Issue Number 334            September 3, 2002


  1. Federal employees now can contribute to IAC through Combined Federal Campaign using Agency #9887
  2. New translation! Influenza VIS for 2002-2003 season in Spanish
  3. Help close the health gap on "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" September 24
  4. Calling all IZ coalitions: Please register with IAC's new "IZ Coalitions" website now
  5. Annual immunization registry survey shows increasing participation
  6. Immunization video narrated by young mom empowers new parents with knowledge
  7. CDC reports on current measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia
  8. CDC publishes update on polio eradication in Angola


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September 3, 2002

We are proud to announce that, as of this fall, 2002, IAC has met the Combined Federal Campaign's (CFC's) strict eligibility criteria and been designated a national/international organization approved to receive CFC contributions from any federal or military employee. As far as we know, IAC is the only national or international approved organization dedicated to raising immunization rates.

Every fall, federal and military employees have a 6-week period available to them at work during which they may contribute to the CFC. The six-week period is chosen by each local campaign and always runs between September 1 and December 15. Employees may choose to make contributions to charities of their choice by filling out pledge cards that designate payroll deductions to be made beginning the next January 1 and continuing through December 15. Alternatively, cash or check contributions may also be made. A local volunteer is always available for providing employees with pledge cards, informational brochures, and assistance. Many organizations also have kick-off events or fairs featuring presentations and materials about CFC-approved charities.

To contribute to IAC, an employee may enter IAC's four-digit agency code (9887) and a dollar amount on the 2002 CFC pledge card, a reproduction of which can be seen at The pledge card also has check boxes allowing employees to have their names and contact information forwarded to the charity.

IAC is a well-run organization that spends its funds efficiently. Our IRS Form 990 is available online at for those who are interested. Comments on the work of IAC can be read at

CFC, administered by the Office of Personnel Management in Washington D.C., operates under the following mission statement: To promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the  quality of life for all. During the 2001 campaign, over 1.5 million workers contributed $241.6 million with 76% of contributing employees choosing to use payroll deduction. For more information on CFC, go to:

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September 3, 2002

The Influenza Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) for the 2002-2003 season is now available in Spanish on the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) website, just in time for fall vaccinations. IAC  gratefully acknowledges the California Department of Health for providing the Spanish translation.

To obtain a copy of the current Influenza VIS in Spanish, go to:

To obtain a copy of the current Influenza VIS in English, go to:

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September 3, 2002

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and ABC Radio have joined forces this year to improve health and health care among communities of color in a campaign called "Closing the Health Gap." One of six specific health areas identified for improvement is immunization.

This month, on Tuesday, September 24, the campaign is raising awareness of the single, most effective way to begin to close the health gap: get more people to visit a doctor for preventive care and  health screenings. The day has been dubbed "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" and is co-chaired by radio personality Tom Joyner and athlete Earwin "Magic" Johnson. Prior to and on September 24, approximately 240 radio stations will air health messages pertaining to the health gap and offer tips on healthy living--including, of course, making an appointment to visit a health professional. Organizations and communities across the country are planning health fairs, local media outreach, and many other tie-in activities.

According to the immunizations page on the "Closing the Health Gap" website:

"One out of four African-American children aged 19-35 months old did not receive recommended vaccinations in 1999. About 47 percent of elderly African-Americans received the flu vaccine in 1998, compared to 66 percent of elderly whites. About 26 percent of elderly African-Americans received a pneumonia vaccine in 1998, compared to 50 percent of elderly whites."

To learn more about "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day," go to:

To see the components of the "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" community action tool kit, all of which can be downloaded for free, go to:

To learn more about the "Closing the Health Gap" campaign, go to:

If you have questions, contact the DHHS Office of Minority Health Resource Center by phone at (800) 444-6472 or by email at

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September 3, 2002

In June, IAC EXPRESS announced the new "Immunization Coalitions" website--searchable by name or geographic area--and already 89 coalitions are registered in the online database.

For the first time, immunization coalitions--organizations working collaboratively to increase immunization rates in their communities or regions--can use the power of the Internet to connect with each other. Local, state, regional, national, and international coalitions now can trade ideas more easily. Coalitions centered on specific vaccines or age groups can form partnerships more quickly.

IAC is committed to maintaining this new site regularly. We will periodically remind registered coalitions to update their data so that information will be current and accurate--in other words, reliable--for everybody. Make sure your immunization coalition is listed in the "IZ Coalitions" database.

To search the Immunization Coalitions website, or to register your coalition with the website database, go to:

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September 3, 2002

On August 30, 2002, CDC published "Immunization Registry Progress--United States, 2002" in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The article says that data from the 2001 Immunization  Registry Annual Report "indicate that approximately half of U.S. children aged <6 years are participating in a registry." The goal for the year 2010 is 95 percent participation.

