Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 552            September 19, 2005

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. DHHS announces children 18 years and younger displaced by Hurricane Katrina can receive free vaccinations
  2. Health experts urge vaccination for those at risk of complications of influenza or pneumococcal disease
  3. New: Spanish-language VISs for injectable and intranasal influenza vaccines available on IAC's website
  4. CDC report assesses the impact routine PCV7 vaccination had on invasive pneumococcal disease from 1998-2003
  5. CDC reports on recent U.S. and worldwide influenza activity and on vaccination recommendations for the 2005-06 season
  6. New: IAC's "2005-06 Influenza Vaccination Pocket Information Guide" is a useful resource for health professionals
  7. September issue of CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter now available on the NIP website
  8. CDC presents stats on nursing home residents age 65 and older who received pneumococcal vaccinations in the late 1990s
  9. DHHS prepares for possible influenza pandemic by buying vaccine and antiviral medications
  10. Arizona Immunization Conference scheduled for November 17-18 in Mesa

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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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September 19, 2005
DHHS ANNOUNCES CHILDREN 18 YEARS AND YOUNGER DISPLACED BY HURRICANE KATRINA CAN RECEIVE FREE VACCINATIONS

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a press release on September 16 announcing that all children 18 years and younger displaced by Hurricane Katrina are eligible to receive free vaccinations through the Vaccines for Children program. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Sept. 16, 2005

ALL CHILDREN 18 AND UNDER DISPLACED BY HURRICANE KATRINA WILL RECEIVE FREE VACCINATIONS

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced today that all children from birth to 18 years old displaced by Hurricane Katrina are eligible to receive free vaccines through the federally run Vaccines for Children program (VFC), regardless of whether they are staying at shelters, hotels, or with family and friends and regardless of previous health insurance coverage status. Managed by HHS's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the VFC helps families of children who may not otherwise have access to vaccines by providing free vaccines to doctors who serve them. . . .

CDC's immunization recommendations for children displaced by Hurricane Katrina are aimed at keeping them up to date on routine vaccinations and protecting them from disease outbreaks in large, crowded group settings. The nation's childhood immunization coverage rates continue at record high levels, so there is no immediate threat of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks among these children.

HHS considers all children from birth to 18 years old who have been displaced by the effects of Hurricane Katrina to effectively be uninsured, because they are not expected to have access to medical records or proof of insurance. Taking this action allows doctors, clinics, and health departments who provide childhood vaccinations to immunize these children using VFC vaccine.

The Vaccines for Children program is an entitlement program (a right granted by law) for eligible children, age 18 and below, known as section 1928 of the Social Security Act. VFC became operational Oct. 1, 1994. Through the VFC program, public purchased vaccine is available at no charge to enrolled public and private healthcare providers for eligible children. More information about the VFC program can be obtained at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vfc

CDC's Interim Immunization Recommendations for Individuals Displaced by Hurricane Katrina can be accessed at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/katrina/vaccrecdisplaced.asp Complete information on the full range of accelerated benefits available from HHS for hurricane victims is available at http://www.hhs.gov/katrina

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To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20050916.html
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September 19, 2005
HEALTH EXPERTS URGE VACCINATION FOR THOSE AT RISK FOR COMPLICATIONS OF INFLUENZA OR PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE

On September 14, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the National Influenza Vaccine Summit held a press conference on influenza and pneumococcal disease. Portions of a press release describing the conference are reprinted below.

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AT-RISK, OLDER AMERICANS, CHILDREN 6-23 MONTHS & HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS TARGETED FOR VACCINATION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Julie L. Gerberding, MD, joined the nation's leading infectious disease experts to warn the public about the severity of influenza and pneumococcal disease and called for renewed efforts to increase vaccination rates among those considered at risk of complications from these vaccine-preventable diseases.

The urgent immunization message was issued by experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association (AMA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and CDC. Officials from these groups joined a press conference held by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) in partnership with the National Influenza Vaccine Summit (NIVS) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

"Everyone would benefit from an annual influenza vaccination, but for many people, influenza vaccination is critical," said Julie L. Gerberding, MD, director, CDC. "This year, to help ensure that people at highest risk for serious complications are vaccinated, we're making them a priority for the next six weeks. From now until October 24, we're asking those who provide influenza vaccine to give the first available doses to people in our priority groups and to healthcare providers who have contact with patients or people in the priority groups. Getting an influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your patients against this disease."

