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Hep Express Issue 49

Issue Number 49, November 7, 2006
 
Contents of this Issue
1. National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable releases plan to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States
2. FDA approves another drug for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B
3. New: CDC releases October 2006–September 2007 adult immunization schedule
4. New: October 2006 issues of Needle Tips and Vaccinate Adults are on the Web
5. American Liver Foundation's THINK B program targets Asian Americans
6. Hepatitis B Foundation offers information on co-infection
7. 2005 NIS data indicate a slight increase in newborn hepatitis B vaccination rate compared to 2004 data
8. Hep Team program for MSM expands from Chicago to other cities
9. NIP revises its interactive immunization scheduler for children age 5 years and younger; adults can also go online to find out what vaccines are recommended
10. 2007 calendar with hepatitis B messages for Asian Pacific Islanders available from WithinReach and the Washington State API Hep B Task Force
11. New law: syringes can be sold without a prescription in Massachusetts
12. Pennsylvania schedules its first viral hepatitis conference

ABBREVIATIONS: ACIP, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; DVH, Division of Viral Hepatitis; HAV, hepatitis A virus; HBV, hepatitis B virus; HCV, hepatitis C virus; IAC, Immunization Action Coalition; IDU, injection drug user; MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; MSM, men who have sex with men; STD, sexually transmitted disease; VIS, Vaccine Information Statement; WHO, World Health Organization.
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November 7, 2006
NATIONAL VIRAL HEPATITIS ROUNDTABLE RELEASES PLAN TO ELIMINATE VIRAL HEPATITIS IN THE UNITED STATES

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) is a coalition of public, private, and voluntary organizations dedicated to reducing the incidence of infection, morbidity, and mortality from viral hepatitis in the United States through strategic planning, leadership, coordination, advocacy, and research.

NVHR has spent more than two years developing and debating the best way to prevent unnecessary suffering and death caused by viral hepatitis. In April, the group released their elimination strategy titled "Eliminating Hepatitis: A Call to Action."

NVHR's comprehensive study and discussions with national experts netted four recommendations:

  • Build the capacity to address the challenges of viral hepatitis
     
  • Vaccinate America to eliminate vaccine-preventable viral hepatitis
     
  • Counsel, test, and refer persons at risk for viral hepatitis to inform them about how to reduce their risks
     
  • Care for persons with chronic hepatitis and help them participate in the management of their condition

Over 60 organizations have already signed on to support the plan.

To download the entire plan (47 pages), the executive summary, or to provide feedback or support, go to: http://www.nvhr.org/calltoaction.htm Organizations wishing to officially support the plan can indicate so via the feedback form.

To join NVHR or for more information, contact Dick Conlon at rconlon@nvhr.org or (404) 483-2826.
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November 7, 2006
FDA APPROVES ANOTHER DRUG FOR THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC HEPATITIS B

On October 25, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tyzeka (telbivudine) for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Tyzeka is a new molecular entity, which is a term used by the FDA to describe a medication containing an active substance that has never before been approved for marketing in any form in the United States.

Tyzeka is manufactured by Novartis Pharma Stein AG, Stein, Switzerland, and marketed and distributed by Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

To read the related FDA press release, go to: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01498.html
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November 7, 2006
NEW: CDC RELEASES OCTOBER 2006–SEPTEMBER 2007 ADULT IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE

CDC published "Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule—United States, October 2006-September 2007" as an MMWR QuickGuide in the October 13 issue of MMWR. Excerpts from the article are reprinted below.

***********************

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) annually reviews the recommended Adult Immunization Schedule to ensure that the schedule reflects current recommendations for the licensed vaccines. In June 2006, ACIP approved the Adult Immunization Schedule for October 2006-September 2007. This schedule has also been approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists.

***********************

The 2006-2007 schedule differs from the previous schedule [regarding recommendations related to hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccination] as follows:

  • A new column has been added to the medical/other indications schedule to clarify indications for hepatitis A and B vaccines. The indications "chronic liver disease" and "recipients of clotting factor concentrates" have been removed from the previous schedule's third and fifth columns, respectively, and combined into a new column. The column has a yellow bar for hepatitis A and B vaccines, clarifying that these vaccines are recommended for all persons with these medical indications.
     
  • The hepatitis B footnote (#9) has been revised to reflect recommendations to vaccinate any adult seeking protection from hepatitis B virus infection and vaccinate adults in specific settings (e.g., sexually transmitted disease clinics).

