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Immunization Action Coalition
IAC Express 2009
Issue number 783: March 2, 2009
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Contents of this Issue
Select a title to jump to the article.
  1. Influenza complications have killed 17 U.S. children during the current influenza season; CDC issues related talking points
  2. Influenza activity now widespread in 27 states; CDC tells those who are sick how to take care of themselves
  3. Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--through the spring months
  4. IAC's Video of the Week introduces the Vaccines For Teens campaign and includes a PSA by the Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill
  5. IAC updates its standing orders for administering PCV to children and for administering PPSV to children and teens
  6. National Immunization Conference opens in Dallas on March 30; save $25 by registering by March 13
  7. March 12 "Current Issues in Immunization" net conference to focus on vaccine storage and handling
  8. MMWR article reports on the completeness and timeliness of reporting on meningococcal disease in Maine during 2001-06
  9. MMWR notifies readers about the availability of a new Power Point course, Public Health Law 101
  10. Scientists identify lab-made proteins that neutralize multiple strains of seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses
  11. World Vaccine Congress scheduled for April 20-23 in Washington, DC
 
Abbreviations
AAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians; AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics; ACIP, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; AMA, American Medical Association; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; FDA, Food and Drug Administration; IAC, Immunization Action Coalition; MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; NCIRD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; NIVS, National Influenza Vaccine Summit; VIS, Vaccine Information Statement; VPD, vaccine-preventable disease; WHO, World Health Organization.
  
Issue 783: March 2, 2009
1.  Influenza complications have killed 17 U.S. children during the current influenza season; CDC issues related talking points

The CDC's FluView influenza surveillance report for the week ending February 21 states: "Since September 28, 2008, CDC has received 17 reports of influenza-associated pediatric deaths that occurred during the current season." In light of this, CDC recently issued a resource for clinicians, "Talking Points: Deaths in Children from Influenza Complications."

The pace of pediatric deaths has increased markedly, with eight deaths reported in the week between February 14 and February 21. The talking points refer to nine pediatric deaths; that figure was the number reported to CDC as of February 14.

The three-page talking points document discusses the causes of death, influenza vaccination recommendations, the two types of influenza vaccine available for children and adolescents, pediatric mortality from influenza since the 2003-04 influenza season, additional strategies for reducing risk for influenza, use of antiviral medications, and influenza pediatric mortality reporting requirements.

To access the talking points, go to:
http://www.preventinfluenza.org/media/Pediatric_Deaths_209.pdf

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2 Influenza activity now widespread in 27 states; CDC tells those who are sick how to take care of themselves

It was slow to put in an appearance, but influenza is definitely here. In the week ending February 21, 27 states reported having widespread influenza activity, which means that at least half of the regions within each state reported having recent laboratory-confirmed influenza AND an influenza outbreak or an increase in cases of influenza-like illness.

Given the increase in influenza activity, CDC's web page of information for the public is timely and welcome. Titled "Taking Care of Yourself: What to Do if You Get Sick with Flu," the web page offers the public information on flu symptoms, antiviral drugs, what to do if you get sick, and emergency warning signs. The sections If You Get Sick and Emergency Warning Signs are reprinted below.

As the video "Why Flu Vaccination Matters: Personal Stories from Families Affected by Flu" graphically shows, healthy children can become fatally ill from influenza very quickly. It is important that providers, parents, and caregivers know the emergency warning signs that indicate that a child needs immediate medical attention. (A link to the six-minute video is given at the end of this IAC Express article.)


IF YOU GET SICK
Most healthy people recover from the flu without complications. If you get the flu
  • Stay home from work or school.
  • Get lots of rest, drink plenty of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
  • There are over-the-counter (OTC) medications to relieve the symptoms of the flu (but never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever).
  • Remember that serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions, and young children.
  • Consult your doctor early on for the best treatment, but also be aware of emergency warning signs that require urgent medical attention.

EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNS
Seek emergency medical care if you or someone you know is having any of following warning signs discussed below.

