPS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VFC INFLUENZA VACCINE

On December 17, ACIP issued an interim resolution regarding the groups eligible to receive Vaccines for Children (VFC) influenza vaccine during the 2004-05 influenza season. The interim resolution is reprinted below in its entirety.

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Resolution No. 12/04-1

ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON IMMUNIZATION PRACTICES
VACCINES FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM
INFLUENZA
INTERIM VFC RESOLUTION
VACCINES TO PREVENT INFLUENZA

The purpose of this interim resolution is to update the previous interim resolution (Resolution No. 10/04-1) regarding the groups eligible to receive VFC influenza vaccine during the 2004/05 influenza season. For purposes of the 2004/05 influenza season, the Eligible Groups for Inactivated Influenza Vaccine section in VFC resolution 6/02-1 is amended as follows:

ELIGIBLE GROUPS FOR INACTIVATED INFLUENZA VACCINE

  • Children aged 6 months through 23 months.
     
  • Children and adolescents aged 2 through 18 years with chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, including asthma.
     
  • Children and adolescents aged 2 through 18 years who have required regular 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 or by human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]).
     
  • Children and adolescents aged 2 through 18 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and may therefore be at risk for developing Reye's syndrome after influenza.
     
  • Children and adolescents aged 2 through 18 years who are residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house persons at any age who have chronic medical conditions.
     
  • Adolescent females aged <19 years who will be pregnant during the influenza season.
     
  • Children and adolescents aged 2 through 18 years who are household contacts or out-of-home caregivers of persons in high-risk groups (e.g., persons aged 65 years or older, transplant recipients, persons with AIDS, and children aged less than 2 years).

Adopted: December 17, 2004
Effective: December 17, 2004
Expiration: June 30, 2005

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December 20, 2004
CORRECTED SPANISH-LANGUAGE VIS FOR LIVE ATTENUATED INFLUENZA VACCINE NOW ON IAC'S WEBSITE

IAC recently posted to its website a corrected version of the Spanish-language VIS for live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). Previously, the Spanish-language VIS for LAIV contained an error in section 6: Cuales son los riesgos de la vacuna intranasal viva contra la influenza? (What are the risks from live, intranasal influenza vaccine?). The erroneous VIS had stated that children 15-17 years of age have reported certain mild problems. The age range for the children has been changed to 5-17 years on the corrected VIS.

To access the corrected Spanish-language VIS for LAIV, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/spliveflu04.pdf

To access an English-language VIS for LAIV, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/liveflu.pdf

For information about the use of VISs, and for VISs in a total of 32 languages, visit IAC's VIS web section at http://www.immunize.org/vis
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December 20, 2004
CDC REPORTS ON ESTIMATED INFLUENZA VACCINATION COVERAGE IN THE U.S. DURING SEPTEMBER 1-NOVEMBER 30, 2004

CDC published "Estimated Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Adults and Children--United States, September 1-November 30, 2004" in the December 17 issue of MMWR. Portions of the article and the press summary are reprinted below.

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[From the article]
Because of the unexpected reduction in the amount of available inactivated influenza vaccine for the 2004-05 influenza season, on October 5, 2004, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that the vaccine be reserved for persons in certain priority groups and asked others to defer or forego vaccination. To assess the use of influenza vaccine and the primary reasons reported for not receiving vaccine, beginning November 1, questions were added to the ongoing Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. This report analyzes data collected during December 1-11 on self-reported vaccination during September 1-November 30, which indicated that persons in nonpriority groups had largely deferred vaccination and that, among unvaccinated adults in priority groups, one fourth tried to get vaccine but were unable to do so. Vaccination coverage was suboptimal for persons in all assessed priority groups. Because influenza activity peaks in February or later in most years, persons in priority groups should continue to seek vaccination. . . .

Vaccination Coverage Among Adults
Among adults in all priority groups, 34.8% reported receiving an influenza vaccination during September 1-November 30, compared with 4.4% of adults aged 18-64 years who were not in a priority group. Coverage was highest (51.1%) among persons aged >=65 years, followed by healthcare workers with patient contact (34.2%), and adults aged 18-64 years with high-risk conditions (19.3%). The percentage of persons reporting that they obtained an influenza vaccination during September 1-November 30 was smaller in each of these groups than the percentage who said they obtained a vaccination during the previous influenza season, September 1, 2003-March 31, 2004. Among persons aged >=65 years who reported receiving influenza vaccine during the 2003-04 influenza season, 71.7% reported also being vaccinated during the 2004-05 influenza season. State-specific, self-reported vaccination coverage among adults in priority groups ranged from 18.0% to 60.3%, with a median of 37.6%. Among all vaccinated adults, 1.6% reported receiving FluMist, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) approved for use by healthy persons aged 5-49 years who are not pregnant and not contacts of severely immunocompromised persons.

