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IAC Express 2010
Issue number 871: June 2, 2010
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Contents of this Issue
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  1. Read "Ask the Experts" Q&As on current immunization issues
AAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians; AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics; ACIP, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; AMA, American Medical Association; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; FDA, Food and Drug Administration; IAC, Immunization Action Coalition; MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; NCIRD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; NIVS, National Influenza Vaccine Summit; VIS, Vaccine Information Statement; VPD, vaccine-preventable disease; WHO, World Health Organization.
Issue 871: June 2, 2010
1.  Read "Ask the Experts" Q&As on current immunization issues

Many readers of Needle Tips and Vaccinate Adults consistently rank "Ask the Experts" as their favorite feature in these publications. As a thank-you to our loyal IAC Express readers, we periodically publish Extra Editions with new "Ask the Experts" Q&As answered by CDC experts.

IAC thanks William L. Atkinson, MD, MPH, and Andrew T. Kroger, MD, MPH, medical epidemiologists at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC, for agreeing to answer the following questions.

The Q&As in this edition of IAC Express deal with new MMRV, PCV13, and rotavirus recommendations; the new meningococcal vaccine Menveo; and other questions frequently submitted to IAC and CDC.

We encourage you to reprint any of these Q&As in your own newsletters. Please credit the Immunization Action Coalition and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information about IAC's preferred citation style can be found at

You can access more "Ask the Experts" Q&As in our online archive at

Editor's note: Information about submitting a question to "Ask the Experts" is provided at the end of this Extra Edition.

Q: Please review the specifics of the new CDC recommendations for the use of the combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine.

A: On May 7, 2010, CDC issued new recommendations for the use of combination MMRV vaccine. Prior to issuing these recommendations, ACIP reviewed results of post-licensure studies that suggest that, during the 5-12 day post-vaccination period, approximately one additional febrile seizure occurred among every 2,600 children ages 12 through 23 months vaccinated with a first dose of MMRV vaccine compared with children in the same age group vaccinated with separate first doses of MMR vaccine and varicella vaccine administered during a single office visit.

The summary of the recommendations for use of MMRV vaccine are as follows:
  • The routinely recommended ages for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccination continue to be age 12 through 15 months for the first dose and age 4 through 6 years for the second dose.
  • For the first dose of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines at age 12 through 47 months, providers may use either measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and varicella vaccine or MMRV vaccine. Providers who are considering administering MMRV vaccine should discuss the benefits and risks of both vaccination options with the parents or caregivers. Unless the parent or caregiver expresses a preference for MMRV vaccine, CDC recommends that providers administer MMR vaccine and varicella vaccine for the first dose in this age group.
  • For the second dose of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines at any age (15 months through 12 years) and for the first dose at age 48 months and older, use of MMRV vaccine generally is preferred over separate injections of its equivalent component vaccines (i.e., MMR vaccine and varicella vaccine).
  • A personal or family (i.e., sibling or parent) history of seizures of any etiology (i.e., cause) is a precaution for MMRV vaccination, and such children generally should be vaccinated with MMR vaccine and varicella vaccine.

The complete recommendations for the use of MMRV vaccine are available on CDC's website at

In addition, CDC has issued a new VIS for MMRV, dated 5/21/10, which is available at and As with all other VISs, it should be given to the parent or vaccine recipient prior to vaccination to facilitate discussion about the vaccine between the patient and provider.

Q: Instead of giving tetanus/diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine to a father-to-be who needed protection against pertussis, we mistakenly gave him tetanus/diphtheria (Td) toxoid. How soon after the Td dose can we give him the dose of Tdap he needs?

A: As long as they are younger than age 65 years and at least age 10 years, parents, grandparents, healthcare workers, and all others who have not already received Tdap, and who are close contacts of infants younger than age 12 months, should receive a single dose of this vaccine as soon as possible to protect infants from pertussis. When giving Tdap to protect infants, one does not need to observe a "minimum interval" between giving Td and Tdap. For example, if you had immediately realized that you had mistakenly given the father-to-be Td instead of Tdap, you could have given him the needed Tdap dose at the same visit at which you gave him the erroneous Td dose.

Q: Many children in my practice have received their complete series of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). Would you please review the recommendations for which of them now need a supplemental dose of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13)?

