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Hep Express Issue 55

Issue Number 55, April 18, 2007
 
Contents of this Issue
1. AAP policy statement recommends that all children receive hepatitis A vaccination at age 1 year
2. FDA approves accelerated dosing schedule for Twinrix
3. AAPCHO responds to CDC report about declining incidence of acute viral hepatitis infections
4. April 2007 issue of Vaccinate Adults is on the Web and in the mail
5. IAC revises two professional-education pieces
6. PKIDS offers access to health professionals' expertise
7. Hepatitis B Foundation expands its Expert Speakers Forum
8. APAMSA launches new website
9. HepB.tv offers hepatitis B programming for Asian Americans
10. New: Tenth edition of the Pink Book is now in print and online
11. English and Spanish VISs for most child and adult vaccines now in audio, multimedia, and web-page video format
12. VHPB updates its website with new meeting report

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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April 18, 2007
AAP POLICY STATEMENT RECOMMENDS THAT ALL CHILDREN RECEIVE HEPATITIS A VACCINATION AT AGE 1 YEAR

[The following is cross posted from the Immunization Action Coalition's "IAC EXPRESS" electronic newsletter, 4/16/07.]

On April 9, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement made by its Committee on Infectious Diseases. It is titled "Hepatitis A Vaccine Recommendations"; the abstract is reprinted below.

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ABSTRACT. Since licensure in 1995 of hepatitis A vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have been implementing an incremental hepatitis A immunization strategy in children. In 1996, children living in populations with the highest rates of disease were targeted for immunization, and in 1999, the program was expanded to immunization of children 2 years and older living in states and counties with rates of hepatitis A historically higher than the national average. The 1999 program has been successful; the current rate of hepatitis A is the lowest ever reported in the United States. Regional, ethnic, and racial differences in the incidence of hepatitis A have been eliminated. The incidence of hepatitis A in adults in immunizing states has decreased significantly, suggesting a strong herd immunity effect associated with immunization. In 2005 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the youngest approved age of administration of hepatitis A vaccine from 24 months to 12 months of age, which facilitated incorporation of the vaccine into the recommended childhood immunization schedule. As the next step in the implementation of the incremental vaccine immunization strategy, the AAP now recommends routine administration of an FDA-licensed hepatitis A vaccine to all children 12 to 23 months of age in all states according to a CDC-approved immunization schedule.

Available data suggest that hepatitis A vaccine can be coadministered with other childhood vaccines without decreasing immunogenicity. Hepatitis A vaccines have proven to be extremely safe. In prelicensure clinical trials of both Havrix (GlaxoSmithKline, Rixensart, Belgium) and Vaqta (Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ), adverse events were uncommon and mild when they occurred, with resolution typically in less than 1 day. Hepatitis A vaccine is contraindicated in people with a history of severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis A vaccine or to a vaccine component. Because the hepatitis A vaccine is an inactivated product, no special precautions are needed for administration to people who are immunocompromised. No data exist about administration of hepatitis A vaccine to pregnant women, but because it is not a live vaccine, the risk to mother and fetus should be extremely low to nonexistent.

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To access the complete policy statement, go to:
http://www.cispimmunize.org/pro/pdf/HepatitisA-040907.pdf
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April 18, 2007
FDA APPROVES ACCELERATED DOSING SCHEDULE FOR TWINRIX

On March 28, FDA approved an accelerated dosing schedule for Twinrix [Hepatitis A (Inactivated) and Hepatitis B (Recombinant) Vaccine, GSK]. The schedule consists of three doses given within three weeks followed by a booster dose at 12 months (0, 7, 21–30 days, 12 months).

The accelerated schedule could benefit individuals traveling to high-risk areas; emergency responders, especially those being deployed to disaster areas overseas; and others who are at risk for hepatitis A and B infection.

To read the FDA product approval information, go to:
http://www.fda.gov/cber/products/hahbgsk032807.htm

To read the package insert, go to:
http://www.fda.gov/cber/label/hahbgsk032807LB.pdf
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April 18, 2007
AAPCHO RESPONDS TO CDC REPORT ABOUT DECLINING INCIDENCE OF ACUTE VIRAL HEPATITIS INFECTIONS

[The following is cross posted from the Hepatitis B Foundation's "B News You Can Use" electronic newsletter, April 2007.]

On March 15, the CDC issued a press release reporting that acute hepatitis A and B cases are at an all-time low level in the U.S., which is good news. The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), however, issued an immediate response urging caution. According to Jeffrey Caballero, MPH, AAPCHO Executive Director, "Hepatitis B continues to be one of the larger public health threats facing this country and a disease that impacts the Asian American community at alarming rates." Currently it is estimated that 1 in 10 Asian Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis B. AAPCHO applauds the success that the CDC has had in lowering acute hepatitis A and B cases among children, but cautions that this good news should not overshadow the fact that chronic hepatitis B rates are still very high in adults. "Immunization programs for adults, that rival those developed for children, are vital if we are to make inroads and reduce chronic hepatitis B cases," urges Caballero.

To read the AAPCHO press release in its entirety, go to:
http://www.aapcho.org/site/aapcho/content.php?type=6&id=58

To read the original CDC press release, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/2007/r070315.htm

To subscribe to any of the Hepatitis B Foundation's free newsletters, go to: http://www.hepb.org/newsletter
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April 18, 2007
APRIL 2007 ISSUE OF VACCINATE ADULTS IS ON THE WEB AND IN THE MAIL

IAC just mailed the latest issue of Vaccinate Adults (April 2007) to 145,000 adult medicine specialists and others who work in the field of immunization. Packed with immunization resources for health professionals and patients, the 12-page issue is well worth downloading. All articles and education pieces have been thoroughly reviewed by immunization and hepatitis experts at CDC.

