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Issue Number 6                                               February 28, 1998

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. VFC hepatitis B vaccine is now available for eligible children 0 through 18 years of age.
  2. Remember, you can use VFC vaccine to protect VFC-eligible children ages 1 through 15 against varicella.
  3. Errors in the "Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule, United States, January - December 1998" are corrected regarding the use of combination vaccines and hepatitis B vaccine.
  4. It's a fact! CDC'S Vaccine Safety Fact Sheets are now available!
  5. Coalition's web page is the "apple" of someone's eye!
  6. Because you don't have the time to answer all parents' immunization questions....
  7. Unleash "The Germ Patrol" in your clinic and watch what happens!

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March 1, 1998

VFC HEPATITIS B VACCINE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR ELIGIBLE
CHILDREN 0 THROUGH 18 YEARS OF AGE.

As of March 1, 1998, VFC hepatitis B vaccine may be given to all VFC-eligible children 0 through 18 years of age. Prior to this expanded hepatitis B recommendation, only children
in certain hard-to-define age, risk, and ethnic categories could receive VFC hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccine advocates cheer this expansion which makes the eligibility
requirements much easier for everyone to understand and follow.

Remember, under this new recommendation you don't have to wait until a child is 11-12 years of age to administer this vaccine. The sooner you vaccinate your patients against hepatitis B virus infection, the sooner they are protected.
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February 28, 1998

REMEMBER, YOU CAN USE VFC VACCINE TO PROTECT VFC-ELIGIBLE
CHILDREN AGES 1 THROUGH 15 AGAINST VARICELLA

During 1998, VFC varicella vaccine may be given to any eligible child who is 1 through 15 years of age. You don't need to wait until a child is 11-12 years of age to administer this vaccine. VFC-eligible children can receive it at any visit if they fall into this age range. The
vaccine is recommended for children not previously infected with varicella. One dose is needed for children less than 13 years of age. Two doses are needed for children ages 13
and over and should be spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart.
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February 28, 1998

ERRORS IN THE "RECOMMENDED CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE,
UNITED STATES, JANUARY - DECEMBER 1998" ARE CORRECTED
REGARDING THE USE OF COMBINATION VACCINES AND HEPATITIS B
VACCINE

There were two editing mistakes in the "Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule, United States, January-December 1998." These mistakes, one regarding combination vaccines and the other regarding hepatitis B vaccine, were discussed and corrected at the ACIP meeting on February 11, 1998.

The first error concerns the use of combination vaccines and is found in Footnote #1 of the "Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule."

Footnote #1 has been corrected to read as follows: Combination vaccines may be used whenever any components of the combination are indicated and its other components are not contraindicated. (Footnote #1 formerly read: Some combination vaccines are available and may be used whenever administration of all components of the vaccine is indicated.)

The second error is found in Footnote #2 and concerns the use of hepatitis B vaccine in the subsection, "Infants born to mothers whose HBsAg status in unknown."

This section of Footnote #2 has been corrected to read: The 2nd dose of vaccine is recommended at 1-2 months of age and the 3rd dose at 6 months of age. (Footnote #2 formerly stated: The 2nd dose of vaccine is recommended at 1 month of age and the 3rd dose at 6 months of age.)

Please mark these changes on any printed copies of the schedule you are using. This schedule has been printed in a number of places including the MMWR, January 16, 1998. If you don't have a copy of the schedule, you can download the corrected version by clicking here
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/ .  You can also receive a copy of the schedule by calling CDC's National Immunization Information Hotline at 800-232-2522, or by calling your state's immunization program manager. Make sure that the preceding items are corrected on the copy you receive.   Click here http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n18/coord18.htm if you need your immunization program manager's phone number.
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February 28, 1998

IT'S A FACT! CDC'S VACCINE SAFETY FACT SHEETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

Now you can put the answers to vaccine safety questions directly into the questioners' hands!

New vaccine safety fact sheets on 14 different topics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These fact sheets have been written to help people understand the facts about immunity, vaccines, and the diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. The topics of the fact sheets include how vaccines work, diseases prevented by vaccination, information about vaccine safety, as well as responses to six common misconceptions about vaccines.

To view and/or download these vaccine safety fact sheets from CDC's National Immunization Program's website, click here http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vacsafe/vacsafe-parents.htm  To receive them by mail, call CDC's National Immunization Information Hotline at 800-232-2522.
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February 28, 1998

COALITION'S WEB PAGE IS THE "APPLE" OF SOMEONE'S EYE!

The Coalition's web page got a "four-apple" rating from "HealthyWay Best of the Web," a group that reviews thousands of health sites on the Internet. Although five apples is the highest rating, most sites that are deemed worthy are given three apples. So let's hear it for the Coalition's "four-apple award!" While commenting that our site was loaded with perks, our home page was declared "a little busy." A little busy?
They ought to see our office! If you haven't visited our "four-apples up" site, please do. Spend some time looking around. Chances are that a piece of delicious information you need, is just hanging there, waiting for you to pluck it off our tree! Click here http://www.immunize.org/   to come to our website for a visit.
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February 28, 1998

BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO ANSWER ALL PARENTS'
IMMUNIZATION QUESTIONS....

"What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines" is a book you will want to recommend to parents who want to know detailed information about the vaccines you give their children.
This book explains to parents just what vaccines are, how they work, how they are made, when they are necessary, and the risks and benefits of using them.

Written by two academic pediatricians, Paul A. Offit, MD, chief of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Louis M. Bell, MD, member of the sections of Infectious Diseases and Emergency Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, this book is a thorough, yet easy-to-read resource guide.

Take the time to read "What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines." Chances are you'll then recommend it with enthusiasm to parents whose thoughtful questions -- "Are all these vaccinations really necessary? Are all these vaccinations really safe? Isn't it better to be naturally infected?" -- you wish you had more time to answer.

"What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines" is also a great resource guide for community health outreach workers who spend time trying to dispel common myths about vaccine safety.

"What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines" is a 192-page paperback that sells for $12.95. It is available at local bookstores or by mail order at 800-428-5331.
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February 28, 1998

UNLEASH "THE GERM PATROL" IN YOUR CLINIC AND WATCH WHAT
HAPPENS!

Need help getting your young patients to stop screaming about those "yucky shots?" How about some help convincing nervous parents that their young children really do need needles stuck in their tiny little arms and legs?

Well, wait no longer! "The Germ Patrol" is here to help you. Order copies of this wonderful, upbeat, sturdy immunization storybook where a full-color cartoon "germ patrol" chases the bad guys (germs) through the pages. The book even has a handle so a child can carry it over to a
parent for reading.

Put copies of this tale in your waiting room and exam rooms and let Trudy, the heroine, do your "prep" work for you.  Chances are good that, like Trudy, who was scared as could
be on page three, your little patients will end up rolling up their sleeves with glee! And as an extra bonus, you've improved your chances of convincing parents of the importance of immunization.

"The Germ Patrol: All About Shots for Tots...and Big Kids, Too!" was written by Neil Shulman, MD, and Robin Voss, and illustrated by Todd Stolp, MD. Dr. Shulman was also the co-producer of the movie, "Doc Hollywood," starring Michael J.Fox, which was based on one of his novels.

"The Germ Patrol" is available from Rx Humor, 2272 Vistamont Drive, Decatur, GA 30033. Retail price is $14.95. No postage or shipping charges. Checks accepted. Discounts are available for quantity purchases. Call 404-321-0126.

 

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 December 28, 2001