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- Fall vaccination roundup. Consider protection against the flu, shingles, pneumonia, and tetanus. [Journal Article]
- Harv Health Lett 2014 Sep; 39(11):7.
- Shingles vaccination: background and advice for community nurses. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Br J Community Nurs 2014 Sep 2; 19(9):442-446.
Shingles (or zoster) is a reactivation of an existing varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection. During the initial infection, VZV causes a systemic disease known as varicella or chickenpox, and this initial infection normally occurs early in childhood in the absence of routine vaccination. Although varicella is normally a mild disease, shingles is associated with significant morbidity and some mortality, particularly in older people. The most significant severe consequence is post-herpetic neuralgia. There is an effective vaccine available for this, known as Zostavax, which is a live-attenuated VZV vaccine. Guidelines in the UK recommend that this is offered to everyone when they become 70 years of age, plus those aged 79 years as part of a catch-up campaign, with those between these ages not being eligible. It is important for all health-care professionals, including district and community nurses, to proactively promote this vaccine, so that those eligible can make an informed decision about whether to receive it.
- National, state, and selected local area vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months - United States, 2013. [Journal Article]
- MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014 Aug 29; 63(34):741-8.
In the United States, among children born during 1994-2013, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths during their lifetimes. Since 1994, the National Immunization Survey (NIS) has monitored vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months in the United States. This report describes national, regional, state, and selected local area vaccination coverage estimates for children born January 2010-May 2012, based on results from the 2013 NIS. In 2013, vaccination coverage achieved the 90% national Healthy People 2020 target* for ≥1 dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) (91.9%); ≥3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) (90.8%); ≥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine (92.7%); and ≥1 dose of varicella vaccine (91.2%). Coverage was below the Healthy People 2020 targets for ≥4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP) (83.1%; target 90%); ≥4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) (82.0%; target 90%); the full series of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib) (82.0%; target 90%); ≥2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine (HepA) (54.7%; target 85%); rotavirus vaccine (72.6%; target 80%); and the HepB birth dose (74.2%; target 85%). Coverage remained stable relative to 2012 for all of the vaccinations with Healthy People 2020 objectives except for increases in the HepB birth dose (by 2.6 percentage points) and rotavirus vaccination (by 4.0 percentage points). The percentage of children who received no vaccinations remained below 1.0% (0.7%). Children living below the federal poverty level had lower vaccination coverage compared with children living at or above the poverty level for many vaccines, with the largest disparities for ≥4 doses of DTaP (by 8.2 percentage points), full series of Hib (by 9.5 percentage points), ≥4 doses of PCV (by 11.6 percentage points), and rotavirus (by 12.6 percentage points). MMR coverage was below 90% for 17 states. Reaching and maintaining high coverage across states and socioeconomic groups is needed to prevent resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Closure of varicella-zoster virus-containing vaccines pregnancy registry - United States, 2013. [Journal Article]
- MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014 Aug 22; 63(33):732-3.
Vaccines that contain live attenuated varicella-zoster virus (VZV) (Varivax, ProQuad, and Zostavax [all products of Merck & Co., Inc.]) are contraindicated during pregnancy. To monitor the pregnancy outcomes of women inadvertently vaccinated with VZV-containing vaccines immediately before or during pregnancy, Merck and CDC established the Merck/CDC Pregnancy Registry for VZV-Containing Vaccines in 1995. This report updates previously published summaries of registry data, provides the rationale for the closure of the registry, and describes plans for continued monitoring of the safety of these vaccines when inadvertently administered to pregnant women or immediately before pregnancy. From inception of the registry in 1995 through March 2012, no cases of congenital varicella syndrome and no increased prevalence of other birth defects have been detected among women vaccinated within 3 months before or during pregnancy. Although a small risk for congenital varicella syndrome cannot be ruled out, the number of exposures being registered each year (approximately two varicella-susceptible women exposed during the high-risk period for congenital varicella syndrome) is now too low to improve on the current estimate of the risk.
- Update on recommendations for use of herpes zoster vaccine. [Journal Article]
- MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014 Aug 22; 63(33):729-31.
Herpes zoster vaccine (Zostavax [Merck & Co., Inc.]) was licensed in 2006 and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 2008 for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) and its complications among adults aged ≥60 years. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Zostavax in 2011 for adults aged 50 through 59 years based on a large study of safety and efficacy in this age group. ACIP initially considered the use of herpes zoster vaccine among adults aged 50 through 59 years in June 2011, but declined to recommend the vaccine in this age group, citing shortages of Zostavax and limited data on long-term protection afforded by herpes zoster vaccine. In October 2013, ACIP reviewed the epidemiology of herpes zoster and its complications, herpes zoster vaccine supply, short-term vaccine efficacy in adults aged 50 through 59 years, short- and long- term vaccine efficacy and effectiveness in adults aged ≥60 years, an updated cost-effectiveness analysis, and deliberations of the ACIP herpes zoster work group, all of which are summarized in this report. No vote was taken, and ACIP maintained its current recommendation that herpes zoster vaccine be routinely recommended for adults aged ≥60 years. Meeting minutes are available at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/meetings-info.html.