Among adults in priority groups who had not yet received influenza vaccine, 23.3% reported that they attempted to obtain vaccination but could not; among persons aged >=65 years, the proportion was 32.5%. Among adults not in a priority group who had not received vaccine, 10.4% reported that they attempted to obtain vaccination but could not. Among adults in priority groups, 10.0% of adults said they were saving the vaccine for others, and 6.5% thought that they were not eligible to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination Coverage Among Children
A substantially greater proportion of children in priority groups received at least one influenza vaccination this season compared with other children; 36.6% of children aged 6-23 months and 26.8% of children aged 2-17 years with high-risk conditions were vaccinated, compared with 8.9% of children aged 2-17 years with no high-risk condition. Among those children aged 2-17 years with high-risk conditions who were vaccinated for influenza during the 2003-04 influenza season, 51.6% also have been vaccinated thus far this season.

Among respondents with an unvaccinated child aged 6-23 months, 62.9% reported that they thought the vaccine was not needed, 8.4% reported that they tried but could not obtain vaccination for the child, 1.0% thought the child was ineligible for influenza vaccination, and 0.3% said they were saving the vaccine for those who needed it. For respondents with an unvaccinated child aged 2-17 years with a high-risk condition, 38.4% reported that they thought vaccination was not needed, 14.4% reported that they tried but could not obtain vaccination, 12.5% thought their child was not eligible, and 10.3% said they were saving the vaccine for others. . . .

[From the press summary]
Adults and children in ACIP-defined priority groups who have not received an influenza vaccination during the 2004-05 season should continue to seek vaccination as more vaccine is made available. . . .

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5349a1.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5349.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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December 20, 2004
CDC SUMMARIZES SURVEY DATA ON INFLUENZA VACCINATION OF HIGH-PRIORITY PERSONS IN THE U.S. DURING OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2004

CDC published "Experiences with Obtaining Influenza Vaccination Among Persons in Priority Groups During a Vaccine Shortage--United States, October-November 2004" in the December 17 issue of MMWR. Portions of the article and the press summary are reprinted below.

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[From the article]
After the announcement that the supply of inactivated influenza vaccine available to the U.S. public for the 2004-05 influenza season would be reduced by approximately one half, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that the remaining vaccine supply should be reserved for (1) certain groups of persons at high risk for serious health problems from influenza, (2) healthcare workers involved in direct patient care, and (3) close contacts of children aged <6 months. To determine what proportion of persons at increased risk for influenza complications had been vaccinated as of the day of the survey, what proportion sought vaccination but did not receive it because of the shortage, and what factors might be dissuading persons at high risk from seeking influenza vaccination, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), in collaboration with International Communications Research, conducted a national survey. This report summarizes the results of that survey, which indicated that approximately 63% of persons aged >=65 years and 46% of chronically ill adults who tried to get the influenza vaccine were able to do so. More than half of adults at high risk did not try to get the influenza vaccine. Because available supplies of inactivated influenza vaccine are targeted to high-risk groups, persons in these groups should continue to pursue vaccination. . . .

[From the press summary]
The campaign to vaccinate [adults at high risk] should include efforts to educate them about the severity of influenza and the effectiveness of the vaccine. It should also address the public's unwarranted fears of getting influenza from the vaccine. . . .

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5349a2.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5349.pdf
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December 20, 2004
UPDATE: CDC CONTINUES TO SUPPLEMENT ITS WEBSITE WITH INFORMATION RELATED TO THE INFLUENZA VACCINE SHORTAGE

CDC recently updated its Influenza web section, posting a Q&A flyer that answers clinicians' questions about the nasal-spray influenza vaccine, adding Dr. Julie Gerberding's December 16 telebriefing transcript on the current influenza season and the U.S. influenza vaccine supply, creating a web page of information about influenza vaccination coverage during the current influenza season, and making a fact sheet of advice for caregivers of children less than 6 months old available in four additional languages. Following are descriptions of and links to these documents.