People who are at high priority for influenza vaccination are anyone age 65 years and older; people with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, chronic bronchitis, or HIV; and children age 6 to 23 months old. In addition, health care professionals and household contacts or out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age should be vaccinated to prevent giving influenza to vulnerable patients and children who are at high risk of complications.

Dr. Gerberding also stated while there is heightened concern surrounding avian influenza outbreaks in Europe and Asia, regular influenza seasons pose an immediate danger that result, on average, in about 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations in this country each year.

Overall immunization rates among high-risk groups have not increased in recent years, prompting health experts to call for concerted efforts to ensure those at greatest risk for hospitalization and death receive influenza vaccine this season.

For the past several years, immunization rates among those age 65 years and older have been below 68 percent--far short of the Healthy People 2010 goal of 90 percent. Only one-third of children with underlying medical conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes) are immunized against influenza annually--the lowest vaccination rate for any recommended childhood vaccine in the U.S. Moreover, the 34.2 percent immunization rate among adults (18-64 years of age) with medical conditions is substantially lower than the 2010 Healthy People Goal of 60 percent for this group. Coverage rates among healthcare workers were no higher than 40 percent, further underscoring a call to action for vaccination this season.

Health officials also urged vaccination against pneumococcal disease for Americans 65 years of age and older and those of any age with certain underlying medical condition. Pneumococcal vaccination with the polysaccharide vaccine is appropriate at any time of the year, and can be administered at the same time as the influenza vaccine. Of the nearly 40,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths from invasive pneumococcal disease each year in the U.S., over half occur among adults who are recommended to receive vaccination.

MEDICARE PART B [AND] MEDICAID COVER VACCINATION; PAYMENT [AND] ADMINISTRATION FEES INCREASE; NEW RULE FOR VACCINATING NURSING HOME RESIDENTS

CMS Administrator Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, stressed the importance of annual influenza vaccination for Americans 65 years of age and older. Medicare Part B and Medicaid cover both influenza and pneumococcal vaccines.

Dr. McClellan announced Medicare has increased the amount of the payments for influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, as well as the administration fee. Medicare will pay $24.57 per dose for the pneumococcal vaccine this year, up from $23.28 in 2004. Payment for the influenza vaccine also increases to $12.06, compared [with] $10.10 last season. The administration fee for both vaccinations has risen more than 100 percent this year from $8.21 in 2004 to $18.57 in 2005.

In another development, Dr. McClellan provided an update on a new rule requiring nursing homes in the U.S. to vaccinate all their patients against influenza and pneumococcal disease to be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid programming benefits.

"Many at-risk people are not getting the vaccines they need," said Dr. McClellan. "If approved, this proposed rule will go a long way toward ensuring the vaccination of approximately 2 million nursing home residents in 18,000 nursing homes each year. . . ."

IMMUNIZATION RATES AMONG HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IMPORTANT PRIORITY

Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals play an important role in preventing influenza from spreading by getting vaccinated. "The AMA encourages physicians to lead by example and get vaccinated against influenza," said AMA Trustee Ardis D. Hoven, MD.

"Only about 40 percent of healthcare professionals receive the flu vaccine, we need to raise that number to protect our patients--particularly those at risk of serious complications from influenza," said Dr. Hoven. "Hospitals and nursing homes are high-risk areas for acquiring influenza. We encourage healthcare facilities to develop flu vaccination programs that measure and maximize vaccination rates for healthcare professionals."

Studies show that vaccination of healthcare professionals leads to fewer deaths among nursing home patients and also helps to increase vaccination rates among patients who seek a healthcare professional's advice.

"For many patients, the advice of their physician remains the tipping point toward healthy behaviors," said Dr. Hoven. "Let's follow the advice we give our patients and prevent influenza outbreaks by getting vaccinated."

LOW PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINATION RATES SIGNAL NEED FOR RENEWED VACCINATION EFFORTS

"Low pneumococcal coverage rates leave too many Americans vulnerable to invasive disease," said Cynthia G. Whitney, MD, MPH, acting chief, Respiratory Diseases Branch, CDC. "Americans may not realize the risk pneumococcal disease poses to patients 65 years and older."

Dr. Whitney warned that with just 57 percent of those 65 and older being vaccinated, the death rate could increase. The Healthy People 2010 goal for pneumococcal vaccination coverage of those age 65 and older is 90 percent.