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 large. 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 April issue, go to: http://www.immunize.org/va/va19.pdf
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April 18, 2007
IAC REVISES TWO PROFESSIONAL-EDUCATION PIECES

IAC recently updated two professional-education pieces, "Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations" and "Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Adults."

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the revised "Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations," go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2017.pdf

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version of the revised "Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Adults," go to: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3072.pdf
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April 18, 2007
PKIDS OFFERS ACCESS TO HEALTH PROFESSIONALS' EXPERTISE

PKIDS (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases) offers an online Ask the Experts feature where visitors can email questions to one of four physicians. Physicians Phil Rosenthal, Paul Offit, Jane Aronson, and Sharon Humiston give generously of their time throughout the year to help kids and their parents understand the diseases that challenge their lives.

To access the Ask the Experts feature, visit the PKIDS home page at http://www.pkids.org

Visitors with questions can also utilize the services of PKIDs' advice nurse, Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, MS, CPNP. Every week or two, Ms. Koslap-Petraco releases a podcast addressing an important health topic, and she's happy to answer general health questions emailed to her.

To visit the advice nurse page, go to: http://www.pkids.org/fam_nurseMB.php
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April 18, 2007
HEPATITIS B FOUNDATION EXPANDS ITS EXPERT SPEAKERS FORUM

The Hepatitis B Foundation's (HBF) online Expert Speakers Forum now includes five presentations. Each presentation is available in audio, video, and printer-friendly text formats.

The experts and their topics follow.

Hillel Tobias, MD, FACS: "What is the impact of hepatitis B in the U.S?"

W. Thomas London, MD: "Why is hepatitis B important?"

Emmet Keeffe, MD: "Evolving Treatment Strategies for Chronic Hepatitis B"

Samuel So, MD, FACS: "Eliminating the Voodoo from Hepatitis B"

Harold Margolis, MD: "Viral Hepatitis—A National Perspective: Closing the Gaps"

To access the HBF Expert Speakers Forum, go to: http://www.hepb.org/expforum
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April 18, 2007
APAMSA LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) has launched a new website at http://www.apamsa.org. The website is the best source of information on APAMSA's hepatitis B projects. In addition, the website offers downloadable issues of the APAMSA newsletter, "Fresh Off the Press," and information about regional conferences.
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April 18, 2007
HEPB.TV OFFERS HEPATITIS B PROGRAMMING FOR ASIAN AMERICANS

HepB.tv is the first online television network for hepatitis B. It offers original and syndicated video and audio programming to educate Asian Americans about hepatitis B, and also provides resources to raise public awareness of the need for testing, vaccination, and treatment.

Be sure to recommend this cutting-edge resource to patients who might be interested in its content. To visit HepB.tv, go to: http://www.hepb.tv
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April 18, 2007
NEW: TENTH EDITION OF THE PINK BOOK IS NOW IN PRINT AND ONLINE

[The following is cross posted from the Immunization Action Coalition's "IAC EXPRESS" electronic newsletter, 3/26/07.]

The tenth edition of CDC's Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (the Pink Book) is now available in print and online. Published by the National Immunization Program, the Pink Book provides physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and others with the most comprehensive information on vaccine-preventable diseases.

The tenth edition contains new chapters on rotavirus, human papillomavirus, and zoster (shingles). All other chapters have been updated with the most current information.

A print copy of the Pink Book is available for $32 plus shipping and handling.

To order online from the website of the Public Health Foundation, go to: http://bookstore.phf.org/index.php?cPath=45 Scroll down and click on the pertinent link.

To order by mail, phone, fax, or email, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink and follow directions.

To download chapters of the book, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink/def_pink_full.htm
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April 18, 2007
ENGLISH AND SPANISH VISs FOR MOST CHILD AND ADULT VACCINES NOW IN AUDIO, MULTIMEDIA, AND WEB-PAGE VIDEO FORMAT

[The following is cross posted from the Immunization Action Coalition's "IAC EXPRESS" electronic newsletter, 4/2/07.]

Healthy Roads Media recently announced that English and Spanish VISs are offered on its website in three enhanced formats (in addition to print): audio, multimedia, and web-page video. VISs in all formats are available for most of the common child and adult vaccines (chickenpox, DTaP, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib, MMR, inactivated influenza, pneumococcal polysaccharide, Td, and polio).

VISs in the enhanced formats are available in full-content versions and short versions (less than 4 minutes). The short versions, which cover key concepts about each vaccine, are intended for use in busy clinical settings or when multiple vaccines are being administered during a patient visit.

The print and enhanced VISs are available at no charge. To access them, go to: http://www.healthyroadsmedia.org/topics/immunization.htm

The development of VISs in enhanced formats is an activity of the Web-Based Immunization Information Resource Project. For information on the project, contact the director of Healthy Roads Media, Mary Alice Gillispie, MD, at magillispie@healthyroadsmedia.org
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April 18, 2007
VHPB UPDATES ITS WEBSITE WITH NEW MEETING REPORT

The Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board (VHPB) website has been updated to include information from the meeting held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 15-16, 2007: "Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis through Adolescent Health Programmes in Europe."

To access this report, go to the VHPB website at http://www.vhpb.org and click on the relevant link.


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