200            October 10, 2000


  1. CDC publishes ACIP recommendation on preventing pneumococcal disease among infants and young children
  2. Read the ACIP resolution for pneumococcal vaccine coverage under the Vaccines For Children program
  3. New resource! Vaccine Education Center launches website
  4. Learn about childhood immunization and earn continuing education units


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October 10, 2000

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a statement titled "Preventing Pneumococcal Disease Among Infants and Young Children: Recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)" in the October 6, 2000, issue of the "MMWR Recommendations and Reports" (vol. 49, no. RR-09).

This 55-page report includes background on pneumococcal infection in children, discussion of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), recommendations for use of PCV7, and suggestions for areas of future research, as well as a continuing education opportunity.

The MMWR summary of the ACIP statement follows. Make sure you obtain the full statement (links are provided following the summary), as well as the Vaccines For Children resolution discussed in this issue of IAC EXPRESS, story two.



In February 2000, a 7-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccine (Prevnar, marketed by Wyeth Lederle Vaccines) was licensed for use among infants and young children. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that the vaccine be used for all children aged 2-23 months and for children aged 24-59 months who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease (e.g., children with sickle cell disease, human immunodeficiency virus infection, and other immunocompromising or chronic medical conditions). ACIP also recommends that the vaccine be considered for all other children aged 24-59 months, with priority given to a) children aged 24-35 months, b) children who are of Alaska Native, American Indian, and African-American descent, and c) children who attend group day care centers. This report includes ACIP's recommended vaccination schedule for infants at ages 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months. This report also includes a pneumococcal vaccination schedule for infants and young children who are beginning their vaccination series at an older age and for those who missed doses. In addition, this report updates earlier recommendations for use of 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine among children aged 2 years or older. Among children aged 24-59 months for whom polysaccharide vaccine is already recommended, ACIP recommends vaccination with the new conjugate vaccine followed, [at least] 2 months later, by 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine. Conjugate vaccine has not been studied sufficiently among older children or adults to make recommendations for its use among persons aged 5 years or older. Persons aged 5 years or older who are at increased risk for serious pneumococcal disease should continue to receive 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine in accordance with previous ACIP recommendations.


To view the complete text of "Preventing Pneumococcal Disease Among Infants and Young Children: Recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)" online in text (HTML) format, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr4909a1.htm

To obtain a camera-ready copy (PDF format) of the entire ACIP statement, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr4909.pdf

For copies of the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in English or Spanish, go to: http://www.immunize.org/vis/#pneumococcal2

For copies of the VIS for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) in nine languages, go to: http://www.immunize.org/vis/#pneumococcal

To find out more about Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) and the federal requirements for their use, visit: http://www.immunize.org/vis/

To obtain a free electronic subscription to the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" (MMWR), visit CDC's MMWR website listed below. Select "Free MMWR Subscription" from the menu at the left of the screen. Once you have submitted the required information, weekly issues of the MMWR and all new ACIP statements (published as MMWR's "Recommendations and Reports") will automatically arrive in your e-mail box. To go to the MMWR website, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/

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October 10, 2000

The Vaccines For Children (VFC) program posted the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices pneumococcal vaccine resolution on its website in August 2000. This resolution adds pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) to the Vaccines For Children program and consolidates the previous resolution regarding pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) into this same resolution.

The new resolution clarifies which children are eligible for pneumococcal vaccine (conjugate as well as polysaccharide) under the VFC program. Under this resolution, any child through the age of 59 months who is eligible for the VFC program may have access to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. (Details concerning eligibility for the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine under the VFC program are also available in this resolution.)

State Medicaid programs are required to make new vaccines available in accordance with ACIP recommendations within 90 days of publication of the ACIP statement for that particular vaccine. The ACIP statement for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was published on October 6, 2000. This means that pneumococcal conjugate vaccine should be covered by Medicaid for all participating VFC providers by January 5, 2001. 

According to Dean Mason, chief of the National Immunization Program's Program Support Branch, as of September 30, 2000, 42 of the nation's 64 immunization projects (which include states, territories, and large cities) have made PCV7 available through their VFC programs. Mason emphasized that all projects ordering PCV7 do not necessarily have full programs in place that meet all the VFC pneumococcal conjugate vaccine needs.

If PCV7 is not yet available in your state, check with your state health department to find out when the vaccine will be available for your VFC patients. For a list of phone numbers of state health department immunization program managers, go to: http://www.immunize.org/coordinators/ If PCV7 is not available through your state project by January 5, 2001, Medicaid will reimburse providers directly for PCV7 for VFC-eligible children after this date.

To view or download the new pneumococcal resolution and all other ACIP resolutions for VFC coverage, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vfc/acip.htm

VFC supports efforts to increase childhood immunization levels. Through VFC, federally purchased vaccines are made available to children 0-18 years of age who are enrolled in Medicaid, who lack health insurance, or are American Indian or Alaskan Native. In addition, children with health insurance that does not cover immunization may receive VFC vaccines at federally qualified health centers or rural health clinics.

To find out more about the Vaccines For Children program, visit CDC's VFC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vfc/ or contact your state VFC coordinator. For telephone numbers, go to: http://www.immunize.org/coordinators/

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October 10, 2000

The Vaccine Education Center has launched its new website at http://vaccine.chop.edu

A project of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Vaccine Education Center provides parents and health professionals with current and accurate information about childhood vaccines and the diseases they prevent. The director of the center is Paul A. Offit, MD, chief of the section of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital and internationally recognized expert on immunization.

Visitors to the website will find a helpful collection of clear, direct resources on vaccination. The site explores common concerns about vaccines; looks at 15 different vaccines and the diseases they prevent; and discusses vaccines for teenagers, adults, and travelers. One section looks at current immunization issues in the news, and "Vaccines at a Glance" discusses how vaccines are made, how and why they work, when they should be used and when they should not, who recommends vaccines, and more.

In addition to the website, the Vaccine Education Center provides educational materials and speaker programs. It offers pediatricians tear sheets titled "The Facts About Childhood Vaccines" that they can share with families in their practice who have questions about vaccines.

For further information, visit the website at: http://vaccine.chop.edu or contact the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, (215) 590-9990.

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October 10, 2000

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners (NAPNAP) has developed a 2000 edition of the workbook "Childhood Immunization: A Continuing Education Workbook for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in the United States." This free continuing education resource for nurses and nurse practitioners contains current immunization recommendations and information from recognized experts.

For a free copy of this workbook, call (212) 886-2266 and leave your name, mailing address, and phone number when prompted.

To obtain 2.5 contact hours of NAPNAP-approved continuing education units, complete the self-test at the back of the workbook and mail it to NAPNAP with a $12 processing fee by January 31, 2001. (This fee is waived for NAPNAP members.)

For questions about the content of the program or NAPNAP, please contact the organization at (877) 662-7627. You can visit NAPNAP's website at http://www.napnap.org

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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 Immunize.org and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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