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Issue Number 350            November 25, 2002


  1. CDC's National Immunization Program releases Influenza Vaccine Bulletin #6
  2. Wyeth ceases production of its injectable influenza vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine
  3. Second edition of NPI's "Reference Guide on Vaccines and Vaccine Safety" now available
  4. National Vaccine Healthcare Center launches a website for service members and Department of Defense beneficiaries
  5. New translation! Influenza VIS now in Korean
  6. Recommended reading: "My Little Drummer Boy: A Mother's True Story"
  7. Nominations being accepted through December 31 for the 2003 Gary Schatz Award
  8. GAVI announces its newly redesigned website


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November 25, 2002

On November 18, the National Immunization Program (NIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the sixth in a series of influenza vaccine bulletins designed to update health  professionals on the production, distribution, and administration of influenza vaccine for the 2002-2003 influenza season. To view or download the HTML version of the bulletin, go to: The bulletin is printed below in its entirety.


Flu Season 2002-2003
November 18, 2002

The National Immunization Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is publishing and distributing periodic bulletins to update partners about recent developments related to the production, distribution, and administration of influenza vaccine for the 2002-2003 influenza season. All recipients of this bulletin are encouraged to distribute each issue widely to colleagues, members, and constituents.

Current projections suggest about 93 million doses of influenza vaccine are available in the U.S. market this season and several million doses remain available for purchase.

  • Health care providers who wish to purchase influenza vaccine should contact their regular sources of pharmaceuticals.
  • After November, many persons who should or want to receive influenza vaccine remain unvaccinated. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that vaccination efforts for all groups, especially persons at high risk, their household contacts, and health care workers, should continue into December or later, for as long as vaccine is available.

An adult immunization schedule is now available to help family physicians, gynecologists, internists, and other health care providers to assess the vaccine needs of patients during office visits and to  administer the appropriate vaccines (including influenza vaccine).

  • The Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule was approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in February 2002 and has been accepted by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Providers can use the schedule to promote the use of standing orders, patient-reminder/recall systems, provider-reminder systems, and other strategies that reduce missed opportunities to vaccinate patients. A printable, annotated, color version of the schedule is available at

Flu patient-education "catch-up" material is now available from CDC.

  • The CDC National Immunization Program has developed new patient-education print material to encourage people who have delayed getting a flu shot to obtain this valuable protection. These  "catch-up" posters and flyers supplement the materials that were made available in September. All of the patient-education materials for flu season can be viewed and reproduced directly from the NIP website at Black and white master copies of the flyers can be downloaded from this site and reproduced on an office copy machine. Commercial printers can access the .pdf PRESS files to reproduce higher quality materials, large quantities of materials, items in multiple colors, posters, or buttons. Commercial printers may also request a CD-ROM with traditional QuarkXPress 5.0 files by calling (404) 639-8375 or e-mailing

Influenza surveillance through November 9 indicates some sporadic activity in the U.S.

  • During the week of November 3–November 9, one state and territorial health department reported regional influenza activity, 17 reported sporadic activity, and 32 reported no influenza activity.  More information on influenza surveillance in the United States can be found at


For a camera-ready (PDF format) copy of the new bulletin, go to:

For more influenza information from the NIP website, go to:

For more influenza information from the Immunization Action Coalition website, go to:

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November 25, 2002

On November 19, Wyeth issued a press release announcing that it will no longer manufacture injectable influenza vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. The first paragraph of the press release follows.

"Wyeth announced today that it is ceasing production of two of its vaccine products--FluShield, an injectable influenza virus vaccine, and Pnu-Imune, an injectable polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine for adults. Adequate supplies of injectable flu vaccine are now available in the U.S. as a result of recent capacity increases provided by other manufacturers."

To access the entire press release, go to:

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November 25, 2002

The National Partnership for Immunization (NPI) recently announced the availability of the second edition of its "Reference Guide on Vaccines and Vaccine Safety." NPI's website describes the new edition as follows:

"The second edition offers even more pertinent information than the first edition, with expanded sections on vaccines and how they work and vaccine safety issues. It also addresses subjects such as multiple immunizations, vaccines for special risk groups and travelers' diseases such as anthrax and smallpox. The Guide provides a comprehensive summary of why vaccines have become an integral part of public health programs in the United States. Media outlets, public health officials, and others interested in the specifics of vaccine safety can turn to the Guide for answers to their questions about the value and safety of vaccines."

The new edition is available for $15 before December 1; the price rises to $20 after that date.