Although anyone can contract pneumococcal disease, some groups are at particularly high risk for the disease or its complications, including persons age 65 years and older, those with chronic illness or weakened immune systems, and residents of chronic or long-term-care facilities. . . .

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To access the complete press release, go to the website of PRNewswire click here. The press release will be accessible online for approximately three months.
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September 19, 2005
NEW: SPANISH-LANGUAGE VISs FOR INJECTABLE AND INTRANASAL INFLUENZA VACCINES AVAILABLE ON IAC'S WEBSITE

The current version of the interim VISs for trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV; injectable) and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV; intranasal) are now available on the IAC website in Spanish. IAC gratefully acknowledges the California Department of Health Services for the translations.

TIV (INJECTABLE) VACCINE VIS (dated 7/18/05)
To obtain a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the interim VIS for TIV vaccine in Spanish, go to: http://www.immunize.org/vis/spflu05.pdf

To obtain it in English, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/2flu.pdf

LAIV (INTRANASAL) VACCINE VIS (dated 7/18/05)
To obtain a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the interim VIS for LAIV vaccine in Spanish, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/spliveflu05.pdf

To obtain it in English, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/vis/liveflu.pdf

For information about the use of VISs, and for VISs in a total of 33 languages, visit IAC's VIS web section at http://www.immunize.org/vis
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September 19, 2005
CDC REPORT ASSESSES THE IMPACT ROUTINE PCV7 VACCINATION HAD ON INVASIVE PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE FROM 1998-2003

CDC published "Direct and Indirect Effects of Routine Vaccination of Children with 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Incidence of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease--United States, 1998-2003" in the September 16 issue of MMWR. Portions of the article are reprinted below.

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Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a leading cause of pneumonia and meningitis in the United States and disproportionately affects young children and the elderly. In 2000, a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was licensed in the United States for routine use in children aged [younger than] 5 years. Surveillance data from 2001 and 2002 indicated substantial declines in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children and adults compared with prevaccine years. This report updates assessment of the impact of PCV7 on IPD through 2003 by using population-based data from the Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) of the Emerging Infections Program Network, a cooperative surveillance program conducted by several state health departments and CDC. The results of this analysis indicated that (1) routine vaccination of young children with PCV7 continued to result in statistically significant declines in incidence of IPD through 2003 in the age group targeted for vaccination and among older children and adults, (2) the vaccine prevented more than twice as many IPD cases in 2003 through indirect effects on pneumococcal transmission (i.e., herd immunity) than through its direct effect of protecting vaccinated children, and (3) increases in disease caused by pneumococcal serotypes not included in the vaccine (i.e., replacement disease) occurred in certain populations but were small compared with overall declines in vaccine-serotype disease. Ongoing surveillance is needed to assess whether reductions in vaccine-serotype IPD are sustained and whether replacement disease will erode the substantial benefits of routine vaccination. . . .

EDITORIAL NOTE
Routine use of PCV7 in young children has reduced the incidence of VT [vaccine type] and overall IPD in children and adults, and these reductions have increased since 2001. The most substantial decline in the rate of VT disease has been in the target population of children aged [younger than] 5 years. Data from 2003 also demonstrate statistically significant reductions in the rates of both VT IPD and total IPD for children aged 5-17 years, whereas no statistically significant change in disease rate was observed among persons aged 5-19 years in 2001. As of 2003, the total incidence of IPD in persons aged 65 years [and older] declined to 41.7 cases per 100,000 population in ABCs surveillance areas, meeting the Healthy People 2010 objective of no more than 42 cases per 100,000 for this age group.

Indirect benefits of PCV7 (i.e., cases prevented in unvaccinated persons) exceeded direct protective benefits among immunized children, with more than twice as many cases of VT IPD prevented indirectly as directly in 2003. The indirect effects of PCV7 are believed to be caused by decreased nasopharyngeal carriage of VT strains among immunized children, which results in decreased transmission to nonimmunized children and adults (i.e., herd immunity). On the basis of this mechanism, indirect benefits from PCV7 might be expected to increase as its vaccination coverage increases. In certain populations (e.g., children aged [younger than] 5 years and adults aged 40 years [and older]), the reduction in VT IPD attributable to PCV7 was partially offset by an increase in disease caused by non-VT strains. However, during 2003, the overall magnitude of this replacement disease was small compared with the reduction in VT disease.

