News Scan for Aug 29, 2013

US adolescent vaccination rates
Salmonella in spices

CDC: Most adolescent vaccine coverage progressing, but HPV lags

Progress is being made overall in achieving the targets set out by the Healthy People 2020 program for fully immunizing adolescents, but human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage is lagging and healthcare providers should use every opportunity to administer it, says a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Vaccines recommended for administration to preteens (ages 11 and 12) by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) are one dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, one dose of meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine, and three doses of HPV vaccine, plus the annual flu vaccine and any overdue childhood vaccines.

To determine the success of preteen immunization programs, the CDC analyzed data from the National Immunization Survey–Teen to determine coverage in 13- to 17-year-olds. The researchers found that, from 2011 to 2012, coverage with one or more doses for Tdap increased from 78.2% to 84.6% and for MenACWY from 70.5% to 74.0%.

As for HPV vaccine, in boys the coverage with one or more doses increased from 8.3% to 20.8% and in girls it stayed similar or declined between the 2 years, standing at 28.1% for those 13 to 15 years of age.

Given that the national targets for Healthy People 2020 are to reach 80% of 13- to 15-year-olds with Tdap, MenACWY, and HPV, the first two vaccines are on track, but HPV lags far behind.

Thirty-six states met or exceeded Tdap coverage targets, and 12 met or exceeded MenACWY targets. No states met HPV coverage target for girls. Overall, the Northeast had the highest coverage rates for all vaccines, but coverage among states and vaccines varied widely.

"Whether for health problems or well-checks, providers, parents, and adolescents should use every health-care visit as an opportunity to review adolescents' immunization histories and ensure that every adolescent is fully vaccinated," the report says.
Aug 30 MMWR report


India initiates efforts to reduce Salmonella in spices

Officials in India are pushing major changes in food safety practices surrounding the country's spice trade ahead of a soon-to-be-released report from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implicating imported spices as a potential source of Salmonella contamination, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today.

Farmers are taking steps such as boiling their spice harvest after an FDA study of more than 20,000 spice shipments found frequent Salmonella contamination, the story said, citing a recent study in Food Microbiology.

In that study, 14% of samples from Mexico and 9% of samples from India contained Salmonella. Those countries had the highest levels. About a fourth of spices, oils, and food coloring used in the United States comes from India, the story said.

The study found that 15% of coriander, 12% of oregano and basil, and 4% of black pepper shipments were contaminated. Sesame seeds, curry, and cumin were also found to contain some level of Salmonella.
Aug 29 Sydney Morning Herald article
June Food Microbiol abstract

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