Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update on Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Recommended Immunization Schedules for Children

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued its annual Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years:

National Vaccine Plan

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has unveiled a new National Vaccine Plan to enhance coordination of all aspects of federal vaccine and immunization activities. Its goal is to ensure that all Americans can access the preventive benefits of vaccines.

Tdap Vaccination Strategies

Representatives from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America co-authored a report titled Tdap Vaccination Strategies for Adolescents and Adults, Including Health Care Personnel, which is available at

The report is intended to help health care organizations of all types (hospitals, long term care facilities, ambulatory settings, home health organizations, etc.) improve Tdap vaccination rates.

The report notes that some important changes to the previously published ACIP recommendations were approved at the October 2010 ACIP meeting:

  1. For adults ages 65 years and older, a single dose of Tdap vaccine may be given in place of a tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td) vaccine in persons who have not received Tdap.
  2. Adults ages 65 years and older who have or anticipate having close contact with an infant age less than 12 months should receive a single dose of Tdap to protect against pertussis and reduce the likelihood of transmission of pertussis to infants age less than 12 months.
  3. Tdap can be administered regardless of the interval since the last tetanus- or diphtheria-containing vaccine.
  4. Children ages 7 through 10 years who are not fully immunized against pertussis and for whom no contraindication to pertussis vaccines exists should receive a single dose of Tdap to provide protection against pertussis. If additional doses of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid–containing vaccines are needed, then children ages 7 through 10 years should be vaccinated according to catch-up guidance.

PCR Diagnosing of Pertussis – Best Practices

US CDC has issued a Health Alert on the best practices for health care professionals related to the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for diagnosing pertussis in light of the continuing resurgence of pertussis and the likelihood that health care professionals will see more patients with suspected pertussis.

Influenza Update

Flu is widespread in Maine. In the week ending Feb. 12, there were seven new outbreaks – one in a long term care facility and six in K-12 schools. It is not too late to be vaccinated against the flu this season. To obtain flu vaccine, contact your health care provider, or look up clinics at or

Weekly updates on flu activity are available

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