Issue Number 263            July 27, 2001


  1. CDC's National Hepatitis C Prevention Strategy is now online
  2. NPI to hold Congressional Educational Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol August 2
  3. August is National Immunization Awareness Month
  4. NPI offers a new reference guide on vaccines and vaccine safety 
  5. GAVI Immunization Advocacy Resource Kit now available online!
  6. CDC's National Immunization Program releases Influenza Vaccine Bulletin #5


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July 27, 2001

Visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to obtain a copy of the National Hepatitis C Prevention Strategy. Designed to protect the public's health, this strategy outlines guidelines for prevention and control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Its goals are to lower the  incidence of acute hepatitis C in the United States and to reduce the disease burden from chronic HCV infection.

According to the executive summary of the National Hepatitis C Prevention Strategy, its principle components are as follow:

  • education of health care and public health professionals to improve the identification of persons at risk for HCV infection and ensure appropriate counseling, diagnosis, medical management, and treatment;
  • education of the public and persons at risk for infection about risk factors for HCV transmission, and the need for testing and medical evaluation;
  • clinical and public health activities to identify, counsel, and test persons at risk for HCV infection, and medical evaluation or referral for those found to be infected;
  • outreach and community-based programs to prevent practices that put people at risk for HCV infection, and to identify persons who need to get tested;
  • surveillance to monitor acute and chronic disease trends and evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and medical care activities; and
  • research to better guide prevention efforts.

To obtain a copy of this strategy, visit

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July 27, 2001

The National Partnership for Immunization (NPI), is hosting a Congressional  Educational Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol, Room HC-6, on August 2, 2001, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. 

"Immunization: Preventing Disease Across the Lifespan, Across America" will  relay to policymakers the importance of achieving and maintaining high immunization coverage rates among people of all ages in the U.S. The program will call attention to the fact that people with chronic diseases, such as asthma or diabetes, are at high risk for developing vaccine-preventable diseases. The new state-by-state immunization coverage rates will also be announced.

Guest speakers include Walter Orenstein, MD, Assistant Surgeon General and Director of CDC's National Immunization Program (NIP); Patsy Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), Director of the Children's Immunization Project, Infectious Disease Department, Minnesota Children's Hospitals and Clinics; Dennis Brooks, MD, National Medical Association and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; and David Neumann, PhD, Director, National Partnership for Immunization.

For more information on the Congressional Educational Breakfast, contact Maureen Alt at or by telephone at (301) 656-0003 x16.

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July 27, 2001

NPI has designated August as National Immunization Awareness Month in an effort to increase awareness about immunization for all ages. This year's theme, Are You Up to Date? Vaccinate!, is intended to help focus public attention on immunization as the new school year and the influenza season  approach. The week will be officially kicked off August 1 with an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., where NPI will debut its National Recognition Program designed to highlight innovation in immunization services and recognize individuals and groups for promoting the importance of immunization across the lifespan.

NPI has developed a promotional kit for National Immunization Awareness Month. It includes recommendations, immunization information, and suggested activities for involving families, public health professionals, employers, and health care providers in efforts to raise immunization rates throughout the United States.

To obtain a copy of the promotional kit or for more information, contact Dena Wichansky at Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies at

Copies of the consumer materials available in the promotional kit are available free online at

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July 27, 2001

NPI has announced the availability of its new "Reference Guide on Vaccines and Vaccine Safety." This guide explains why vaccines are an integral part of  U.S. public health programs and summarizes the vaccine studies that have provided the safety data necessary for the licensure of each vaccine and the studies that continue to assess each vaccine's safety during its use by the public.

Targeted to the media, public health officials, and others interested in vaccines and their safety, the guidebook includes information on how vaccines work, how they are regulated, post-licensure surveillance, recommended vaccines, safety issues, and a glossary.

To obtain a copy of the reference guide, visit:

For further information, contact Maureen Alt at

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July 27, 2001

The GAVI Immunization Advocacy Resource Kit is a collection of documents, video clips, and computer presentations intended to help health professionals explain and advocate for stronger immunization programs.

The kit includes materials on GAVI and The Vaccine Fund, information on vaccines and immunization, resources for immunization advocacy and communications, information on injection safety, and a helpful Internet immunization resource list.

Most of the documents in the kit are available online in camera-ready (PDF) format. To obtain a copy, go to one of the following websites:

The Gates Children's Vaccine Program:

A limited number of hard copies of the kit are available in English, French, or Spanish on a first-come, first-served basis by filling out the request form available online at:

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July 27, 2001

On July 27, 2001, the National Immunization Program issued the fifth in a series of influenza vaccine bulletins designed to update health professionals  on the production, distribution, and administration of influenza vaccine for the 2001-2002 influenza season. The bulletin is reprinted below in its entirety.


July 27, 2001

The National Immunization Program (NIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is publishing and distributing periodic bulletins to update partners about recent developments related to the production, distribution and administration of influenza vaccine for the 2001-2002 influenza season. All recipients of this bulletin are encouraged to distribute each issue widely to colleagues, members and constituents. 


Vaccine manufacturers continue to project that 77.1 million doses of influenza vaccine will be distributed this season. Some delays in distribution are still anticipated.

  • Projected distribution of influenza vaccine for 2001, based on aggregate manufacturers' estimates as of July 10, is 77.1 million doses, which is greater than the number of doses available in 2000 and comparable with 1999. Compared to 1999 and other previous years, when most of the total vaccine supply was distributed by the end of October, distribution of a significant portion of this year's total supply will extend into November and December.

Manufacturers currently are projecting that the final 27.3 million doses of the total supply will be distributed in November and December 2001. Officials at FDA and CDC stress that these projections from manufacturers are  preliminary and could change as the season progresses.


The optimal time to vaccinate persons in groups at high risk is in October and November. To avoid missed opportunities, vaccine also should be offered to high-risk persons when they are seen for routine care or are hospitalized in September, if vaccine is available. (ACIP recommendations--MMWR 2001:50(no. RR-4), MMWR 2001; 50:582-585)

  • High-risk patients should be reminded of the importance of their receiving influenza immunization and encouraged to come into the office for a vaccination-only visit. As more vaccine becomes available in November and December, providers also should offer vaccine to unvaccinated lower-risk patients, such as contacts of high-risk persons, healthy persons 50-64 years of age and any other persons wanting to reduce their risk for influenza. Providers should continue to vaccinate their patients even after influenza activity is detected in the community, as long as vaccine is available. In recent years, peak influenza activity has not occurred until late December through early March. Consequently, vaccine administered after November will be beneficial in most influenza seasons.
  • Patients should be advised that it may take as long as two weeks after vaccine administration to develop sufficient antibody to be protected from the virus and that other viruses can cause similar symptoms as influenza.


CDC is expanding communication activities for this year's influenza season.

  • CDC is beginning development of printed materials on influenza that should be available in mid-September. An informal assessment of partners and grantees is currently underway to help determine the types of materials needed for public information/education.
  • A mass media campaign which will include English and Spanish public service announcements, video news releases and audio news releases is scheduled to begin in September. Feature stories on influenza and radio spots are in development and will be distributed to hundreds of print and radio media across the United States in September. Media teleconferences and a satellite broadcast on influenza also are planned for this year's influenza season.
  • CDC is participating in press conferences in association with National Immunization Awareness Month in August and National Adult Immunization Awareness Week in October. Influenza issues will be discussed during these press conferences.
  • The redesigned CDC influenza website will be expanded in August to include a section for the public. Sections for health care providers and the media have already been developed and posted at Within a few days, a list of state influenza vaccine contacts will be available. Other materials will be added throughout the season.


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