Sources of Vaccine Information
In addition to the Red Book , which is published at intervals of approximately 3 years, physicians should use evidence-based literature and other sources for data to answer specific vaccine questions encountered in practice. Such sources include the following:
- Pediatrics . Policy statements developed by the Committee on Infectious Diseases providing updated recommendations are published in Pediatrics between editions of the Red Book . Policy statements also may be accessed via the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Web site (http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/) . Recommendations of the Committee on Infectious Diseases are not official until approved by the Board of Directors of the AAP.
The updated recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedules for the United States are published annually in the January issue of Pediatrics and elsewhere (see Scheduling Immunizations).
- AAP News . Policy statements (or statement summaries) from the COID often are published initially in AAP News , the monthly newsmagazine of the AAP (www.aapnews.org) , to inform the membership promptly of new recommendations.
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) . Published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the MMWR contains current vaccine recommendations; reports of specific disease activity; alerts concerning vaccine availability; changes in vaccine formulations, vaccine safety issues, and policy statements; and other infectious disease and vaccine information. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC are published periodically, often as supplements to the MMWR , and are posted on the CDC Web site (www.cdc.gov/mmwr) . Recommendations of the ACIP are not official until approved by the CDC director and the Department of Health and Human Services and published in the MMWR .
- Manufacturers' package inserts (product labels) . Manufacturers provide product-specific information with each vaccine product. This information also is available in the Physicians' Desk Reference , which is published annually. The product label must be in full compliance with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations pertaining to labeling for prescription drugs, including indications and usage, dosages, routes of administration, clinical pharmacology, contraindications, and adverse events. Each package insert lists contents of the vaccine, including preservatives, stabilizers, antimicrobial agents, adjuvants, and suspending fluids. Health care professionals should be familiar with the label for each product they administer. All vaccine product labels are accessible through the FDA Web site (www.fda.gov/cber/vaccines.htm) . Most manufacturers maintain Web sites with current information concerning new vaccine releases and changes in labeling. Additionally, 24-hour contact telephone numbers for medical questions are available in the Physicians' Desk Reference (www.pdr.net).
- Health Information for International Travel . This useful monograph is published approximately every 2 years by the CDC as a guide to requirements of various countries for specific immunizations. The monograph also provides information about other vaccines recommended for travel in specific areas and other information for travelers. This document can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9235. This information also is available on the CDC Web site (wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx) . For additional sources of information on international travel, see International Travel .
- CDC materials . The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) of the CDC maintains a comprehensive Web site (www.cdc.gov/vaccines) that includes a section for health care professionals that facilitates immunization delivery. Among the resources available are ACIP provisional recommendations that can assist health care professionals in making decisions on use of new vaccines before publication of final recommendations. A CDC textbook, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases , also referred to as the Pink Book, provides comprehensive information on use and administration of childhood vaccines as well as selected ACIP statements and other vaccine-related information (for purchase of the Pink Book, contact the Public Health Foundation at 877-252-1200 or visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/#text) . A CDC publication titled Manual for Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases provides insight into principles used to investigate and control outbreaks of disease when immunization levels decrease. The NCIRD publishes a series of brochures on immunization topics and produces a CD-ROM that contains a wide range of resources, including vaccine information statements (VISs) and the complete text of the Pink Book. To obtain CDC materials, contact the CDC information center at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), or visit the NCIRD Web site (www.cdc.gov/ncird).
- Satellite broadcasts and Web-based training courses . The NCIRD, in conjunction with the Public Health Training Network, conducts several immunization-related "train the trainer" courses live via satellite and over the Internet each year. Annual course offerings include the Immunization Update, Vaccines for International Travel, Influenza, and a 4-part introductory course on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. The course schedule, slide sets, and written materials can be accessed on the Internet (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/default.htm).
- Immunization information e-mail-based inquiry system . This system responds to immunization-related questions submitted from health care professionals and members of the public. Individualized responses to inquiries typically are sent within 24 hours. Inquiries should be sent by completing a form available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/about/contact/NIPINFO_contact_form.htm.
- CDC Telephone Hot Line . The hot line is a telephone-based resource available to answer immunization-related questions from health care professionals and members of the public. The hot line can be reached at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) and is available in English and Spanish.
Printed information on immunizations also can be obtained from the NCIRD through the CDC Web site (www.cdc.gov/vaccines).
- Independent sources of reliable immunization information . Appendix I provides a list of reliable immunization information resources, including facts concerning vaccine efficacy, clinical applications, schedules, and unbiased information about safety. Two organizations particularly are comprehensive in addressing concerns of practicing physicians: the National Network for Immunization Information (www.immunizationinfo.org) and the Immunization Action Coalition (www.immunize.org).
- Vaccine price list . Information about pediatric and adolescent vaccines, types of packaging, and CDC and private-sector costs are available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/cdc-vac-price-list.htm.
Other resources1 include the FDA and Institute of Medicine; infectious disease and vaccine experts at university-affiliated hospitals, at medical schools, and in private practice; and state immunization programs and local public health departments. Information can be obtained from state and local health departments about current Epidemiology of diseases; immunization recommendations; legal requirements; public health policies; and nursery school, child care, and school health concerns or requirements. Information regarding global health matters can be obtained from the World Health Organization (www.who.int/).
- Immunization schedules . An online catch-up immunization scheduler is available (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/scheduler/catchup.htm) for use by parents and health care professionals. The scheduler is based on the recommended immunization schedule for children 0 through 6 years of age. The scheduler, which can be downloaded, allows the user to determine the vaccines a child needs and especially is useful for quickly viewing missed or skipped vaccines according to the recommended childhood immunization schedule.
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