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Seek emergency medical care if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs above.


To access "Taking Care of Yourself: What to Do if You Get Sick with Flu," go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm

To access the video "Why Flu Vaccination Matters: Personal Stories from Families Affected by Flu," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/cdcflu

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3 Important: Be sure to give influenza vaccine throughout the influenza season--through the spring months

Influenza activity is increasing, and yearly vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its complications. It is important to continue vaccinating into the spring months. The supply of influenza vaccine is robust; if you run out of vaccine in your work setting, please place another order.

For abundant information about influenza vaccination, visit the following two websites often. They are continually updated with the latest resources:

The National Influenza Vaccine Summit website at
http://www.preventinfluenza.org

CDC's Seasonal Flu web section at http://www.cdc.gov/flu

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4 IAC's Video of the Week introduces the Vaccines For Teens campaign and includes a PSA by the Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill

IAC encourages IAC Express readers to watch a three-minute video, which was filmed at the kick-off press conference for the Vaccines for Teens campaign. Sponsored by the National Basketball Association, Women's National Basketball Association, and Society for Adolescent Medicine, the multimedia campaign is designed to educate teens and their parents about the importance of getting vaccinated.

The video begins with bacterial meningitis survivor John Kach's riveting account of his bout with the disease and his strong endorsement for adolescent immunization. It finishes with a 20-second public service announcement (PSA) featuring Phoenix Suns' guard Grant Hill, campaign spokesperson for Vaccines for Teens. The PSA had its debut on ESPN at the February 27 game between the Suns and Detroit Pistons. A direct link to the PSA is given at the end of this IAC Express article.

The video will be available on the home page of IAC's website through March 8. To access it, go to: http://www.immunize.org and click on the image under the words Video of the Week, which you'll find toward the top of the page. It may take a few moments for the video to begin playing; please be patient!

Remember to bookmark IAC's home page to view a new video every Monday. While you're at our home page, we encourage you to browse around--you're sure to find resources and information that will enhance your practice's immunization delivery.

To view IAC's video collection, go to:
http://www.vaccineinformation.org/video

Visit the Vaccines for Teens website at
http://www.vaccinesforteens.net

To access the Grant Hill PSA, go to: http://www.nba.com/nba_cares/vaccinesforteens.html Scroll down to the box titled Related Items and click on the link titled Video: Watch the PSA.

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5 IAC updates its standing orders for administering PCV to children and for administering PPSV to children and teens

IAC recently updated its "Standing Orders for Administering Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine to Children" and its "Standing Orders for Administering Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine to Children & Teens." On both pieces, information concerning needle length and injection site was extensively revised. In addition, on "Standing Orders for Administering Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine to Children & Teens," the abbreviation for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine was changed from PPV to PPSV throughout.

To access the revised "Standing Orders for Administering Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine to Children," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3086.pdf

To access the revised "Standing Orders for Administering Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine to Children & Teens," go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3075a.pdf

To access a table with links to all IAC's standing orders protocols for vaccine administration and medical management of vaccine reactions, as well as standing orders for newborn-nursery hepatitis B vaccination, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/standingorders

IAC's Print Materials web section offers healthcare professionals and the public approximately 250 FREE English-language materials (many also available in translation), which we encourage website users to print out, copy, and distribute widely. To access all of IAC's free print materials, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/printmaterials

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6 National Immunization Conference opens in Dallas on March 30; save $25 by registering by March 13

With the National Immunization Conference starting in less than a month, it's time for likely attendees to be sure they're registered and to fine-tune their plans. The conference will be held in Dallas from March 30-April 2.

