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
VEC Announcements: Vaccine safety booklet update, win
a copy of Dr. Offit’s newest book and check out his new website
Vaccine safety booklet update
Thank you to an astute nurse in New York City who questioned a statement in the new booklet,
Vaccine Safety and Your Child, leading us to realize an error in the information about
gelatin (page 22). The booklet incorrectly stated that gelatin has been removed from the MMR
vaccine. However, the MMR vaccine does contain 14 milligrams of gelatin per dose.
The statement will be revised in future printings; however, we wanted to make sure that all
providers were aware of the error. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have
Download a copy (English,
order booklets from our website.
Win a copy of Dr. Offit’s newest book
Dr. Offit’s latest book,
Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, is now available
in bookstores! Learn more about the book in the “
On the bookshelf” section. Readers who complete a
brief survey about the
Vaccine Update newsletter can choose to be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy.
Check out Dr. Offit’s new website
Did you hear? Dr. Offit has a website! Go to
www.paul-offit.com and check it out. On the
site you can find information about his publications, view editorials and Medscape videos, and
contact him directly through email.
News and Views: Updates on vaccine shortages
Charlotte A. Moser, Assistant Director, and Paul A. Offit, Director, Vaccine Education Center
at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Here's what you should know»
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidance related to
current vaccine shortages.
In the Journals: Pregnancy dose Tdap and postpartum cocooning to
prevent infant pertussis
Paul A. Offit, MD, Director, Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of
On May 27, 2013, Andrew Terranella and colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) studied the efficacy and cost effectiveness of two different strategies to prevent
pertussis in infants: 1) immunizing pregnant women with Tdap between 27 and 36 weeks’ gestation,
and 2) “cocooning,” which means immunizing mothers and family contacts after the baby has been
delivered. This study is important because virtually all deaths from pertussis occur in infants
less than 3 months of age. Therefore, pertussis deaths are occurring in those too young to be
protected by active vaccination.
more about the study and its findings»
Needle Tips and
Vaccinate Adults newsletters now available
Deborah L. Wexler, MD, Executive Director, Immunization Action Coalition
The regular “Technically Speaking” column by Dr. Wexler will return in the July 2013 issue.
In the meantime, please take a few moments to check out the latest issues of
Needle Tips and
Vaccinate Adults as both always contain a lot of helpful information and
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has recently released its May 2013 issue of
, for healthcare professionals who administer vaccines. Also available is
, a shortened version of Needle Tips, modified for those who work only with adult patients.
Both are now available for downloading, printing and reading.
out what types of information these publications contain»
From the Media — Pediatric influenza mortality
By the week of May 12-18, 2013, influenza-related deaths reported to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) included 146 children. That is, 146 families for which the influenza
season would be remembered as devastating. When we hear reports that the vaccine might not be as
effective as we had previously thought or that the season may be typical, it is easy to become
complacent about the annual influenza vaccine recommendations. However, these children are the
reason we must continue to explain that some protection is better than no protection. The U.S. map
showing the number of pediatric deaths by state may help when you are explaining the importance of
the vaccine to families.
out the map»
On the Calendar
The Association of Family
Practice Physician Assistants Conference, upcoming Viral Hepatitis Summits, and 2014 AAP Courses
have been added to the calendar.
On the Bookshelf: Do You Believe in Magic? The
Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine by Paul A. Offit
Charlotte A. Moser, Assistant Director, Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of
Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, is now available.
In his newest book, Dr. Offit writes about the unregulated industry that often includes “
alternative therapies,” such as vitamins, dietary supplements, acupuncture, and chiropractic
manipulation. He discusses the placebo effect and whether descriptors, such as alternative,
complementary, holistic or integrative medicine should exist, positing instead that “ There’s only
medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.” (p.6)
Parts of the book address the historical nature of some popular phenomena, the effects of
celebrity in popularizing certain products and the importance of being a responsible and educated
Find the book on
Resources: Videos, CDC updates and AAP vaccine storage and
You might be interested in the following video clips:
Vaccines Work – featuring Adam Finn and available on the TEDMED Live Bristol channel of
YouTube, this approximately seven-minute video discusses how vaccines work.
Vaccine Schedule – produced by
Parents magazine and available on their website, this approximately three-minute video
features Dr. Ari Brown discussing why it is important to follow the recommended vaccine schedule.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared the following information over
the past few weeks:
HPV-Gardasil vaccine information statements (VIS) have been updated.
- Free Spanish language posters related to childhood immunizations are available. The materials
were developed specifically for Spanish-speaking parents of children less than 2 years of age and
are based on research and testing for lingual and cultural appropriateness:
- The adolescent immunization campaign was recently featured on the CDC’s main home page. To see
the available campaign materials, check out the
campaign page. Materials are available in several languages.
AAP vaccine storage and handling resources
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently announced the availability of new
resources related to safe vaccine storage and handling, including:
- Information for using and purchasing equipment
- Storage and handling checklist
- Tips for safe vaccine transport
- Information to assist with emergency storage and handling plans
To view these resources and additional related information, visit the
dedicated page on their web site.