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Issue Number 64            March 19, 1999


  1. CDC releases ACIP recommendations on rotavirus vaccine
  2. Reminder: CDC's "Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-
    Preventable Diseases" course starts March 25
  3. "Introduction to Public Health Surveillance" course
    offered in June
  4. Learn and earn CME credit on the Internet
  5. Free for the asking! Bulk copies of "VACCINATE ADULTS!"
  6. "Immunizations Across the Lifespan" conference set for
    April 14


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March 19, 1999

Today, March 19, 1999, CDC released "Rotavirus Vaccine for the Prevention of Rotavirus Gastroenteritis Among Children," the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for rotavirus vaccine use in infants.

Published in MMWR, Recommendations and Reports, Vol. 48, No. RR-2, these recommendations concern the use of an oral, live rotavirus vaccine licensed by the Food and Drug Administration on August 31, 1998, for use in infants. The ACIP's summary statement is as follows:

"These recommendations represent the first statement by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on the use of an oral, live rotavirus vaccine licensed by the Food and Drug Administration on August 31, 1998, for use among infants. This report reviews the epidemiology of rotavirus, describes the licensed rotavirus vaccine, and makes recommendations regarding its use for the routine immunization of infants in the United States. These recommendations are based on estimates of the disease burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis among children in the United States and on the results of clinical trials of the

"Rotavirus affects virtually all children during the first 5 years of life in both developed and developing countries, and rotavirus infection is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in the United States and worldwide. In the United States, rotavirus is a common cause of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and outpatient clinic visits, and it is responsible for considerable health-care costs. Because of this large burden of disease, several rotavirus vaccines have been developed. One of these vaccines -- an oral, live, tetravalent, rhesus-based rotavirus vaccine (RRV-TV) -- was found to be safe and efficacious in clinical trials among children in North America, South America, and Europe and on the basis of these studies is now licensed for use among infants in the United States.

"The vaccine is an oral, live preparation that should be administered to infants between the ages of 6 weeks and 1 year. The recommended schedule is a three-dose series, with doses to be administered at ages 2, 4, and 6 months. The first dose may be administered from the ages of 6 weeks to 6 months; subsequent doses should be administered with a minimum interval of 3 weeks between any two doses. The first dose should not be administered to children aged greater than or equal to 7 months because of an increased rate of febrile reactions after the first dose among older infants. Second and third doses should be administered before the first birthday. Implementation of these recommendations in the United States should prevent most physician visits for rotavirus gastroenteritis and at least two-thirds of hospitalizations and deaths related to rotavirus."

NOTE: Continuing education credits (CMEs, CEUs, CNEs) sponsored by CDC are available for reading the 1999 ACIP recommendations on rotavirus vaccine and completing the test which is printed at the end of the document.

To access the complete document in text format, click here:

For the camera-ready copy (pdf format) of the document, click

TO GET A FREE ELECTRONIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MMWR (delivered weekly), go to the MMWR website and sign up. When you sign up, you will also automatically begin to receive all new ACIP statements which are published as MMWR's "Recommendations and
Reports." To get the MMWR website, click here:

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March 25, 1999

Session One of the four-session series, "Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases," will be broadcast on March 25, from 12:00-3:30 p.m. eastern time. Session One will cover principles of vaccination, general recommendations on vaccination, and strategies to improve vaccination coverage levels.

The other sessions are as follows:

Session Two (April 1) will cover diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, rotavirus, and polio.

Session Three (April 8) will cover measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella.

Session Four (April 15) will focus on hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b, influenza, and pneumococcal disease.

If you haven't already registered, visit: to find out more about the course,or call CDC's fax information line at 888-232-3299 and request document #130021.

For information about where to view the broadcast, contact your state immunization program manager. Find his/her phone number at:

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March 19, 1999

The March 5, 1999, issue of MMWR included the following "Notice to Readers":

"CDC and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University will cosponsor a course, 'Introduction to Public Health Surveillance' during June 7-11, 1999, in Atlanta. The course is designed for state and local public health professionals.

"The course will provide practicing public health professionals with the theoretical and practical tools necessary to design, implement, and evaluate effective surveillance program. Topics include overview and history of surveillance systems; planning considerations; sources and collection of data; analysis, interpretation, and communication of data; surveillance systems technology; ethics and legalities; state and local concerns; and future considerations. There is a tuition charge.

"Deadline for applications is April 30. Additional information and applications are available from Emory University, International Health Dept., 1518 Clifton Rd., N.E., Room 746, Atlanta, GA 30322; telephone (404) 727-3485; fax (404) 727-4590; e-mail"

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March 19, 1999

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed a valuable website as part of its Medical Products Reporting Program known as "MEDWATCH." Medical continuing education articles can be accessed and read online, and test answers can be submitted directly via the Internet. Among the articles that are currently available for credit are the following two:

"Post-marketing surveillance for adverse events after vaccination: the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)"

"Recommendations for prevention and control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and HCV-related chronic disease"

To view these articles, visit and click on the continuing education area. Continuing medical education is sponsored by the Continuing Medical Education Committee of the National Institutes of Health/Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences.

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March 19, 1999

We're giving away bulk copies (up to 400 per request) of the fall/winter '98 issue of "VACCINATE ADULTS!" to make room for our new issues. This issue of "VACCINATE ADULTS!" contains our ever-popular "Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization," a table that combines adult immunization recommendations, schedules for those on time as well as those who have fallen behind, contraindications and precautions, and rules of simultaneous administration. "VACCINATE ADULTS!" also contains lots of other up-to-date immunization information such as "Vaccination for Adults with Hepatitis C Infection" and "Ask the Experts."

If you have an immunization conference or educational program coming up for adult medicine specialists, this is an excellent handout. (Remember, "VACCINATE ADULTS!" is an abbreviated version of "NEEDLE TIPS" with all pediatric content removed.)

To request bulk copies, send an e-mail to or click here: and send us the following information:

The number of copies you want, your name and mailing address, and a description of how the issues will be used. If you have questions, call 651-647-9009.

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March 19, 1999

"Immunization Across the Lifespan: New and Emerging Issues," a conference co-sponsored by the National Coalition for Adult Immunization and the Immunization Education and Action Committee, a program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, is set for April 14. The conference will be held at the Ellipse Conference Center, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Arlington, Virginia.

Presentations will address the following issues: new vaccines, vaccine safety, and the latest developments in immunization registries and their relevance to immunization in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Speakers will include Bruce Gellin, director of the Vaccine Initiative, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Rob Linkins, branch chief of the Systems Development Branch, Data Management Division at CDC's National Immunization Program (NIP). A representative from NIP will review the newest vaccines available, including rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugates. For more information about the meeting,   contact Dena Wichansky by phone at 703-836-6110, or by e-mail at:

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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 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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