- Chickenpox in poland in 2012. [Journal Article]
- Przegl Epidemiol 2014; 68(2):201-4.
A number of chickenpox cases, occurring especially in children, indicates the rationale for the use of chickenpox vaccinations. In Poland since 2002, chickenpox vaccination is included in the National Immunisation Programme as recommended.To assess epidemiological situation of chickenpox in Poland in 2012 in comparison to previous years.The descriptive analysis was based on data retrieved from routine mandatory surveillance system and published in the annual bulletins "Infectious diseases and poisonings in Poland in 2012" and "Vaccinations in Poland in 2012" (Czarkowski MP i in., Warszawa 2013, NIZP-PZH i GIS). National Immunisation Programme for year 2012 was also used.In 2012, 208 276 cases of chickenpox were registered in Poland. The highest number of cases was reported in Śląskie voivodeship, the lowest in Podlaskie voivodeship. Mumps incidence was 540.5 per 100 000 and was higher than in 2011 (448.7). The highest incidence was recorded in children aged 4 years (7 611.5 per 100 000). The chickenpox incidence among men (570.7) was higher than among women (512.2). The incidence among rural residents (553.9) was higher than among urban residents (531.8). Number of cases hospitalized due to mumps was 1 361. Number of people vaccinated against chickenpox was 56 213.In 2012, there was an increase in the incidence of smallpox in Poland. This trend is continuing since 2004, which can be partly explained by improved surveillance of the disease.
- Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review. [REVIEW]
- Pediatrics 2014 Aug; 134(2):325-337.
Concerns about vaccine safety have led some parents to decline recommended vaccination of their children, leading to the resurgence of diseases. Reassurance of vaccine safety remains critical for population health. This study systematically reviewed the literature on the safety of routine vaccines recommended for children in the United States.Data sources included PubMed, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices statements, package inserts, existing reviews, manufacturer information packets, and the 2011 Institute of Medicine consensus report on vaccine safety. We augmented the Institute of Medicine report with more recent studies and increased the scope to include more vaccines. Only studies that used active surveillance and had a control mechanism were included. Formulations not used in the United States were excluded. Adverse events and patient and vaccine characteristics were abstracted. Adverse event collection and reporting was evaluated by using the McHarm scale. We were unable to pool results. Strength of evidence was rated as high, moderate, low, or insufficient.Of 20 478 titles identified, 67 were included. Strength of evidence was high for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and febrile seizures; the varicella vaccine was associated with complications in immunodeficient individuals. There is strong evidence that MMR vaccine is not associated with autism. There is moderate evidence that rotavirus vaccines are associated with intussusception. Limitations of the study include that the majority of studies did not investigate or identify risk factors for AEs; and the severity of AEs was inconsistently reported.We found evidence that some vaccines are associated with serious AEs; however, these events are extremely rare and must be weighed against the protective benefits that vaccines provide.
- Herpes Zoster Stromal Keratitis After Varicella Vaccine Booster in a Pediatric Patient. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Cornea 2014 Jul 24.
In this study, the case of a healthy pediatric patient who presented with herpes zoster (HZ) stromal keratitis after vaccination with live attenuated varicella vaccine (Varivax) and subsequent booster is described.This is a retrospective case review.A 6-year-old girl with no medical history presented with HZ ophthalmicus and stromal keratitis. She had received the original Varivax vaccine at 1 year of age and a booster 1 year before presentation. Topical prednisolone acetate was started with subsequent improvement in inflammation and visual acuity. However, the patient was unable to be completely tapered off the steroids because of reactivation.HZ ophthalmicus with stromal keratitis is a rare but potentially damaging manifestation of the varicella zoster virus in the pediatric population. Long-term data regarding reactivation rates in the post-vaccination era are still limited. Close follow-up is needed to ensure resolution of the infiltrates, and reactivation may require long-term steroid therapy.
- Shingles vaccination pros and cons. Vaccination against the chicken pox virus prevents a painful rash common in older men, but it has limits. [Journal Article]
- Harv Mens Health Watch 2014 Jun; 18(11):4.
- Varicella and herpes zoster vaccines: WHO position paper, June 2014. [Journal Article]
- Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2014 Jun 20; 89(25):265-87.