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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2006
Issue number 633: November 30, 2006
 
Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. HHS press release encourages everyone who hasn't received influenza vaccine to get immunized
  2. Updated: www.preventinfluenza.org adds new resources—be sure to visit it often throughout influenza season
  3. CDC and the National Immunization Coalition TA Network offer useful information for promoting influenza vaccination in December and beyond
 
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.
  
Issue 633: November 30, 2006
1.  HHS press release encourages everyone who hasn't received influenza vaccine to get immunized

On November 27, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a press release to coincide with the start of National Influenza Vaccination Week. It is reprinted below in its entirety.


For immediate release
Monday, November 27, 2006

HHS LAUNCHES NATIONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION WEEK

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, along with other federal health officials, today kicked off National Influenza Vaccination Week by urging Americans who have not gotten flu vaccinations yet to get them before flu season peaks. National Influenza Vaccination Week runs from November 27 through December 3.

"Getting a flu vaccination is a holiday gift you can give now to yourself and your family," Secretary Leavitt said. "Many people visit relatives with infants or those at high risk of complications from flu around this time of year—vaccination is your chance to protect them. We want Americans to catch the holiday spirit, not the flu."

Flu vaccine makers have produced a record amount of vaccine to distribute this flu season. To make vaccination more convenient, HHS and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) call on the providers to extend their hours and locations, such as clinics for holiday shoppers at malls.

"While most people think of flu season as happening in the fall, flu activity typically peaks in February or later," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "For that reason, we strongly recommend vaccination throughout November and December and into January. It's not too late to protect yourself and your loved ones."

A record number of influenza vaccine doses will be manufactured this year, and distribution continues throughout the season. As of November 17, a record 92 million doses have already been distributed. Additional doses are still being shipped from manufacturers and will continue to be distributed to providers throughout November and into early December. With a total of 110-115 million doses expected to be available this year, anyone who wishes to protect themselves and their families should be able to get vaccinated.

Each year in the United States, 5 percent to 20 percent of the population is infected with influenza, about 36,000 people die from the flu, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized because of influenza complications.

The flu can affect otherwise-healthy adults and children, as well as people with weaker immune systems such as infants and the elderly.

Flu vaccine is especially recommended for those 50 and older, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, children six months until their fifth birthday, healthcare workers, and household contacts and caregivers of high-risk persons.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including CDC, and the National Influenza Vaccine Summit. The following organizations and manufacturers have lent their support to this nationwide effort to encourage Americans to get vaccinated:

National Influenza Vaccine Summit
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Physicians
American Lung Association
American Medical Association
American Public Health Association
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
National Association of County & City Health Officials
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
GlaxoSmithKline
MedImmune
Novartis
sanofi pasteur

Statements of support from all of these organizations along with information on National Influenza Vaccination Week can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw06.htm For complete information on flu prevention, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu

To access the HHS press release, go to:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2006pres/20061127.html

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2 Updated: www.preventinfluenza.org adds new resources—be sure to visit it often throughout influenza season

The website www.preventinfluenza.org has been augmented with resources that encourage influenza vaccination in December and beyond. Sponsored by the National Influenza Vaccination Summit, the website offers healthcare professionals, the public, and the media an array of resources intended to encourage and facilitate influenza vaccination throughout December and into the first months of 2007.

Recent additions include the following:

(1) Special issues of the National Influenza Vaccination Summit Newsletter that promote influenza vaccination during National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW; November 27-December 3) and beyond. To access them, go to: http://www.preventinfluenza.org/nivs.asp

(2) Resources for health professionals on late-season vaccination, including flyers suitable for display in private practices and clinics; novel approaches to late-season vaccination that havebeen used successfully to reach unvaccinated priority adults;and information on locating sources of vaccine and community vaccination clinics. To access them, go to: http://www.preventinfluenza.org/profs_late.asp

(3) Links to CDC's influenza patient-education materials in Spanish, traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. To access these materials, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/languages.htm

The new website of National Influenza Vaccination Summit, www.preventinfluenza.org is managed by IAC. Be sure to visit it now and often throughout the influenza season for new and updated resources. To access the website, go to: http://www.preventinfluenza.org

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3 CDC and the National Immunization Coalition TA Network offer useful information for promoting influenza vaccination in December and beyond

The websites of CDC and the National Immunization Coalition TA [technical assistance] Network recently posted information that health departments and community clinics will find useful in promoting late-season influenza vaccination. The network is a program of the Center for Health Communication, Academy for Educational Development.

From CDC: A flyer and mini poster for promoting influenza vaccination to patients and their loved ones are available in English and Spanish at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/flugallery/flyers.htm

From the National Immunization Coalition TA Network: A full-page print ad is available at
http://www.izcoalitionsta.org/FluPSAs/NIVW%20ad_full%20page.pdf

In addition, promotional materials for a variety of media are available at
http://www.izcoalitionsta.org/category.cfm?id=23

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