Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 562            October 31, 2005

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. ACIP recommends hepatitis A vaccine for all children
  2. CDC announces that nation's influenza vaccine supply continues to increase, encourages broader use of vaccine
  3. DHHS awards a $62.5-million contract to Chiron to manufacture avian influenza vaccine
  4. CDC adds lots of new and updated material to its Influenza web section
  5. Vaccine Education Center website posts useful article for parents on vaccine myths and vaccine safety
  6. NIAID press release reports on a study showing acellular pertussis vaccine is effective in adults and adolescents
  7. PKIDS surveys parents and teens about adolescent immunization and posts results on its website
  8. Immunization coalition teleconference to focus on using an advisory committee to contribute to a pandemic influenza plan

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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 31, 2005
ACIP RECOMMENDS HEPATITIS A VACCINE FOR ALL CHILDREN

At the October 26-27 ACIP meeting, ACIP members voted that all children be vaccinated against hepatitis A virus infection. On October 28, CDC issued a press release announcing the decision. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.

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For immediate release
October 28, 2005

CDC'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON IMMUNIZATION PRACTICES EXPANDS HEPATITIS A VACCINATION FOR CHILDREN; the recommendation for vaccination of children between 1-2 years of age will be integrated into the routine childhood vaccination schedule

An advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all children in the United States receive hepatitis A vaccine. The previous recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), in 1999, called for vaccinations in states with the highest rates of hepatitis A.

About two-thirds of cases are now reported from states in which hepatitis A vaccination of children was not recommended. The ACIP recommendation is for children to receive the first dose of a two-dose series of hepatitis A vaccine between 1 and 2 years of age and that the vaccine be integrated into the routine childhood vaccination schedule. . . .

"Routine vaccination of children is the most effective way to reduce the incidence of hepatitis A," said Dr. Steve Cochi, acting director of CDC's National Immunization Program. "This recommendation is an important step toward the total elimination of the transmission of hepatitis A virus in the United States. . . ."

In 1999, the ACIP recommended routine hepatitis A vaccination for children living in 11 states with the highest rates of hepatitis A. During the period before vaccine was available, the average incidence of hepatitis A in these states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington) had been at least 20 cases per 100,000 people, about twice the national average. In 1999, the ACIP also recommended that vaccination be considered in an additional six states (Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Texas, and Wyoming) where the average incidence had been at least 10 but less than 20 cases per 100,000 people. During the period before vaccine was available, each year about two-thirds of all hepatitis A cases nationwide were reported in these 17 states.

The ACIP continues to recommend hepatitis A vaccination for travelers to countries with a high prevalence of hepatitis A, men who have sex with men, illegal drug users, and persons with chronic liver disease.

Recommendations of the ACIP become recommendations of CDC once they are accepted by the director of CDC and the Secretary of Health and Human Services and are published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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As IAC Express went to press, the press release had not been posted on the CDC website.
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October 31, 2005
CDC ANNOUNCES THAT NATION'S INFLUENZA VACCINE SUPPLY CONTINUES TO INCREASE, ENCOURAGES BROADER USE OF VACCINE

On October 24, CDC issued a press release reporting that the nation's influenza vaccine supply is continuing to increase and advising broader use of the vaccine for the upcoming influenza season. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.

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For Immediate Release
October 24, 2005

CDC REPORTS THAT NATION'S INFLUENZA VACCINE SUPPLIES CONTINUE TO INCREASE; ADVISES BROADENING OF VACCINATION EFFORTS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today said that the supply of vaccine for this flu season is good and it is time to broaden vaccinations beyond the high-risk groups. The CDC advised that flu shot providers who have sufficient supplies of vaccine should broaden their vaccination efforts to include other people, especially 50-to-64-year-olds who are interested in getting an influenza vaccination.

The CDC had recommended that until October 24, healthcare providers focus their vaccination efforts on people who are at highest risk of serious complications from influenza. These include people 65 years old and older, healthcare workers who provide patient care, pregnant women, 6-to-23-month-old children, and people with chronic health conditions (e.g., diabetes, asthma, and heart conditions). . . .

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To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r051024.htm
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October 31, 2005
DHHS AWARDS A $62.5-MILLION CONTRACT TO CHIRON TO MANUFACTURE AVIAN INFLUENZA VACCINE

On October 27, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a press release announcing that it had awarded a contract to Chiron Corp. to manufacture avian influenza vaccine. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.

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For immediate release
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005

HHS BUYS ADDITIONAL VACCINE AS PREPARATIONS FOR POTENTIAL INFLUENZA PANDEMIC CONTINUE

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

The department has awarded a $62.5 million contract to Chiron Corporation to manufacture an avian influenza vaccine designed to protect against the H5N1 influenza virus strain, which has caused an epidemic of avian flu in Asia and has recently spread to Europe. The number of individuals who could be protected by the newly contracted vaccine is still to be determined by ongoing clinical studies.

"An influenza vaccine effective against the H5N1 virus is our best hope of protecting the American people from a virus for which they have no immunity," Secretary Leavitt said. "This contract will increase our stockpile of the vaccine and is a continuation of our aggressive multi-pronged approach to a potentially critical public health challenge."

This purchase builds on the department's current plans to buy enough H5N1 influenza vaccine for 20 million people and enough influenza 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. Last month, HHS awarded a $100 million contract to sanofi pasteur, the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group, for avian flu vaccine. . . .

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To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20051027.html
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October 31, 2005
CDC ADDS LOTS OF NEW AND UPDATED MATERIAL TO ITS INFLUENZA WEB SECTION

CDC has recently added a significant number of educational materials to its Influenza web section.