***********************

The Adult Immunization Schedule is available in English and Spanish at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/recs/adult-schedule.htm [IAC Express editor's note: the Spanish-language version will be available in January 2007]. General information about adult vaccinations, including recommendations concerning vaccination of persons with HIV and other immunosuppressive conditions, is available from state and local health departments and at http://www.cdc.gov/nip Vaccine information statements are available at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/vis ACIP statements for each recommended vaccine and provisional vaccine recommendations can be viewed, downloaded, and printed at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/acip-list.htm Instructions for reporting adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System are available at http://www.vaers.hhs.gov or by telephone, (800) 822-7967.

***********************

To access a web-text (HTML) version of the complete article, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5540a10.htm

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of this MMWR issue, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5540.pdf

To receive a FREE electronic subscription to MMWR (which includes new ACIP statements), go to: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwrsubscribe.html
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November 7, 2006
NEW: OCTOBER 2006 ISSUES OF NEEDLE TIPS AND VACCINATE ADULTS ARE ON THE WEB

Needle Tips and Vaccinate Adults are immunization resources packed with information for health professionals, patients, and parents. The issues are well worth downloading. All articles and education pieces, except editorials, have been thoroughly reviewed by immunization and hepatitis experts at CDC. Both Needle Tips and Vaccinate Adults include a special piece on viral hepatitis titled "Hepatitis B and the healthcare worker." This Q and A covers indications for healthcare worker hepatitis B vaccination, postvaccination serologic testing, and prophylaxis after occupational exposure to the hepatitis B virus.

HOW TO READ NEEDLE TIPS ON THE WEB
You can view selected articles from the table of contents below or download the entire issue from the Web.

To view the table of contents with links to individual articles, go to: http://www.immunize.org/nt

The PDF file of the entire issue, linked below, is 1.97 megabytes. For tips on downloading and printing PDF files, go to: http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/tips.htm

To download a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the entire October issue, go to: http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n35/n35.pdf

HOW TO READ VACCINATE ADULTS ON THE WEB
You can view selected articles from the table of contents below or download the entire issue from the Web.

To view the table of contents with links to individual articles, go to: http://www.immunize.org/va

The PDF file of the entire issue, linked below, is 1.11 megabytes. For tips on downloading and printing PDF files, go to: http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/tips.htm

To download a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the October issue, go to: http://www.immunize.org/va/va18.pdf
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November 7, 2006
AMERICAN LIVER FOUNDATION'S THINK B PROGRAM TARGETS ASIAN AMERICANS

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is a nonprofit organization that promotes liver health and disease prevention. ALF supports research, education, and advocacy for those affected by liver-related diseases, including hepatitis.

THINK B is ALF's nationwide campaign to increase hepatitis B awareness, vaccination, screening, and treatment among at-risk Asian Americans. The campaign's website at http://www.thinkb.org includes information for patients, families, and healthcare providers, including fact sheets in Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese.
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November 7, 2006
HEPATITIS B FOUNDATION OFFERS INFORMATION ON CO-INFECTION

The Hepatitis B Foundation offers information on its website about co-infection with hepatitis B and hepatitis C, hepatitis B and hepatitis D, and hepatitis B and HIV. To read about how co-infection with two or more viruses can create more serious liver problems than infection with one virus, go to: http://www.hepb.org/hepb/co-infections.htm
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November 7, 2006
2005 NIS DATA INDICATE A SLIGHT INCREASE IN NEWBORN HEPATITIS B VACCINATION RATE COMPARED TO 2004 DATA

[The following is cross-posted from the Immunization Action Coalition's "IAC EXPRESS" electronic newsletter, October 9, 2006.]

On September 28, the NIP website posted an Excel spreadsheet titled "Estimated Vaccination Coverage for Hepatitis B Vaccine Among Children from Birth to 2 Days of Age by State and Immunization Action Plan Area—National Immunization Survey, 2005." The data indicate the national average for a birth dose given within two days of life has risen slightly from a 2004 rate of 46.0 percent to a 2005 rate of 47.9 percent.

To access the spreadsheet, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/coverage/NIS/05/tab36_hepb_birth02.xls
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November 7, 2006
HEP TEAM PROGRAM FOR MSM EXPANDS FROM CHICAGO TO OTHER CITIES

After a successful pilot program in Chicago last summer, Hep Team rolled into New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta this year. The program was created to raise awareness among men who have sex with men (MSM) that hepatitis A and hepatitis B are preventable by vaccination and to encourage vaccination. Research has shown that barely half of MSM have been vaccinated.