The findings in this report are subject to at least two limitations. First, secular trends cannot be excluded as a factor in the changing pattern of IPD in the United States. However, these trends would be expected to affect disease caused by all serotypes; the reductions in IPD after introduction of PCV7 have been specific to vaccine serotypes, suggesting a vaccine effect. The decline in adult IPD likely is not attributable to PPV23, given that no decline occurred in the incidence of IPD caused by serotypes included in PPV23 but not in PCV7, and given that the slight increase in vaccine coverage of PPV23 since 1998 would not be expected to cause a measurable change in IPD rate. Second, the calculations of direct and indirect effects of the conjugate vaccine were based on data estimates from several sources, each with an associated margin of error; the calculations in this report provide only crude estimates of the relative magnitudes of direct and indirect vaccine effects. In addition, the number of doses of vaccine needed to provide direct protection is unknown, and partial protection might be provided by fewer than 3 doses.

The robustness of the direct and indirect effects of PCV7 has important implications for cost-benefit analyses of similar vaccines in the United States and internationally. Initial estimates of cost-effectiveness for the United States did not account for indirect effects and therefore underestimated the cost-effectiveness of PCV7. In addition, ongoing surveillance will be required to monitor the balance of disease reduction versus replacement in the conjugate vaccine era, particularly in vulnerable populations (e.g., the elderly and immunocompromised persons), who might be more susceptible to less virulent non-VT strains of pneumococci. Such information will be critical for determining whether the composition of conjugate vaccines should be revised or expanded over time.

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5436a1.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5436.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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September 19, 2005
CDC REPORTS ON RECENT U.S. AND WORLDWIDE INFLUENZA ACTIVITY AND ON VACCINATION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE 2005-06 SEASON

CDC published "Update: Influenza Activity--United States and Worldwide, May 22-September 3, 2005, and 2005-06 Season Vaccination Recommendations" in the September 16 issue of MMWR. A portion of the article is reprinted below.

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Influenza A (H3N2) viruses circulated worldwide, and Influenza A (H1) and B viruses were reported less frequently during May 22-September 3, 2005. In North America, isolates of influenza A (H3N2), A (H1), and influenza B were identified sporadically. This report summarizes influenza activity in the United States and worldwide since the last MMWR update. . . .

AVIAN INFLUENZA A (H5N1)
Since December 2003, a total of 11 countries (Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam) have reported outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus affecting poultry. Russia and Kazakhstan reported outbreaks of H5N1 virus among poultry for the first time in late July 2005. Mongolia reported detection of H5N1 virus in migratory birds in August. In Southeast Asia, where H5N1 continues to be detected among poultry, approximately 150 million birds have died or been culled since 2003.

Since December 2003, a total of 112 H5N1 cases in humans have been reported to WHO in four countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam); 57 (51%) persons died. In August 2005, three cases (including two deaths) were reported in Vietnam. In July, one fatal case was reported in Indonesia.

INFLUENZA VACCINE SUPPLY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza. For the 2005-06 influenza vaccine, four manufacturers expect to provide influenza vaccine to the U.S. population. Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., projects production of up to 60 million doses of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV). Chiron Corporation projects production of 18-26 million doses of TIV. GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. projects production of 8 million doses of TIV. MedImmune Vaccines, Inc., producer of the nasal-spray, live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), projects production of approximately 3 million doses.

Because of the uncertainties regarding production of influenza vaccine, the exact number of available doses and timing of vaccine distribution for the 2005-06 influenza season remain unknown. As a result, CDC recommends that only the following priority groups receive TIV before October 24, 2005:

  • persons aged 65 years [and older] with comorbid conditions
  • residents of long-term-care facilities
  • persons aged 2-64 years with comorbid conditions
  • persons aged 65 years [and older] without comorbid conditions
  • children aged 6-23 months
  • pregnant women
  • healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care
  • household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children aged [younger than] 6 months

These groups correspond to tiers 1A-1C in the previously published table of TIV priority groups in the event of vaccination supply disruption. Beginning October 24, 2005, influenza vaccine should be made available to all persons. Healthy persons aged 5-49 years who are not pregnant, including healthcare workers who are not caring for severely immunocompromised patients in special-care units, can receive LAIV at any time.

VACCINATION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PERSONS DISPLACED BY HURRICANE KATRINA
On September 6, 2005, CDC issued interim vaccination recommendations for persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Any displaced persons aged 6 months [and older] living in crowded group settings should be administered influenza vaccine; children aged 8 years [and younger] should be administered 2 doses, at least 1 month apart.

