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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers

July 2013

This newsletter is meant to keep you up to date on issues related to vaccines quickly and easily. We welcome your comments and questions; please email us at vacinfo@email.chop.edu.

VEC Announcements: Book winners and mobile app for iPhones

Book winners
Congratulations to the following winners who completed our survey. Each will receive a copy of Dr. Offit’s new book, Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine:
 

  • S. Sawula, Torrington, CT
  • V. Rauer, Washington, DC
  • R. Hertwig, Zirconia, NC
     

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey. Your responses were most appreciated!

New mobile app for iPhones
The VEC’s new mobile app, Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Know, is coming soon! Watch for a special email announcement.

News and Views: Vaccine lot recall, MERS-CoV update and the influenza alphabet

Charlotte A. Moser, Assistant Director, and Paul A. Offit, Director, Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Vaccine lot recall
Merck recently recalled a single lot of the Recombivax HB© hepatitis B vaccine; this version is the adult formulation in a 10 microgram per milliliter concentration. Read more»

MERS-CoV update
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously known as novel coronavirus, continues to infect people in and around the Arabian Peninsula. Read more»

The influenza alphabet
The influenza story is always a bit confusing, but the current outbreaks of H3N2v in the U.S. and H7N9 in Asia make things even more difficult. Read more»

In the Journals: Vaccines and GBS

Paul A. Offit, MD, Director, Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

In 1976, fear of an impending influenza pandemic caused public health officials to launch a vaccine program that eventually included 40 million Americans. The vaccine virus used, an H1N1 strain colloquially referred to as “swine flu” vaccine, was found in retrospective studies to be a rare cause of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), a disease characterized by ascending paralysis. Approximately, 1 of every 100,000 people inoculated with the pandemic influenza vaccine developed GBS. This unfortunate association opened the door to the notion that other influenza vaccines — or indeed any vaccine — could cause GBS.

In response to public concern about the association of vaccines and GBS, Roger Baxter and colleagues at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center examined the relationship between vaccines and GBS in 415 patients hospitalized with the disease in Northern California between 1995 and 2006.

Read more about their findings»

Technically Speaking: The end of hepatitis B transmission begins at birth

Deborah L. Wexler, MD, Executive Director, Immunization Action Coalition

Universal hepatitis B vaccination at birth is a major part of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) 2005 strategy to eliminate hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission in the United States.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) echoed ACIP’s recommendations in its Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.  HHS further recommended birth dose coverage as a standard of care and a national quality measure.

In 2012, the National Quality Forum endorsed a new standard that calls for reporting “ Hepatitis B Coverage Among All Live Newborn Infants Prior to Hospital or Birthing Facility Discharge.

Yet, despite expert consensus on the importance of a hepatitis B vaccine birth dose, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. newborns leaves the hospital unprotected. As a result, approximately 800 U.S. newborns become chronically infected each year because of perinatal exposure. These newborns would be afforded a “safety net” if a birth dose was universally administered before hospital discharge.

Find out how the Immunization Action Coalition is responding»

From the Media â€” The importance of MMR vaccine

Despite the accumulation of scientific data against the MMR-autism theory, the retraction of Andrew Wakefield’s paper that caused the fury, and the announcement that his study was likely fraudulent, some parents continue to voice concerns about giving their children the MMR vaccine.

Recent stories in the news show why continuing to talk through these concerns with parents is so important.

Read more»

On the Calendar

Several state immunization meetings and the CDC’s Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Continuing Education course have been added to the calendar.

Find a meeting near you»

On the Bookshelf: Polio Revisited

Paul A. Offit, Director, Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Offit recently reviewed Gareth Williams’ book, Paralysed with Fear: The Story of Polio, in The Lancet. We are pleased that you can access the full review on the journal’s website.

Reference for the review: Offit PA. Polio Revisited. The Lancet. 2013. 381:1805-6.

Book information: Paralysed with Fear: The Story of Polio, written by Gareth Williams and published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp. 336. ISBN 9781137299758.

The book is available from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

Resources: New vaccine summary sheets, updated acronyms and abbreviations and HPV vaccination information

New vaccine summary sheets
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) recently released a great series of photocopy-ready, patient-friendly handouts related to the diseases that vaccines prevent. Twelve handouts relate to childhood diseases and vaccines and eight are for teen and adult vaccinations. The sheets are one-sided, short and non-medical while emphasizing the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Check them out or download them today»

Updated acronyms and abbreviations
Have you ever had a new patient bring you an immunization record that has an unfamiliar vaccine abbreviation? Or a patient from another country with an immunization record they brought with them?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a list of acronyms and abbreviations commonly used on immunization records for just these occasions. Recently updated, the list is easily accessible from this page of the CDC’s website. The page also contains links to related information, such as translation of foreign immunization records and the standardized list of abbreviations from the ACIP.

HPV vaccine information
The CDC has a digital press kit related to HPV vaccination. Some of the materials may be of use to healthcare providers:
 

  • Quotes from CDC spokespeople
  • Images with captions
  • Audio and video clips
  • Links to additional information
     

The materials can be used for media outreach, on websites, or with parents and colleagues.

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