The program collaborated with local health departments and community-based organizations to raise awareness and provide free vaccinations. Hep Team placed advertisements in print, online, and outdoor media and on local Hep Team web sites; and distributed brochures and postcards. Hep Teams of outreach workers, clad in distinctive athletic uniforms, appeared at major community events including parades, street fairs, bars, clubs, and Gay Pride festivals. Clinics and private providers were also visited.

Over 2,200 doses of vaccine were administered at Gay Pride festivals and other community-based events in the Hep Team cities, and clinic vaccination data show an increase in vaccination rates in all markets. Online surveys showed a jump in awareness of hepatitis A and hepatitis B, an increase in both intent to seek vaccination and in discussions between providers and patients, and a measurable improvement in vaccination rates.

MSM with insurance are encouraged to go to their private provider as many plans will pay for vaccination. Those seeking a low-cost source of vaccination should visit http://www.HepTeamUSA.com for a national listing of clinics offering free or low-cost hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B vaccination. For more information on the local Hep Team programs, visit:

Chicago
http://www.HepTeamChicago.com

New York City
http://www.HepTeamNYC.com

Los Angeles
http://www.HepTeamLA.com

Atlanta
http://www.HepTeamAtlanta.com
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November 7, 2006
NIP REVISES ITS INTERACTIVE IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULER FOR CHILDREN AGE 5 YEARS AND YOUNGER; ADULTS CAN ALSO GO ONLINE TO FIND OUT WHAT VACCINES ARE RECOMMENDED

On October 19, the CDC's National Immunization Program (NIP) updated its online Childhood Immunization Schedule for children age 5 years and younger. This interactive program, based on the 2006 Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule, allows parents to determine what vaccinations their child needs simply by entering the child's birth date.

Parents who use the interactive scheduler are cautioned that its recommendations may not be accurate for a child who has a condition that affects the immune system. Parents are also encouraged to consult a clinician for advice on their child's immunization needs.

To access the scheduler, go to: http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/kidstuff/newscheduler_le

Adults and adolescents born from 1900 through 1995 can visit http://www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultImmSched to determine what vaccines are recommended for them.
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November 7, 2006
2007 CALENDAR WITH HEPATITIS B MESSAGES FOR ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDERS AVAILABLE FROM WITHIN REACH AND THE WASHINGTON STATE API HEP B TASK FORCE

WithinReach (formerly Healthy Mothers, Health Babies Coalition of Washington State) and the Washington State API Hep B Task Force, have developed a 2007 calendar with hepatitis B messages for the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community. The two-sided calendar displays API photos and the message "Every 30 seconds, hepatitis B takes a life. Get tested. Get vaccinated." This message is translated into Chinese, Cambodian, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Healthcare providers in Washington state can order by going to the materials request form at http://www.hmhbwa.org/forprof/materials/materials_form.php The calendar is found under "Posters."

Out-of-state providers may send orders to debbien@withinreachwa.org

For more information, contact Kim Nguyen at kimn@withinreachwa.org
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November 7, 2006
NEW LAW: SYRINGES CAN BE SOLD WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION IN MASSACHUSETTS

Beginning September 18, hypodermic syringes can be sold without a prescription in Massachusetts. A new law states that individuals 18 years and older may legally purchase syringes and needles from a pharmacy without a prescription, and that the disposal of syringes must be done safely and responsibly.

A number of major pharmacy chains are participating in this initiative, and community organizations are working on educating injection drug users about the change and supplying sharps containers for safe disposal.

Questions about this law can be directed to Thera Meehan, HIV/AIDS Bureau, Massachusetts Department of Health. Email: thera.meehan@state.ma.us Phone: (617) 624-5300
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November 7, 2006
PENNSYLVANIA SCHEDULES ITS FIRST VIRAL HEPATITIS CONFERENCE

The Pennsylvania Department of Health will partner with the Hepatitis B Foundation, CDC, and others to host the state's first Viral Hepatitis Annual Conference on November 16–17, in Harrisburg. This event will provide healthcare workers and social service providers with the latest information on guidelines and best practices for the prevention, care, and treatment of viral hepatitis.

For registration and other information, go to: http://www.hepb.org/pdf/PA_ViralHepatitisConference.pdf


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