Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

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Issue Number 588            March 20, 2006

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. HHS releases two new pandemic influenza planning guides and an update on related department priorities
  2. CDC posts updated provisional Tdap recommendations for adults online
  3. Build NIIW awareness with new English and Spanish resources
  4. PATH's Rotavirus Vaccine Program publishes newsletters and other resources
  5. CDC offers influenza chemoprophylaxis and treatment guidelines for PDAs
  6. CDC reports on increased antiviral medications sales before the 2005–06 influenza season in New York City
  7. CDC reports on inhalation anthrax associated with dried animal hides
  8. CDC adds to and updates its Influenza web section
  9. CDC issues update on U.S. influenza activity during February 26–March 4, 2006
  10. Hib Initiative offers a free quarterly email newsletter

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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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March 20, 2006
HHS RELEASES TWO NEW PANDEMIC INFLUENZA PLANNING GUIDES AND AN UPDATE ON RELATED DEPARTMENT PRIORITIES

Planning for pandemic influenza is critical for ensuring a sustainable healthcare response.

On March 13, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new tool to help medical offices and ambulatory clinics assess and improve their preparedness for responding to pandemic influenza.

The checklist is modeled after a pandemic preparedness checklist for hospitals and should be used in conjunction with guidance on healthcare preparedness planning in Supplement 3 of the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan. Many of the issues included in the checklist are also relevant to other outpatient settings that provide episodic and chronic healthcare services (e.g., dental, podiatric, and chiropractic offices, ambulatory surgery centers, and hemodialysis centers). Given the variety of healthcare settings, individual medical offices and clinics may need to adapt this checklist to meet their unique needs.

To access a web-text (HTML) version of the checklist, go to:
http://pandemicflu.gov/plan/medical.html

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the checklist, go to: http://pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/medofficesclinics.pdf

On the same day, Michael Leavitt, Secretary of HHS, released a report titled "Pandemic Planning Update," which outlines the department's five priorities related to pandemic planning and provides a progress update.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the report, go to:
http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/panflu20060313.pdf

On March 17, HHS released a checklist to help emergency medical services (EMS) and non-emergent (medical) transport organizations assess and improve their preparedness for responding to pandemic influenza. EMS organizations will be involved in the transport of acutely ill patients with known or suspected pandemic influenza to emergency departments; some of these patients might require mechanical ventilation for life support and/or other lifesaving interventions. Non-emergent (medical) transport organizations will be called upon to transport recovering pandemic influenza patients to their home, residential care facility, or possibly to alternate care sites set up by state or local health departments.

To access a web-text (HTML) version of the checklist, go to:
http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/emgncymedical.html

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the checklist, go to: http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/EMS.pdf

The website of U.S. government avian and pandemic influenza information, managed by HHS, can be accessed at http://pandemicflu.gov
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March 20, 2006
CDC POSTS UPDATED PROVISIONAL TDAP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADULTS ONLINE

NIP's web section Provisional ACIP Recommendations recently updated the provisional recommendations for use of Tdap vaccine in adults.

To access the revised provisional Tdap recommendations for adults, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vaccine/tdap/tdap_adult_recs.pdf

To access all provisional recommendations, which include those for Tdap vaccination for adults, hepatitis A vaccination for children, hepatitis B vaccination for adults, and expanded recommendations for varicella vaccine, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/recs/provisional_recs
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March 20, 2006
BUILD NIIW AWARENESS WITH NEW ENGLISH AND SPANISH RESOURCES

[The following is cross posted, with thanks, from CDC's Immunization Works electronic newsletter (March 2006).]

Build NIIW awareness with materials and planning tools available for download from the National Infant Immunization Week website. Materials include:

  • Posters
  • Web Buttons and Banners
  • English and Spanish-language Television Public Service Announcements (PSAs); Available online the week of March 13, 2006
  • Spanish-language Radio Public Service Announcement (PSA);  Available online the week of March 13, 2006
  • Sample Key Messages
  • Sample Proclamations
  • Sticker Templates
  • And more!

Share Your Activities: Let CDC know what you are doing to promote childhood immunization during the week of April 22-29 and find out how others will celebrate NIIW-VWA. Add your events to the NIIW activity form.

[Go to http://www.cdc.gov/nip/events/niiw for links to all the above]
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March 20, 2006
PATH'S ROTAVIRUS VACCINE PROGRAM PUBLISHES NEWSLETTERS AND OTHER RESOURCES

PATH established the Rotavirus Vaccine Program in 2003, with funding from GAVI and the Vaccine Fund. The program works in partnership with CDC and WHO. Its mission is to reduce child morbidity and mortality from diarrheal disease by accelerating the availability of rotavirus vaccines appropriate for use in developing countries.

Now that a new rotavirus vaccine has been licensed for use in the United States, U.S. healthcare providers might want to access resources from this organization.

To explore the Rotavirus Vaccine Program website, go to:
http://www.rotavirusvaccine.org

The program publishes two newsletters, Rotavirus Surveillance News and Rotavirus Update. Go to http://www.rotavirusvaccine.org/news.htm#Newsletters to read these newsletters online or to subscribe.

RotaFlash is an email alert sent to provide information on breaking news related to rotavirus disease and vaccines. To receive future RotaFlash announcements, email rvpinfo@path.org with "Subscribe to RotaFlash" in the subject line.
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March 20, 2006
CDC OFFERS INFLUENZA CHEMOPROPHYLAXIS AND TREATMENT GUIDELINES FOR PDAs

The CDC Influenza Chemoprophylaxis and Treatment Guidelines 2005–06 are available as a personal digital assistant (PDA) file for viewing on a Palm OS device, with bookmarks and hyperlinks to facilitate browsing.

