Issue 1096: December 23, 2013

Happy holidays from all of us at IAC!

All of us at IAC wish you, our readers, a safe, happy, and relaxing holiday season. Because of the holiday schedule, we are publishing this abbreviated issue of IAC Express on Monday instead of Tuesday, and will not publish another issue until January 7.

In observance of the upcoming holidays, the IAC office will be closed on December 24 (Christmas Eve) and Wednesday, December 25 (Christmas), resuming normal business hours on December 26. Our office will also be closed on January 1 (New Year’s Day).

Happy holidays!

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CDC publishes guidance for HBV protection and postexposure management of healthcare personnel

On December 20, CDC published CDC Guidance for Evaluating Health-Care Personnel for Hepatitis B Virus Protection and for Administering Postexposure Management in MMWR Recommendations and Reports. The "Summary" section is reprinted below.

This report contains CDC guidance that augments the 2011 recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for evaluating hepatitis B protection among health-care personnel (HCP) and administering post-exposure prophylaxis. Explicit guidance is provided for persons working, training, or volunteering in health-care settings who have documented hepatitis B (HepB) vaccination years before hire or matriculation (e.g., when HepB vaccination was received as part of routine infant [recommended since 1991] or catch-up adolescent [recommended since 1995] vaccination).

In the United States, 2,890 cases of acute hepatitis B were reported to CDC in 2011, and an estimated 18,800 new cases of hepatitis B occurred after accounting for underreporting of cases and asymptomatic infection. Although the rate of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections have declined approximately 89% during 1990–2011, from 8.5 to 0.9 cases per 100,000 population in the United States, the risk for occupationally acquired HBV among HCP persists, largely from exposures to patients with chronic HBV infection.

ACIP recommends HepB vaccination for unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated HCP with reasonably anticipated risk for blood or body fluid exposure. ACIP also recommends that vaccinated HCP receive postvaccination serologic testing (antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen [anti-HBs]) 1–2 months after the final dose of vaccine is administered. Increasing numbers of HCP have received routine HepB vaccination either as infants (recommended since 1991) or as catch-up vaccination (recommended since 1995) in adolescence. HepB vaccination results in protective anti-HBs responses among approximately 95% of healthy-term infants. Certain institutions test vaccinated HCP by measuring anti-HBs upon hire or matriculation, even when anti-HBs testing occurs greater than 2 months after vaccination. This guidance can assist clinicians, occupational health and student health providers, infection-control specialists, hospital and health-care training program administrators, and others in selection of an approach for assessing HBV protection for vaccinated HCP. This report emphasizes the importance of administering HepB vaccination for all HCP, provides explicit guidance for evaluating hepatitis B protection among previously vaccinated HCP (particularly those who were vaccinated in infancy or adolescence), and clarifies recommendations for postexposure management of HCP exposed to blood or body fluids.

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Merck voluntarily recalls one lot of Gardasil HPV vaccine

On December 16, Merck informed CDC that it planned to implement a voluntary recall of one lot of Gardasil HPV vaccine due to the potential for a small number of vials to contain glass particles as a result of breakage during the manufacturing process. The affected lot is J007354. Merck estimates that approximately ten of the 743,360 vials in this lot could have glass particles in them. Vaccines from this lot were distributed between August 20, 2103, and October 9, 2013.

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Voices for Vaccines to host January 14 conference call featuring Dr. Paul Offit

Join Voices for Vaccines (VFV) by phone on January 14 at noon ET (9:00 a.m. PT) to discuss the latest news about immunizations and vaccine advocacy with Paul Offit, MD.

Dr. Offit is chief of Infectious Diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is also a professor of Pediatrics and of Vaccinology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Offit is the author of several books, including Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine and Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All. Dr. Offit generously volunteers his time to Voices for Vaccines as a member of its Scientific Advisory Board.

You must email VFV to register for the call.

Voices for Vaccines is a national organization of parents and others who are dedicated to raising the level of the voices of immunization supporters. VFV invites everyone who appreciates vaccines to join their organization. Please spread the word to your friends and colleagues! Back to top

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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ISSN 2771-8085

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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