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Issue Number 80            May 21, 1999


  1. Great news! France officially supports hepatitis B vaccine for children and teens!
  2. CDC's satellite broadcast "Vaccinating Adults: The Technical Issues" set for June 3
  3. "Proven Methods for Raising Immunization Rates" is the focus of CME teleconferences, May 24 - July 1
  4. HCFA announces June 10th satellite broadcast on adult immunization
  5. Calendar of Events


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February 1999

It has come to IAC's attention that France DOES support hepatitis B vaccination for children and teens and there's an official statement to prove it!

A statement on the official French position on hepatitis B vaccination was reprinted in the February 1999 issue of "EPI Newsletter: Expanded Program on Immunization in the Americas," a publication of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Merci, PAHO for helping to set us straight! According to PAHO, the French Ministry of Health decided to issue the letter because of the misinterpretations by the mass media which resulted in confusion by the public. The letter is as follows:


Text of official letter from French Ministry:

"Subsequent to a meeting of experts during which all the studies carried out in France of adverse events following hepatitis B vaccination were examined, on October 1, 1998 the Secretary of State for Health and Welfare decided the following:

  • To maintain the recommendation that children should be vaccinated against hepatitis B
  • To maintain the recommendation that adolescents receive a dose of hepatitis B vaccine, if they were not vaccinated in the past
  • To maintain the recommendation that adults at risk should be vaccinated against hepatitis B, in conformity with the opinion issued in July 1998 by the Technical Committee on Vaccination
  • To maintain the obligation for health professionals to be vaccinated against hepatitis B.

"The only change that has been announced relates to the strategy for adolescents; it has been decided to temporarily suspend vaccination campaign in secondary schools. The reason for the change is that the conditions under which campaigns are conducted do not allow adequate explanations to be provided (i.e. parents are not present at school vaccinations), particularly in light of the publicity given to the hypothetical adverse effects of vaccination which has undermined the population's confidence in hepatitis B vaccination."

Source: Director-General for Health, Ministry of Employment and Solidarity, France, January 29, 1999.

To view the original article on PAHO's website, click here:

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May 21, 1999

The following announcement appeared in the MMWR Notice to Readers on May 21, 1999:

"On June 3 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. eastern daylight time, CDC's National Immunization Program and the Public Health Training Network will cosponsor a satellite broadcast, Vaccinating Adults: The Technical Issues. The broadcast is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, medical students, and others who provide vaccinations or establish immunization policy, and will present an in-depth discussion of the vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal disease, and hepatitis B, including vaccine indications, contraindications, and adverse reactions. This is a taped re-broadcast and will not contain a live question and answer session.

"Course registration information is available from state health department immunization programs; from two CDC World-Wide Websites, or and from the course coordinator, telephone (404) 639-8799. Continuing education credit for a variety of professions will be offered based on 2 hours of instruction."

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May 21, 1999

Presented in several time slots between May 24 and July 1, 1999, CDC medical epidemiologist, Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH, will lead this 30-minute forum on "Proven Methods for Raising Immunization Rates." CDC medical epidemiologist, William L. Atkinson, MD, MPH, will introduce the teleconference. Sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, New York) the teleconference will address changes in the 1999 Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, participants will receive information about methods for improving vaccine coverage rates and for ensuring proper storage and handling of vaccines.

Each teleconference will run for 30 minutes and is scheduled at a wide variety of times to allow participants flexibility in their attendance. A 15-minute interactive question and answer session will follow each teleconference. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be issued by Albert Einstein College of Medicine through the New York State Nurses Association.

Following the teleconference, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the benefits of the new Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule
  2. Understand the storage and handling requirements for vaccines
  3. Understand the methods to improve childhood immunization rates

To register for the teleconference or to receive more information, call 1-888-375-9573 between 9:00am and 5:30pm (ET) weekdays.

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May 21, 1999

"Steps to Promoting Wellness: Adult Immunization" will be the topic of a June 10th live satellite broadcast sponsored by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and First Coast Service Options, Inc. As part of the newly created Medicare Preventive Services Education Program, this 90-minute program is designed to provide information to health care providers regarding Medicare preventive benefits.

Special emphasis will be placed on prevention of pneumococcal and influenza disease. According to an announcement for the broadcast, "ninety percent of these deaths are in the Medicare population." The program aims to increase awareness of these risks and expand the use of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. In addition, issues facing minority populations over the age of 65 will be addressed.

As a result of this satellite program, participants will be able to:

  1. Better understand the importance of immunizations and identify ways to increase the immunization rates in their healthcare communities
  2. Build their practices by promoting wellness with their adult patients
  3. Understand Medicare's coverage and reimbursement of adult immunizations
  4. Understand mass immunizer and roster billing guidelines

There is no cost for participation. To view the broadcast you will need a steerable satellite dish that receives a KU signal.  Most health departments, hospitals, and universities have one.

Registration for this broadcast is required by June 4, 1999. To receive a registration form, contact Mary Barnes at (904) 791-8392 or by e-mail at or fill out a form online at

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May 21, 1999

DATE/TIME: June 3, 1999, 12:00-2:00 pm, EDT
EVENT: "Vaccinating Adults: The Technical Issues" (a satellite rebroadcast)
SPONSOR: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
PLACE: For information about where to view the broadcast, contact your local coordinator. Find his/her phone number at:
CONTACT: For more information about course content, visit: (link discontinued) or call  888-232-3299 and request document 130024.
DATE/TIME: June 7, 1999 (Conference to be held June 22-25, 1999 in Dallas, TX)
EVENT: Last day for "Regular Registration" for the National Immunization Conference (but you can still register at the conference)
SPONSOR: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CONTACT: To order a registration booklet, visit:
 (link discontinued) or fax a request to 404-639-8828. Draft agenda available at:
DATE/TIME: June 22-25, 1999
EVENT: 33rd National Immunization Conference, Dallas, TX
SPONSOR: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
PLACE: Adam's Mark Hotel, Dallas, TX
CONTACT: To order a registration booklet, visit:
or fax a request to 404-639-8828. Draft agenda  available at:
DATE/TIME: Sept. 16, 1999, 8:00-10:30 am, EST and 12:00-2:30 pm, EST
EVENT: "Immunization Update 1999" live satellite broadcast
SPONSOR: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CONTACT: More information will be available soon
DATE/TIME: Nov. 27-28, 1999
EVENT: "Travel-Related Vaccine Preventable Illnesses" course
SPONSOR: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in cooperation with the American Committee on Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers' Health
PLACE: Washington Hilton and Towers; Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: Call ASTMH at 847-480-9592
DATE/TIME: Dec. 2, 1999, 11:00-2:30 pm, (ET)
EVENT: "Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases" live satellite broadcast
SPONSOR: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CONTACT: More information will be available soon

If you have a national conference that you would like us to consider for inclusion in this calendar, please fax the information to us at 651-647-9131 or you can send us an e-mail at or click here:

This calendar will soon be available on our homepage at

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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