New pieces include the following:

  1. "How to order Flu Gallery posters"
  2. Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese versions of "Key facts about influenza and the influenza vaccine"
  3. Spanish version of "Key facts about influenza (flu) vaccine"
  4. "Influenza antiviral medications: 2005-06 chemoprophylaxis (prevention) and treatment guidelines."

To access these materials, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/whatsnew.htm#new and click on the pertinent links.

Updated pieces include the following:

  1. "Posters: Provider-education materials"
  2. "Recent avian influenza outbreaks in Asia and Europe"
  3. "Fact sheet for healthcare professionals: All children 6 to 23 months old should get a flu shot"
  4. "Questions & answers: Influenza antiviral medications"
  5. "Antiviral drugs and influenza"
  6. "Flyers: Patient educational materials"
  7. "Posters: Patient educational materials"

To access these materials, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/whatsnew.htm#updated and click on the pertinent links

To access a broad range of continually updated influenza information, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu
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October 31, 2005
VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER WEBSITE POSTS USEFUL ARTICLE FOR PARENTS ON VACCINE MYTHS AND VACCINE SAFETY

In its October issue, Parents Pack Newsletter reprinted an article from September issue of Babytalk magazine. The article, "10 Vaccine Myths--Busted," features the responses of several vaccine experts to widely circulated myths about childhood vaccination. Healthcare professionals who see children and their parents will find the article useful in addressing parents' concerns and answering questions about vaccination. The article offers factual information about myths such as the following: "My baby might get the disease the vaccine is supposed to prevent," "Vaccines cause autism and other disorders," and "As long as other children are getting vaccinated, mine don't need to be."

Parents Pack Newsletter is an electronic publication of the Vaccine Education Center of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The newsletter is published to give parents and the public up-to-date information about childhood immunization issues.

To access the October issue of Parents Pack Newsletter, go to: http://www.chop.edu/consumer/jsp/division/generic.jsp?id=81553 and scroll down to the feature article.
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October 31, 2005
NIAID PRESS RELEASE REPORTS ON A STUDY SHOWING ACELLULAR PERTUSSIS VACCINE IS EFFECTIVE IN ADULTS AND ADOLESCENTS

On October 12, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) issued a press release on the findings of a clinical study on the efficacy of acellular pertussis vaccine in adults and adolescents. The study findings were published in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Portions of the press release are reprinted below.

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For immediate release
October 12, 2005

ACELLULAR PERTUSSIS VACCINE PROVES EFFECTIVE IN ADULTS, ADOLESCENTS

A vaccine to protect adults and adolescents against illness due to Bordetella pertussis infection--or whooping cough--has proved more than 90 percent effective in a national, large-scale clinical study, according to research results published in this week's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The vaccine, researchers say, could be used to stem the increase in pertussis cases among adults and adolescents in the United States and thereby prevent the prolonged cough illness, which can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, and cracked ribs in those populations. An important additional benefit of the vaccine may be to decrease transmission of the B. pertussis bacterium to infants, who are particularly vulnerable to severe illness, complications, and death resulting from whooping cough. The illness annually affects 50 million people worldwide.

"During the 1990s, the number of reported pertussis cases among adolescents and adults more than doubled in the United States as the protective effects of earlier childhood immunizations have waned," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health, which funded the study. "This new study shows that an effective adult acellular pertussis vaccine is feasible and if routinely used could provide the U.S. population greater protection against the disease. . . ."

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To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2005/pertussis.htm

The full text of the article is available only to New England Journal of Medicine subscribers. To access the article abstract, go to: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/353/15/1555
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October 31, 2005
PKIDS SURVEYS PARENTS AND TEENS ABOUT ADOLESCENT IMMUNIZATION AND POSTS RESULTS ON ITS WEBSITE

Recently, the website of PKIDS (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases) posted the results of the organization's survey of parents and teens about adolescent immunization. PKIDS surveyed the two groups as the first step in developing its Teen Vaccine Initiative, a program geared toward increasing the vaccination rates of adolescents ages 11-19 years.

Survey results indicate that adolescents primarily trust their parents to give them accurate health information, and parents primarily rely on health professionals for such information. Teens and their parents both pay attention to websites, local newspapers, and posters in doctors' offices. In addition, 37 percent of adolescents believe that not many people get sick or die from vaccine-preventable diseases, and few adolescents know where to start to find out about their immunization needs.

To access the complete survey results, go to:
http://www.pkids.org/pkidstvireport.pdf
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October 31, 2005
IMMUNIZATION COALITION TELECONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON USING AN
ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO CONTRIBUTE TO A PANDEMIC INFLUENZA PLAN

The National Immunization Coalition TA [technical assistance] Network has scheduled a teleconference that will focus on using an advisory committee to contribute to a pandemic influenza plan. It will be held at 1:00PM, ET, November 15.

NOTE: CDC will give updates on the current influenza vaccine supply at the beginning of this teleconference and at the beginning of future teleconferences throughout the influenza season.

The November 15 presenter is Lisa Kaplowitz, MD, MSHA, deputy commissioner, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Virginia Department of Health. Trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, Dr. Kaplowitz directed the HIV/AIDS Center of Virginia Commonwealth University for 20 years.

To register for the teleconference, send an email to IZTA@aed.org Include this message in the subject heading: "Sign me up for the pandemic influenza plan teleconference."

For additional information, or to access earlier programs, go to: http://www.izcoalitionsta.org/confcall.cfm

 

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 31, 2005