EDITORIAL NOTE
During May 22-September 3, 2005, influenza A (H3N2) viruses were the most frequently reported virus worldwide; however, influenza A (H1) and influenza B viruses also circulated. In North America, sporadic cases of influenza were identified each month. The identification of influenza isolates and even sporadic outbreaks in the summer in North America is not unusual. Neither the influenza virus that will predominate in the United States nor the severity and timing of the 2005-06 season can be predicted.

The ongoing widespread epizootic of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses in Asia remains a major public health concern. . . . No evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission has been identified to date, although probable limited person-to-person transmission has been reported. To date, no evidence has indicated genetic reassortment among avian influenza A (H5N1) and human influenza A viruses. CDC recommends enhanced surveillance for suspected H5N1 cases among travelers with unexplained severe respiratory illness returning from H5N1-affected countries. Additional information about avian influenza is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian

Influenza surveillance reports for the United States are posted online weekly during October-May and are available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivity.htm Additional information about influenza viruses, influenza surveillance, and the influenza vaccine is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5436a3.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5436.pdf
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September 19, 2005
NEW: IAC'S "2005-06 INFLUENZA VACCINATION POCKET INFORMATION GUIDE" IS A USEFUL RESOURCE FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

In August, the National Influenza Summit, in collaboration with IAC, developed the "2005-06 Influenza Vaccination Pocket Information Guide." It's intended to be used by healthcare professionals, NOT patients.

WHAT IS THE POCKET GUIDE?
Laminated and sized to fit in the pocket of a shirt or lab coat, the pocket guide is intended to be a provider's partner throughout the current influenza vaccination season. It gives front-line healthcare personnel useful information about the use of both inactivated (injectable) and live (intranasal) influenza vaccines. It lists the groups targeted to receive the vaccine, vaccine contraindications, dosing information, administration methods, and side effects. It also supplies providers with talking points useful in convincing patients about the importance of being vaccinated.

For a fuller description of the pocket guide, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/influenza/pocketguide.htm

To view the pocket guide, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/influenza/pocketguide.pdf

WHO'S RECEIVED THEM?
Many professional associations, specialty societies, public health departments, Indian Health Service Area Offices, and vaccine manufacturers distributed the pocket guide to their members and constituents earlier in September.

HOW CAN I ORDER INFLUENZA POCKET GUIDES?
Pocket guides are available for order. It's important that you order them only for health professionals who administer influenza vaccine to patients. Please do not order them to hand out to patients or employees to encourage them to receive vaccinations themselves.

To place an online order, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/fluguide
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September 19, 2005
SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF CDC'S IMMUNIZATION WORKS ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE 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 three articles we have not covered.

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OTHER IMMUNIZATION NEWS

ONE-THIRD OF PARENTS SAY THEY LACK INFORMATION ABOUT IMMUNIZATIONS: An article published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) concluded that while most parents agree they have access to enough immunization information, approximately a third did not. A perceived lack of immunization information was strongly linked to negative attitudes about immunizations and toward healthcare providers. Parents who disagreed that they had enough immunization information were more likely than those who agreed to feel somewhat or not confident in the safety of childhood immunizations (54.2 percent vs. 17.9 percent); to believe that immunizations are not important (9.6 percent vs. 3.5 percent); to disagree that they trust their child's healthcare provider's vaccine advice (12.0 percent vs. 2.6 percent); to disagree that their child's main healthcare provider is easy to talk to (13.4 percent vs. 1.4 percent); to report that they would not have their child immunized if it were not required by law (27.1 percent vs. 8.1 percent); to believe states should grant exemptions based on religious beliefs (43.3 percent vs. 24 percent); to believe that states should grant exemptions based on personal beliefs (37.5 percent vs. 18.2 percent); to not trust the government to establish policy for childhood immunizations (50.9 percent vs. 20.1 percent); to not trust public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to set policy for childhood immunizations (23.8 percent vs. 6.5 percent); and importantly, to believe that parents should be allowed to obtain exemptions for their child even if it raised the risk of disease for everyone else (24.1 percent vs. 12.9 percent).

The results suggest that basic information about the benefits and risks of vaccines presented by a trusted provider could go a long way toward maintaining and/or improving confidence in the immunization process. To view an abstract of the article and/or to obtain ordering information, please visit the AJPM's Website at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/07493797, and link to volume 29, issue 2 (August).

MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, AND RESOURCES

PANDEMIC INFLUENZA UPDATE, OCTOBER 6TH: On October 6, 2005, the California Distance Learning Health Network and the California Department of Health Services will Webcast a California update concerning public health preparedness for Pandemic Influenza. The 90-minute program will provide essential information and highlight the interventions needed to minimize the consequences of a pandemic event. Continuing education credits will be offered for this course. For more information, or to register, please visit http://www.cdlhn.com

KIDS NEED FLU VACCINE, TOO! ONLINE RESOURCE KIT: A new program called "Kids Need Flu Vaccine, Too!" now features online resources for in-practice use by clinicians and other healthcare providers to help educate parents about influenza and the importance of annual influenza vaccination among infants and children. The new materials were developed by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The goals of the program are supported by the National Influenza Vaccine Summit. The online resources are free and available for download at the "Kids Need Flu Vaccine, Too" website at http://64.242.251.230

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To access the complete September issue from the NIP website, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/news/newsltrs/imwrks/2005/200509.htm
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September 19, 2005
CDC PRESENTS STATS ON NURSING HOME RESIDENTS AGE 65 AND OLDER WHO RECEIVED PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINATIONS IN THE LATE 1990s

CDC published "QuickStats: Percentage of Nursing Home Residents Aged >=65 Years Who Received Pneumococcal Vaccinations--United States, 1995, 1997, 1999" in the September 16 issue of MMWR. A portion of the article is reprinted below.

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From 1995 to 1999, the percentage of nursing home residents aged >=65 years who received 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) increased by 58.5%. This increase might be attributable, in part, to a 36% increase in the number of residents living in nursing homes with pneumococcal immunization programs. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices continues to recommend PPV23 vaccination for all persons aged >=65 years and all residents of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities. . . .

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5436a5.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5436.pdf
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September 19, 2005
DHHS PREPARES FOR POSSIBLE INFLUENZA PANDEMIC BY BUYING VACCINE AND ANTIVIRAL MEDICATIONS

On September 15, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a press release announcing that it has bought vaccine and antiviral medications for use in the event of a possible influenza pandemic. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005

HHS BUYS VACCINE AND ANTIVIRALS IN PREPARATION FOR A POTENTIAL INFLUENZA PANDEMIC

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the purchase of vaccine and antiviral medications that could be used in the event of a potential influenza pandemic.

The department has awarded a $100 million contract to sanofi pasteur, the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group, to manufacture avian influenza vaccine designed to protect against the H5N1 influenza virus strain, which has caused an epidemic of avian flu in Asia. The number of individuals who could be protected by the newly contracted vaccine is still to be determined by ongoing clinical studies. In addition, HHS has awarded a $2.8 million contract to GlaxoSmithKline for 84,300 treatment courses of the antiviral drug zanamivir (Relenza).

These purchases build on the department's plans to buy enough vaccine for 20 million people and enough antivirals for another 20 million people. These supplies of vaccine and antiviral treatment will be placed in the nation's Strategic National Stockpile where they will be available for use should an influenza pandemic occur. . . .

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To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20050915.html
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September 19, 2005
ARIZONA IMMUNIZATION CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 17-18 IN MESA

IAC recently posted the following to its Calendar of Events web section:

ARIZONA IMMUNIZATION CONFERENCE.

SCHEDULED FOR November 17-18 at the Mesa Convention Center, Mesa, AZ.

INTENDED FOR immunization providers and clinic staff, outreach workers, health educators, coalition partners, community advocates, and other immunization stakeholders.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE Dr. William Atkinson and Dr. Raymond Strikas, both with NIP; Dr. Sean Elliott, University of Arizona; and David Engelthaler, Arizona state epidemiologist.

EARLY-BIRD REGISTRATION DEADLINE is November 4.

PRESENTED BY the Arizona Immunization Program Office, Arizona Department of Health Services.

FOR A CONFERENCE BROCHURE, go to:
http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/immun/pdf/conf_fact_sheet.pdf

FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION, go to:
http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/immun/conf.htm

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, phone (602) 364-3635.

FOR INFORMATION ON ADDITIONAL CONFERENCES of interest to those in the immunization community, visit the IAC Calendar of Events web section at http://www.immunize.org/calendar

 

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 19, 2005