The conference program is broad, offering plenary sessions and workshops on numerous topics. To view the draft conference agenda, which includes online access to many abstracts, go to:
http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2009/webprogram/meeting.html

The registration fee is $250 from now through March 13; it jumps to $275 after March 13. For registration information and online registration, go to: http://conferences.taskforce.org/nic09

For comprehensive conference information, visit the main conference web section at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/nic

For additional information, contact the Conference Planning Team at (404) 639-8225 or nipnic@cdc.gov

To plan some fun in Dallas during the conference, visit http://www.visitdallas.com

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7 March 12 "Current Issues in Immunization" net conference to focus on vaccine storage and handling

The next "Current Issues in Immunization" net conference will be held on March 12 from noon to 1PM ET. It will feature a presentation on vaccine storage and handling, given by NCIRD nurse educator Donna L. Weaver, MN, RN. An additional topic will also be discussed; it has not yet been announced. The net conference moderator is NCIRD medical epidemiologist Andrew T. Kroger, MD, MPH.

Registration is limited and will close on March 11 or when the course is full. To register, go to:
http://www2.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/ciinc

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8 MMWR article reports on the completeness and timeliness of reporting on meningococcal disease in Maine during 2001-06

CDC published "Completeness and Timeliness of Reporting of Meningococcal Disease--Maine, 2001-2006" in the February 27 issue of MMWR. A summary made available to the press is reprinted below in its entirety.


Disease surveillance efforts have achieved near complete reporting of meningococcal disease in Maine, however timeliness of reporting is sometimes suboptimal. The ability of health departments to identify close contacts of individuals with meningococcal disease and provide chemoprophylaxis is dependent on the completeness and timeliness of disease reporting. Using public health surveillance data and hospital discharge data, this article examined that the completeness of reporting of meningococcal disease in Maine from 2001-2006 was 98 percent and that 56 percent of cases were reported within one day of hospitalization. Efforts should be made to insure that completeness of reporting remains high and that timeliness improves.


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the article, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5807a3.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5807.pdf

To receive a FREE electronic subscription to MMWR (which includes new ACIP recommendations), go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwrsubscribe.html

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9 MMWR notifies readers about the availability of a new Power Point course, Public Health Law 101

CDC published "Notice to Readers: Public Health Law 101" in the February 27 issue of MMWR. The notice is reprinted below in its entirety.


CDC's Public Health Law Program has developed "Public Health Law 101," a new foundational course on public health law, as a learning resource for public health practitioners, students, and others. The course comprises nine slide lecture units for delivery to health departments by legal counsel and other persons trained in law. The slide units can be downloaded free of charge from the Public Health Law Program's website at http://www2a.cdc.gov/phlp/phl101


To access a web-text (HTML) version of the notice, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5807a4.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this issue of MMWR, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5807.pdf

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10.  Scientists identify lab-made proteins that neutralize multiple strains of seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses

On February 22, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) issued a press release titled "Scientists Identify Lab-Made Proteins that Neutralize Multiple Strains of Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Viruses." A portion of the press release is reprinted below.


Scientists have identified a small family of lab-made proteins that neutralize a broad range of influenza A viruses, including the H5N1 avian virus, the 1918 pandemic influenza virus and seasonal H1N1 flu viruses. These human monoclonal antibodies, identical infection-fighting proteins derived from the same cell lineage, also were found to protect mice from illness caused by H5N1 and other influenza A viruses. Because large quantities of monoclonal antibodies can be made relatively quickly, after more testing, these influenza-specific monoclonal antibodies potentially could be used in combination with antiviral drugs to prevent or treat the flu during an influenza outbreak or pandemic.

A report describing the research, supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appears online today in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. . . .

"This is an elegant research finding that holds considerable promise for further development into a medical tool to treat and prevent seasonal as well as pandemic influenza," notes NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD. "In the event of an influenza pandemic, human monoclonal antibodies could be an important adjunct to antiviral drugs to contain the outbreak until a vaccine becomes available." . . . .

To access the complete press release, go to:
http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2009/flu_mab.htm

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11.  World Vaccine Congress scheduled for April 20-23 in Washington, DC

The World Vaccine Congress will be held in Washington, DC, on April 20-23. For complete details, a conference brochure, and online registration, visit the conference website at http://www.terrapinn.com/2009/wvc_DC

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