To download an order form, go to:

For additional information, email NPI at

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November 25, 2002

A collaboration between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Vaccine Healthcare Center (VHC) is committed to continuously improving the quality of immunization health care delivery, education, research, and case management of complex adverse events for DoD beneficiaries.

The goal of VHC's recently launched website is to be a resource for people in the military health care system/Tricare who have health concerns regarding immunizations. VHC administrators encourage providers, service members (active duty, reserve, and guard), and DoD beneficiaries to contact VHC about vaccines, vaccine safety, and vaccine adverse events.

To access the site or submit a question, go to:

NOTE: Accessing the VHC website requires Netscape 6.0 or Internet Explorer.

For clinical consultation, email or call (202) 782-0411.

Currently, the only operational center is Walter Reed Regional Vaccine Healthcare Center in Washington, D.C. Three additional centers are due to open by mid-2003. They are in Portsmouth, VA (Navy); Fayetteville, NC (Army); and San Antonio, TX (Air Force). Up to 12 more centers are planned.

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November 25, 2002

The 2002-2003 Influenza Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) in Korean is now available on the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) website. IAC gratefully acknowledges the County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services Immunization Program for providing the Korean translation.

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF) copy of the influenza VIS in Korean, go to:

To obtain a camera-ready (PDF) copy of the influenza VIS in English, go to:

For more information about the use of VISs, and for VISs in a total of 28 languages, visit IAC's VIS web page at

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November 25, 2002

In "My Little Drummer Boy," author Rebecca Ellison Cole chronicles the short life and horrific death of her oldest child, Aaron, from necrotizing fasciitis as a complication of chickenpox.

Aaron suffered his only severe asthma attack on June 16, 1988, was hospitalized, given a corticosteroid, and released a few days later. He developed chickenpox on June 23. The corticosteroid medication suppressed his immune system, weakening his defenses against varicella virus and virulent streptococcal bacteria. The virus and bacteria traveled through his body, devouring his organs. On June 27, he began having seizures, became blind, and collapsed from a brain hemorrhage. He was air lifted to a regional medical center, where he died three days later at age 12.

What sets Cole's book apart from other stories of people felled by catastrophe is that "My Little Drummer Boy" is an account of anguish followed by redemption. She writes of her son's death: "It is darkness, agony, and shock. It leaves our hearts broken, bleeding, and bursting with pain, and it changes us forever." In being changed forever, Cole took action, forever changing the future for many of America's children.

With no political experience, personal wealth, or medical credentials, and with four remaining children  to raise, Cole began a successful publicity campaign to have the official packaging labels of corticosteroid medication carry a warning about the danger the drugs pose to people who have not had chickenpox or measles and who might become exposed to or infected with these diseases while on corticosteroid medications. Warning labels were added to corticosteroid packaging in 1991. As surely as death released Aaron from the devastation of varicella disease and necrotizing fasciitis, his mother's dedication helped liberate U.S. children from his fate.

Buttercup Press publishes the book, which has a cover price of $18.95. Mention that you heard about it through the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), and buy it directly from the publisher for $9.50, plus $4 for postage and handling ($2 postage and handling for each book after the first going to the same address). The address is Buttercup Press, 321 Rutland Avenue, Teaneck, NJ 07666.

For further information, email the publisher at or call (201) 837-9511.

To read the testimony Cole gave about her son's death in 1999 before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, go to IAC's website:

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November 25, 2002

The 2003 Gary Schatz Award will be presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Hepatitis Coordinators' Conference in San Antonio, TX, January 2003.

Gary Schatz, PhD, was a recognized expert in the development and implementation of hepatitis B vaccination programs nationally and internationally. For more than two decades, he worked at CDC, retiring from the Hepatitis Branch in 1995. At the time of his death in Zanzibar in 1999, he was working on hepatitis B vaccination program activities at the World Health Organization.

Nominations for the award are being accepted through December 31. Following are the criteria:

  1. Long-term service and commitment to excellence in viral hepatitis prevention (20 points)
  2. History of accomplishments in viral hepatitis prevention (20 points)
  3. Demonstrated impact in bringing prevention science into action at the community level (50 points)
  4. Quality of nomination (10 points)

Please email nominations (a maximum of two pages, typed in a 12-pt. font) by December 31 to Richard Conlon at

For conference information, go to:

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November 25, 2002

On November 15, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) announced its redesigned website to coincide with the publication of the latest issue (November 2002) of "Immunization Focus," GAVI's quarterly electronic newsletter.

The site gives readers access to articles from the current issue, as well as to back issues and to links for more information on topics covered. Visitors can also check the site for information about the Second GAVI Partners' Meeting, which took place in Dakar, Senegal, in mid-November.

To access the site, go to:

For additional information, email

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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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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