To access the page containing instructions for downloading the guidelines, the guideline files, and tips for viewing the guidelines, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/treatment/pda
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March 20, 2006
CDC REPORTS ON INCREASED ANTIVIRAL MEDICATIONS SALES BEFORE THE 2005–06 INFLUENZA SEASON IN NEW YORK CITY

CDC published "Increased Antiviral Medication Sales Before the 2005–06 Influenza Season—New York City" in the March 17 MMWR. Portions of a summary made available to the press are reprinted below.

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. . . Sales of prescription anti-influenza medications (or antivirals) increased markedly before the beginning of the 2005-06 influenza season in New York City (NYC). The arrival of influenza each year is reflected in laboratory test results of respiratory specimens, institutional outbreaks of influenza, and increased antiviral sales. In October 2005, increased antiviral sales were not accompanied by any of the other indicators of influenza activity. However, increased antiviral sales did coincide with media coverage of avian influenza due to H5N1 and a potential influenza pandemic. A similar but smaller increase in antiviral sales occurred in October 2004 during media coverage of a potential influenza vaccine shortage. A likely explanation for the increased sales was the creation of personal stockpiles of antiviral medications. . .

Sales data for antivirals suggest that physicians were prescribing antivirals for stockpiling by their patients, which is not recommended practice. Physicians and the general public should not create personal stockpiles of antiviral medications.

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the article, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5510a3.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5510.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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March 20, 2006
CDC REPORTS ON INHALATION ANTHRAX ASSOCIATED WITH DRIED ANIMAL HIDES

CDC published "Inhalation Anthrax Associated with Dried Animal Hides—Pennsylvania and New York City, 2006" in the March 17 MMWR. Portions of a summary made available to the press are reprinted below.

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. . . The first case of naturally acquired inhalation anthrax since 1976 was identified on February 21, 2006, in a resident of New York City who was a traditional African drum maker and dancer. The individual was exposed to aerosolized anthrax spores in a non-ventilated studio when they scraped contaminated animal hides to remove hairs and make them into drums. Epidemiologic and environmental investigations determined that the only other people at risk of infection were those present during procedures that could have aerosolized anthrax spores (e.g., mechanical hide manipulation or sweeping/vacuuming of hairs); as a precaution, four people were identified and given postexposure prophylaxis. Further, there was no documented risk of inhalation anthrax from playing or owning African drums, or attending African dance performances.

Inhalation anthrax is a rare infection. The safest way to eliminate risk of inhalation anthrax from animal hides or hair is to work only with hides that have been tanned or otherwise treated to render anthrax spores nonviable. Workers should further protect themselves by washing their hands regularly, wearing protective gloves and a separate pair of shoes in the workspace, and working in a well-ventilated space where others will not be present. . .

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the article, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5510a4.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5510.pdf
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March 20, 2006
CDC ADDS TO AND UPDATES ITS INFLUENZA WEB SECTION

CDC recently added four pages to and updated six pages of its Influenza web section. These reports include information on the embargo of birds from Albania, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, and Burma (Myanmar); countries added to the list of those reporting animal cases (Sweden, Denmark, Israel, Cameroon, and Myanmar); and H5N1 infection in domestic cats in Germany and Austria and in a stone marten in Germany.

NEW
1. "U.S. Flu Activity Report for Week Ending March 11" (posted 3/17/06)
2. "2006–07 Influenza Vaccine Composition" (posted 3/15/06)
3. "Amendment to embargo of birds and bird products imported from Albania, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, and Burma (Myanmar)" (posted 3/15/06)
4. "H5N1 infection in domestic cats and a stone marten—Europe" (posted 3/13/06)

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

UPDATED
5. "Avian Influenza: Current Situation" (posted 3/20/06)
6. "Questions & Answers About Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus" (posted 3/17/06)
7. "Current Flu Activity" (posted 3/17/06)
8. "Avian Influenza: Current Situation" (posted 3/17/06)
9. "Embargo of Birds from Specified Countries" (posted 3/15/06)
10. "Avian Influenza: Current Situation" (posted 3/13/06)


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

To access a broad range of continually updated information on seasonal influenza, avian influenza, and pandemic influenza, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu
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March 20, 2006
CDC ISSUES UPDATE ON U.S. INFLUENZA ACTIVITY DURING FEBRUARY 26–MARCH 4, 2006

CDC published "Update: Influenza Activity—United States, February 26–March 4, 2006" in the March 17 issue of MMWR. The opening paragraph is reprinted below.

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During February 26–March 4, 2006, the number of states reporting widespread influenza activity increased to 25. Thirteen states reported regional activity, eight reported local activity, and four reported sporadic activity. . . .

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To access a web-text (HTML) version of the article, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5510a6.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5510.pdf
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March 20, 2006
HIB INITIATIVE OFFERS A FREE QUARTERLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER

The Hib Initiative unites experts from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. Its mission is to expedite and sustain evidence-informed decisions at the global, regional, and country levels regarding the use of Hib vaccination to prevent childhood meningitis and pneumonia.

The newsletter Hib Focus provides a focus on haemophilus influenzae type b and the work of the Hib Initiative.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the December 1, 2005 issue of Hib Focus, go to:
http://www.hibaction.org/resources/HibFocusDec14FinalNewsletter.pdf

To sign up to receive this quarterly newsletter via email, go to: http://www.hibaction.org/hanews.html

To visit the Hib Initiative website, go to: http://www.hibaction.org

 

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 March 20, 2006