Information about immunization registries is available from CDC at:

To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:

To obtain a free electronic subscription to the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" (MMWR), visit CDC's MMWR website at: 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 email.

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September 3, 2002

Only 13 minutes long, the videotape "Cristina Learns about Immunizations" is a great educational tool for use in maternity or pediatric waiting rooms or even special healthy-baby classes. The video depicts a young Latina mother of two taking her infant by bus to a Chicago clinic for shots and remembering all that she learned about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases the first time around with her approximately 5-year-old son. Having misplaced the boy's immunization records in a stack of family photographs, she learns the hard way that if those records are not available for school-entry proof of immunization, new copies must be obtained.

In the video, narrated in a friendly, approachable style by "Cristina," parental responsibility for children's immunizations is emphasized. Cristina asks clinic staff lots of questions and takes obvious pride in her ability to provide good preventive medical care for her children. She refers to the "fussing" that may follow some vaccinations, saying that it can be assuaged with "a mother's touch." (The children's father makes an appearance at the end of the video.) A list of emergency contacts is posted by the family's phone for use in the unlikely event of a severe adverse reaction.

"Cristina Learns about Immunizations" is produced by KNB Productions and United Learning in both English and Spanish. The video costs $89 and comes with a facilitator's guide that includes instructional notes, discussion questions, and the script of the video's narration. A 30-day free preview of the video is offered.

For more information, contact United Learning by phone at (800) 323-9084, fax at (847) 328-6706, or email at

To order online, go to:

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September 3, 2002

On August 30, 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published "Outbreak of Measles--Venezuela and Colombia, 2001-2002" in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). According to the article, in 2001 measles cases were at a record low in the Region of the Americas until the month of August, when an outbreak was introduced in Venezuela by a traveler returning from Europe. As of July 2002, the number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases in Venezuela was 2,416, in part because of a 26 percent decrease in measles vaccination coverage in the country in 2001, the article states.

The disease spread to neighboring Colombia in 2002, where the number of confirmed cases as of July was 68, according to the article. The most affected groups by age have been children under age 5 and young adults in their twenties.

The Editorial Note to the article reads as follows, excluding footnotes:


The reintroduction of measles and its subsequent transmission in Venezuela and exportation to Colombia indicates that, until global measles eradication is achieved, countries in the Region of the Americas are vulnerable to importations. However, these importations should not result in sustained measles transmission if vaccination coverage is maintained at high levels (>95%) in all municipalities and follow-up campaigns are conducted on time.

Low vaccination coverage in Venezuela and deficiencies in surveillance contributed to the outbreak. The first report of a case was delayed for approximately 1 month, sufficient time for the occurrence of several generations of transmission and spread to other areas.

Colombia initiated aggressive vaccination activities in 2001 when Venezuela began reporting cases. The limited transmission in Colombia suggests that efforts to prevent a large outbreak might have been successful. However, because of civil conflict in several areas, confirming the lack of virus transmission was difficult. In addition, a contributing factor to lower transmission in Colombia might have been the higher measles coverage rates before the outbreak compared with Venezuela.

Measures to control measles outbreaks in the Region of the Americas include 1) partnerships with local governments to secure financial and logistical resources, 2) rapid identification and vaccination of groups at high risk (e.g., health-care workers, migrants, and tourist industry personnel), 3) house-to-house monitoring of vaccination coverage, 4) expansion of the target group to older ages if incidence is high in these age cohorts, and 5) heightened surveillance in all regions of the country.


To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:

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September 3, 2002

On August 30, 2002, CDC published "Progress Toward
Poliomyelitis Eradication--Angola, January 1998-June 2002" in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). According to the article, "Angola began polio eradication activities in 1996."

The MMWR Synopsis of the article reads as follows:


The estimated global occurrence of poliomyelitis has decreased more than 99 percent since 1988, when the World Health Assembly resolved to eradicate polio worldwide. Today, Angola is one of only 12 countries in the world where polio has been detected in the last year. Although polio eradication efforts have been hampered by almost three decades of civil war, the number of polio cases in Angola have decreased substantially since 1998. In 1999, one of the largest reported outbreaks of polio  occurred in Angola, affecting over 1100 children. In 2001, one case was detected in Angola, and three cases occurred in unvaccinated Angolan refugees living in nearby Zambia. To date in 2002, two additional cases have been detected in Angolan refugees in Zambia and no wild polio virus has been isolated in Angola. The recent cessation of hostilities on April 4, 2002 presents a unique opportunity to reach previously inaccessible and under-immunized populations.


To obtain the complete text of the article online, go to:

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of this issue of MMWR, go to:

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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