251 June 8, 2001
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
- Minnesota Department of Health urges hospitals to resume
universal hepatitis B vaccination at birth
- CDC publishes update on influenza activity and the
composition of the 2001-02 influenza vaccine
- CDC offers new website for TTY users
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June 8, 2001
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH URGES HOSPITALS TO RESUME UNIVERSAL HEPATITIS B VACCINATION AT BIRTH
The following article "Resuming Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination at Birth" is
reprinted from the May 2001 issue of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) "Disease Control
Newsletter" (vol. 29, page 15).
During the past year, MDH investigated six instances in which Twin Cities metropolitan area hospitals missed
opportunities to give appropriate prophylaxis at birth to infants born to hepatitis B surface antigen
(HBsAg)-positive women. The interval between delivery and administration of the first dose of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine ranged
from 20 days to more than 2 months, leaving the infants vulnerable to transmission of HBV from their
mothers. Three of the six cases were due to errors in documentation. The mothers' positive hepatitis B test results were not
documented correctly in the infants' records, resulting in missed opportunities to administer hepatitis B
immune globulin (HBIG) and the first dose of HBV vaccine within 12 hours of birth.
Investigations of the three other cases indicated a lack of adherence to the
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for prevention of perinatal
hepatitis B. All three women had unknown HBsAg status upon admission for delivery, and the infants were not given HBV
vaccine or HBIG. In such instances, ACIP recommends a stat HBsAg test for the mother and HBV vaccine for the
infant within 12 hours of birth. HBIG should be administered as soon as possible or within 7 days if the mother's
test results are HBsAg-positive.
These types of medical errors can be prevented if birthing hospitals institute
universal policies for vaccinating all infants with HBV vaccine, regardless of
the mother's hepatitis B status. Such a policy is especially important in hospitals that serve populations at high risk for hepatitis
B. Following the development of thimerosal-free HBV vaccines, the American Academy of
Pediatrics and the U.S. Public Health Service recommended reinstituting universal
vaccination policies for neonates in hospitals that had discontinued such policies due to concerns about thimerosal.
For more information about prevention of perinatal hepatitis B, call the MDH
Immunization Hotline at (800) 657-3970 or visit our hepatitis website: http://www.health.state.mn.us/hepatitis
[This site includes information on viral hepatitis and vaccines, recommendations
regarding workplace exposure to viral hepatitis, surveillance data, and more.]
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June 8, 2001
CDC PUBLISHES UPDATE ON INFLUENZA ACTIVITY AND THE COMPOSITION OF THE 2001-02 INFLUENZA VACCINE
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article titled "Update: Influenza Activity--United States and Worldwide, 2000-01
Season, and Composition of the 2001-02 Influenza Vaccine" in the June 8, 2001, issue
of "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" (MMWR).
The article reports that "The Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee
(VRBPAC) recommended that the 2001-02 trivalent influenza vaccine for the United States contain
A/New Caledonia/20/99-like (H1N1), A/Moscow/10/99-like (H3N2), and B/Sichuan/379/99-like viruses. This recommendation was based
on antigenic analyses of recently isolated influenza viruses, epidemiologic data, and
postvaccination serologic studies in humans."
Summarizing influenza activity during the past influenza season, the Editorial
Note states: "Influenza A (H1N1) and B viruses co-circulated in the United States and worldwide
during the 2000-01 influenza season. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses were isolated sporadically and no country reported
widespread activity as a result of influenza A (H3N2) viruses. Seasons in which influenza A (H1N1) and/or
influenza B viruses predominate typically have been less severe than seasons in which influenza A (H3N2) viruses
circulate widely. The level of influenza activity reported this season was consistent with a number of other A (H1N1)
and B predominant years."
To obtain the full text of this article online, go to:
HOW TO OBTAIN A FREE ELECTRONIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MMWR:
To obtain a free electronic subscription to the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report" (MMWR), visit CDC's MMWR website at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr
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 arrive automatically by e-mail.
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June 8, 2001
CDC OFFERS NEW WEBSITE FOR TTY USERS
CDC's National Immunization Information Hotline now offers a new website for
TTY users. Visitors to the site can view videotaped American Sign Language answers to questions about
vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases that are most frequently asked by people calling the TTY Service Hotline.
Go to: http://www.vaccines.ashastd.org/ttyservice.html
and click on "FAQ" to view the video clips or text answers to frequently asked questions.
The CDC National Immunization Information Hotline TTY Service is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10
p.m., Eastern Time. The hotline provides information on a variety of topics such as vaccine safety,
immunization recommendations, and U.S. immunization policy. The TTY staff can answer questions about vaccine-preventable diseases,
refer callers to useful websites and other resources, and send publications about vaccines.
The TTY staff is trained in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL).
To reach the TTY hotline, call (800) 243-7889.
CDC's National Immunization Information Hotline number is (800) 232-2522. For inquiries in Spanish, call (800) 232-0233.