A: A single supplemental dose of PCV13 is recommended for all children ages 14 through 59 months who have received the complete 4-dose series of PCV7 or another age-appropriate, complete PCV7 schedule. For children who have underlying medical conditions, a single supplemental PCV13 dose is recommended through age 71 months. This also includes children who have previously received pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Give the single supplemental dose of PCV13 no sooner than 8 weeks after the last dose of PCV7 or PPSV23 was given.

IAC has created a table that explains how to use PCV13 to catch up children who have fallen behind on their PCV7 doses. It's available at

Q: I have a 13-year-old patient in my practice who recently had his spleen removed. He has been vaccinated with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) but never received 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). Can I give him the new 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV13?

A: Yes. Administer a single dose of PCV13 to children ages 6 through 18 years who are at increased risk for invasive pneumococcal disease because of sickle cell disease, HIV infection or other immunocompromising condition, cochlear implant, functional or anatomical asplenia, or cerebrospinal fluid leak, even if they have previously received PCV7, PPSV23, or both vaccines. A table that details the underlying medical conditions that are indications for pneumococcal vaccination among children is available on page 260 of the related ACIP recommendations at

Q: We mistakenly gave a patient the diluent for Menveo meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4; Novartis) without adding it to the powdered vaccine. Since vaccine is present in the diluent as well as in the powder, what should we do now?

A: Menveo's liquid vaccine component (i.e., diluent) contains the C, Y, and W-135 serogroups, and the lyophilized vaccine component (i.e., freeze-dried powder) contains serogroup A. Because the patient received only the diluent, he or she is not protected against invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A.

Invasive disease with N. meningitidis serogroup A is very rare in the United States, but is more common in some other countries, particularly the African meningitis belt. If the recipient (of the C-Y-W135 "diluent" only) does not plan to travel outside the United States then the dose does not need to be repeated. However, if the recipient plans to travel outside the United States the dose should be repeated with either correctly reconstituted Menveo, or with a dose of Menactra brand MCV4. There is no minimum interval between the incorrect dose and the repeat dose.

Q: We now have two meningococcal conjugate vaccines (MCV4) to chose from--Menactra (sanofi pasteur) and Menveo (Novartis). It would be useful to know if they are interchangeable when repeat doses of MCV4 are needed.

A: Although both vaccines are licensed for single-dose use, you can use either vaccine to revaccinate people ages 11 through 55 years who are at prolonged increased risk for meningococcal disease. Only Menactra is licensed for vaccinating and revaccinating children ages 2 through 10 years. Use only meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4; Menomune; sanofi pasteur) when vaccinating or revaccinating people age 56 years and older.

To access updated recommendations for revaccinating people at prolonged increased risk for meningococcal disease, go to:, and see pages 1042-43.

Q: What is the FDA's current recommendation about the use of rotavirus vaccine in infants?

A: In March 2010, FDA recommended temporary suspension of the use of Rotarix (GSK) after researchers found DNA from porcine circovirus type 1 (PCV1) in the vaccine. In May, Merck confirmed the presence of DNA from PCV1 and PCV2 in its rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq.

On May 14, FDA updated its recommendations on both Rotarix and RotaTeq vaccines for the prevention of rotavirus disease in infants. Based on careful evaluation of a variety of scientific information, FDA has determined it is appropriate for clinicians and health care professionals to resume the use of Rotarix and to continue the use of RotaTeq. All available evidence supports the safety and effectiveness of Rotarix and RotaTeq, which have been extensively studied, both before and after approval. For more detailed information, go to:

IAC works with CDC to compile new "Ask the Experts" Q&As for our publications based on commonly asked questions. We also consider the need to provide information about new vaccines and recommendations. Most of the questions are thus a composite of several inquiries.

You can email your question about vaccines or immunization to IAC at As we receive hundreds of emails each month, we cannot guarantee that we will print your specific question in the "Ask the Experts" feature. However, you will get an answer. To see if your question has already been answered, you can first check the "Ask the Experts" online archive at

You can also email CDC's immunization experts directly at There is no charge for this service.

If you have a question about IAC materials or services, email

Please forward these "Ask the Experts" Q&As to your co-workers and suggest they subscribe to IAC Express at

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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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