(1) The two-page flyer "Questions and Answers for Clinicians 2004-2005: The Nasal-Spray Flu Vaccine--Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV)" answers a host of questions about LAIV, including vaccine indications, contraindications, administration, and storage. To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of it, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery/images04_05/FluMistQA.pdf

(2) The 12-page transcript of Dr. Julie Gerberding's telebriefing on the current influenza season and the U.S. influenza vaccine supply is available at http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/transcripts/t041216.htm

(3) The new web page "Questions & Answers: Vaccination Coverage of Population in the 2004-05 Season" presents statistical data from a survey recently conducted by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). To access the web page, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/0405vaxcoverage.htm

(4) Issued on December 8, the new patient-education fact sheet "Protecting Against the Flu: Advice for Caregivers of Children Less Than 6 Months Old" is now available in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, in addition to English.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version in SPANISH, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/espanol/pdf/infantcare-spanish.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version in SPANISH, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/espanol/infantcare.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version in CHINESE, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/chi/pdf/infantcare-chinese.pdf

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version in TAGALOG, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/tgl/pdf/infantcare-tagalog.pdf

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version in VIETNAMESE, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vie/pdf/infantcare-vietnamese.pdf

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version in ENGLISH, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/pdf/infantcare.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version in ENGLISH, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/infantcare.htm

For ongoing information about new and updated additions to CDC's Influenza web section, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/whatsnew.htm
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December 20, 2004
DECEMBER ISSUE OF CDC'S "IMMUNIZATION WORKS!" ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE ON THE NIP WEBSITE

The December 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 December issue has already appeared in previous issues of IAC EXPRESS. Following is the text of six articles we have not covered.

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OTHER IMMUNIZATION NEWS

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND AD COUNCIL LAUNCH FLU VACCINE CAMPAIGN: Earlier this month, HHS [Health and Human Services] and the Ad Council released a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to provide Americans with critical information about flu vaccinations. The campaign asks Americans to "Give Others a Shot" if they are not in a priority group for the flu and provides simple tips to prevent the flu's spread. The television, radio, and web PSAs encourage audiences to visit www.cdc.gov/flu or call CDC's toll-free number, (800) CDC-INFO, to get more information on this year's flu season and to see if they're at high risk for the flu. The PSAs also provide practical steps to help prevent the spread of the flu, including

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Keep your distance from others if you are sick.
  • When possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick, and don't send your children to child care or school if they are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often.

The PSAs are being distributed to up to 28,000 media outlets nationwide this week and will air and run in advertising time that is donated by the media.

VACCINE SAFETY AND REGISTRIES COMMUNITY WORKGROUP SOLICITS FEEDBACK ON RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND VACCINE ADVERSE EVENT REPORTING SYSTEM: The Vaccine Safety and Registries Committee (VASREC) Workgroup is sponsored by the American Immunization Registries Association (AIRA). It involves CDC, state and private registries/Immunization Information Systems, and other partners. The VASREC Workgroup is soliciting reviews and comments of its recommendations captured in the document "Immunization Information System (IIS)--Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) Collaboration for Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting." The document is posted on the AIRA website at http://www.immregistries.org/docs/IIS-VAERS_Coll_Desc_06-25-2004_v2.doc It provides a consensus-based description of activities and flows of information involving IIS data reporting to VAERS and is purposely technology neutral and written at the business/functional level. If you have comments or questions, please email the VASREC Workgroup Chair, Warren Williams, at wwilliams@cdc.gov For more information on AIRA, please visit http://www.immregistries.org

CDC AND STATE TESTIFY BEFORE OKLAHOMA LEGISLATIVE SUBCOMMITTEE: Dr. Melinda Wharton, Acting Deputy Director of the National Immunization Program, and Don Blose, Chief of the Immunization Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Health, spoke at the November 10, 2004, meeting of the Oklahoma Legislature's Appropriations and Budget Committee's Subcommittee for Health and Social Services. The topic at the request of the subcommittee was vaccine safety and thimerosal. Dr. Wharton discussed the Institute of Medicine's findings and the research that has taken place in regard to thimerosal with the subcommittee as well as the influenza vaccine shortage. The Immunization Program at CDC welcomes the opportunity to work with state health departments and to provide technical assistance to other state legislatures.

MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, AND RESOURCES

FREE IMMUNIZATION-RELATED BROCHURES: For a limited time, the National Immunization Program has a number of immunization brochures available for healthcare professionals and consumers that can be ordered in large quantities. These brochures include topics such as VFC [Vaccines for Children], Vaccine Safety, Schools, Registries, and Traveler's Health. Some Spanish resources are also available. Supplies are limited. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/default.htm and click on CDC Online Order Form. Additional resources are also listed. These resources are free of charge, and there is no cost for shipping.

QUALITY ASSURANCE IN VACCINE STORAGE AND HANDLING:
The December 1, 2004, satellite broadcast is now available as a webcast. You can view it at www.cdlhn.com The program discusses real-life scenarios that immunization providers face every day in quality assurance. These include how to protect vaccine efficacy and avoid costly mishandling mistakes. The program also looks at equipment needs, temperature logging and ranges, tips for planning ahead, pandemic influenza considerations, and a Q&A segment. This 90-minute program is a joint project of the California Dept. of Health Services, California Distance Learning Health Network, and CDC. Continuing education is available through January 2, 2005.

39TH NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION CONFERENCE: The 39th National Immunization Conference is scheduled in Washington, DC, March 21-24, 2005, at the Washington Hilton and Towers. The goals of the Conference are to help participants provide comprehensive immunization coverage for all age groups and explore innovative strategies for developing programs, policy, and research to promote immunization coverage for all age groups. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nip/nic

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To access the complete December issue from the NIP website, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/news/newsltrs/imwrks/2004/200412.htm
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December 20, 2004
MMWR TELLS READERS WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION ABOUT INFLUENZA DISEASE AND VACCINE

CDC published "Notice to Readers: Where To Find Information on Influenza and Influenza Vaccine" in the December 17 issue of MMWR. The notice is reprinted below in its entirety.

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To help the public locate the latest information about influenza, CDC has created a comprehensive website, available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu The site contains information targeted to healthcare professionals, as well as CDC influenza fact sheets and health education materials intended for the general public. The site is updated as new information becomes available.

CDC has also launched (800) CDC-INFO [(800) 232-4636], a new, central hotline with recorded information available in English and Spanish, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hotline callers can select voice messages on various influenza-related topics, with the option to transfer for additional information. The number for hearing impaired persons is (800) 243-7889 (TTY/TDD).

Any information CDC receives about problems finding influenza vaccine will be shared with state health officials to help direct available vaccine to persons and places where it is needed.

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the notice, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5349a5.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5349.pdf
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December 20, 2004
"RECOMMENDED ADULT IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE--UNITED STATES, OCTOBER 2004-SEPTEMBER 2005" NOW ON NIP WEBSITE

The "Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule—United States, October 2004-September 2005" was recently posted on the NIP website. The printable, four-page schedule is the one published in the November 19 MMWR QuickGuide (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5345-Immunization.pdf).

To access the ready-to-print (PDF) version of the schedule from the NIP website, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/recs/adult-schedule.pdf

NIP will post two additional versions of the schedule to its website in early 2005: the pocketsize version will be posted in January or February 2005; the Spanish version will be posted in February 2005. To check on the availability of these versions, visit the NIP website at
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/recs/adult-schedule.htm#print
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December 20, 2004
NEW: CDC AND CLEAN HANDS COALITION OFFER PARENTS AND TEACHERS RESOURCES TO HELP CHILDREN AVOID COLDS AND INFLUENZA

On December 13, CDC issued a press release announcing that it and the Clean Hands Coalition are making two resources available to parents and teachers that can help children avoid colds and influenza by practicing good handwashing habits. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.

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For immediate release
December 13, 2004

CDC AND THE CLEAN HANDS COALITION HIGHLIGHT SHINING SOAPER-STARS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Clean Hands Coalition are pleased to highlight several resources for parents and educators to promote good handwashing to help protect children from illness this cold and flu season.

Nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold. One of the most common ways people catch colds is by rubbing their noses or eyes after touching someone who is sick or something that's contaminated with the cold virus. Recent studies of school children show that scheduled handwashing, at least four times a day, can reduce gastrointestinal illnesses and related absences by more than 50 percent.

