Issue Number 107            August 30, 1999


  1. CDC publishes article about health intervention for U.S.-bound Kosovar refugees
  2. CDC publishes update on global wild poliovirus type 2 eradication
  3. Remember to register for CDC's satellite broadcast, "Immunization Update," Sept. 16, 1999


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August 27, 1999

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article entitled "Health Status of and Intervention for U.S.-Bound Kosova Refugees -- Fort Dix, New Jersey, May-July 1999" in the August 27, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

Featured in this MMWR article is the table, "Recommended vaccinations for Kosovar refugees resettling in the United States - 1999." The table lists the vaccines recommended for specific age groups of Kosovar refugees.

As part of an accelerated effort to prevent disease, immunizations were offered at Fort Dix because of reports of inadequate vaccination programs in Kosovo during the 2 years preceding the mass exodus. According to the article, "approximately 10,600 vaccines were administered to refugees from a set of recommended vaccines (unless vaccination documentation was provided)."

The fact that the refugees were generally in good health underscores the need for a tailored intervention program targeted at the health conditions of the specific population. The editorial note states: "The health status of refugee populations varies considerably depending on 1) the demographics of the migrating population; 2) the prevalence of health conditions and quality of health services before displacement and in the country of first refuge; 3) the length of time the population was deprived of health care; and 4) the harshness of their living conditions during displacement. Despite these variations, screening for U.S. immigration purposes has been the same for all refugee and immigrant populations. To provide more timely interventions, CDC is tailoring health assessments to specific migrating populations."

To read the text version of the entire MMWR article, and to download Table 1 ("Recommended Vaccinations for Kosovar Refugees Resettling in the United States 1999"), please click here:

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article two below.

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August 27, 1999

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published "Progress Toward the Global Interruption of Wild Poliovirus Type 2 Transmission, 1999" in the August 27, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

Since 1988, when the World Health Assembly resolved to eradicate poliomyelitis globally by the year 2000, substantial progress has been made in attaining this goal. This report summarizes progress toward interrupting  transmission of wild poliovirus type 2, which appears to be on the threshold of extinction.

According to the MMWR article, "During the prevaccine era, the three poliovirus serotypes were distributed worldwide... By the mid-1960s, the incidence of cases associated with wild poliovirus type 2 had declined rapidly in areas with high vaccination coverage rates... The last indigenous wild poliovirus type 2 isolates were found in Egypt in 1990, in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1997, and in Nigeria in 1998. Although no wild poliovirus type 2 isolates have been reported from Africa for >1 year, inadequate surveillance  in some African countries, particularly Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia, makes these data difficult to interpret. By 1999, the only known reservoir for wild type 2 polioviruses was in the Ganges valley of India."

The editorial note concludes: "Within the next year the only type 2 polioviruses found in nature probably will be OPV-derived. However, intensification of vaccination and surveillance activities will be needed to meet the 2000 goal for the eradication of all wild poliovirus serotypes."

To obtain the complete text version of this MMWR article, click here:

HOW TO OBTAIN A FREE ELECTRONIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MMWR To obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR (delivered weekly), go to the MMWR website and sign up. When you sign up, you will also automatically begin to receive all new ACIP statements which are published as MMWR's  "Recommendations and Reports." To go to the MMWR website, click here:

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August 30, 1999

You still have time to register! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will sponsor "Immunization Update," a live, interactive, satellite videoconference on September 16, 1999. The broadcast will provide the most  current information available in the constantly changing field of immunization. Continuing education credits will be offered for a variety of professions.

Topics covered will include new recommendations for polio vaccination in the United States, expanded recommendations for the use of hepatitis A vaccine, characteristics and use of Lyme disease vaccine, and recent vaccine safety  issues. Each 2.5 hour broadcast will feature a question and answer session in which participants nationwide can interact with the course instructors via toll-free telephone lines.

William L. Atkinson, MD, MPH, and Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH, medical epidemiologists at the National Immunization Program, will host the broadcast along with other guest experts from CDC.

Two broadcasts of "Immunization Update" are schedule on September 16th, 1999. The first broadcast will run from 9:00-11:30 a.m. (ET), and the second from 12:00-2:30 p.m. (ET).

For more information, call 888-232-3299 and request fax document #130022, or click here:

To register for the course, or to find out viewing locations, contact your state immunization program manager. Find his/her phone number at:

About IZ Express

IZ Express is supported in part by Grant No. 1NH23IP922654 from CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Its contents are solely the responsibility of and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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Editorial Information

  • Editor-in-Chief
    Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
  • Managing Editor
    John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD
  • Associate Editor
    Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH
  • Writer/Publication Coordinator
    Taryn Chapman, MS
    Courtnay Londo, MA
  • Style and Copy Editor
    Marian Deegan, JD
  • Web Edition Managers
    Arkady Shakhnovich
    Jermaine Royes
  • Contributing Writer
    Laurel H. Wood, MPA
  • Technical Reviewer
    Kayla Ohlde

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