The Clean Hands Coalition, an alliance of public and private partners dedicated to creating and supporting initiatives to promote hand hygiene, is calling upon kids and parents nationwide to help slow the spread of colds and flu by washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. If soap and water isn't near, people can use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.

"Keeping your hands clean is one of the most effective things you can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illnesses to others," says CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "We want to encourage parents and schools to step up and promote these practices--they really do make a difference."

This winter, CDC and the Clean Hands Coalition are pleased to highlight two resources for parents and educators:

  • The Scrub Club is an animated, interactive website (http://www.scrubclub.org) developed as a fun way for kids to learn the importance of washing hands to fight infectious and foodborne diseases. . . .
     
  • Healthy Schools Healthy People, It's a SNAP (School Network for Absenteeism Prevention) [at] http://www.itsasnap.org is a grass roots, education-based effort to improve health by making hand-cleaning an integral part of the school day. SNAP is designed to get the entire school community talking about clean hands by providing tools for incorporating hand hygiene into multiple subject areas and activities. . . .

In addition to resources for parents and educators, CDC offers educational aids and other resources to promote hand hygiene by food handlers and travelers and in healthcare settings. More information about the Clean Hands Initiative can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/cleanhands

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(12 of 13)
December 20, 2004
CDC REPORTS ON THE U.S. PUBLIC'S AWARENESS OF INFLUENZA-PREVENTION MEASURES AND WILLINGNESS TO USE THEM

CDC published "Experiences with Influenza-Like Illness and Attitudes Regarding Influenza Prevention--United States, 2003-04 Influenza Season" in the December 17 issue of MMWR. The opening paragraph of the article is reprinted below.

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Despite advances in medical treatment, influenza results in approximately 36,000 deaths each year in the United States. Vaccination has been a mainstay of influenza prevention, with annual vaccination recommended for adults and children at high risk; efforts to interrupt person-to-person transmission are also important. In October 2003, CDC recommended that healthcare facilities implement a Universal Respiratory Hygiene Strategy, including providing masks or facial tissues in waiting rooms to persons with respiratory symptoms. To gather information on influenza-like illness (ILI) and attitudes regarding prevention of ILI (including use of vaccine and respiratory hygiene), CDC and 11 Emerging Infections Programs (EIPs) conducted a random-digit-dialed telephone survey of noninstitutionalized U.S. civilian adults in February 2004. This report summarizes the results of that survey, which determined that 43% of adults and 69% of children aged 6 months-17 years with ILI visited a healthcare provider for the illness. Eight percent of adults with ILI reported having been asked by a healthcare provider to wear a mask; 82% said they would wear a mask if requested. With the limited availability of influenza vaccine this season, the use of masks by persons with cough illnesses in healthcare settings, a component of the Universal Respiratory Hygiene Strategy, might be a helpful and acceptable method for decreasing influenza transmission.

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5349a3.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5349.pdf
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December 20, 2004
CDC REPORTS ON RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS ACTIVITY IN THE U.S. DURING 2003-04

CDC published "Brief Report: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity--United States, 2003-2004" in the December 17 issue of MMWR. A summary made available to the press is reprinted below in its entirety. A small portion of the article is also reprinted.

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[The press summary]
The 2004-2005 outbreak of RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] infections has begun. Healthcare providers should consider RSV infection in the differential diagnosis for persons of all ages presenting with lower respiratory tract infection, implement appropriate isolation precautions to prevent nosocomial spread of virus, and provide appropriate immune prophylaxis to eligible children. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes annual winter outbreaks of lower respiratory tract infections among young children, the elderly, and persons with compromised respiratory, cardiac, or immune systems. Data reported to the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System suggest the 2004-2005 outbreak of RSV infections has begun in the South and Northeast regions, and will likely begin in other regions soon. Healthcare providers should consider RSV infection in the differential diagnosis for persons of all ages presenting with lower respiratory tract infection, implement appropriate isolation precautions to prevent nosocomial spread of virus, and provide monthly doses of humanized murine anti-RSV monoclonal antibody to eligible children, including some premature infants or infants and children with chronic lung and heart disease.

[From the article]
Accurate diagnosis of RSV infection is crucial for appropriate infection control, to rule out cocirculating viruses (e.g., influenza viruses) and to avoid inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents.

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5349a4.htm

To access a ready-to-copy (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5349.pdf 

 

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This page was updated on December 20, 2004