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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News Summary for November 10, 2011

1. Quitting Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2010

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More than two-thirds of current adult smokers—68.8 percent-- want to quit, and more than half of all current adult smokers—52.4 percent--made an attempt to quit within the past year. CDC analyzed 2010 National Health Interview Survey data to describe the prevalence of interest in quitting, quit attempts in the past year, successful recent cessation, and use of evidence-based treatments among U.S. adults. Health care providers should routinely identify tobacco users, advise them to quit, and assist those trying to quit. In the past year, however, 48.3 percent of smokers received a health professional’s advice to quit and 31.7 percent used counseling and/or medication when they tried to quit. Use of effective services and treatments can almost double to triple rates of successful cessation. 

2. Global Routine Vaccination Coverage, 2010

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Although global vaccination coverage has reached record-high levels, more than 19 million children, particularly in low-income countries fail to receive some or all of the recommended childhood immunizations. In 2010, an estimated 109.4 million infants (85 percent of the global birth cohort) had received at least 3 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine, the highest number ever reported. Coverage with the other routinely recommended childhood vaccines was 90 percent for Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine, 86 percent for the third dose of poliovirus vaccine and 85 percent for measles-containing vaccine. However, approximately 19.3 million children did not receive some or all of the routinely recommended childhood vaccines, leaving them susceptible to vaccine-preventable causes of disease and death. Strengthening vaccination delivery strategies and ensuring continued funding for vaccination programs would reduce childhood morbidity and mortality.

3. Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Afghanistan and Pakistan, January 2010 — September 2011

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Achieving polio eradication by the end of 2012 depends on stopping wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ongoing, uncontrolled WPV1 transmission in Pakistan and, to a lesser extent, transmission in parts of Afghanistan, remain as substantial challenges to the 2012 target. Afghanistan and Pakistan are two of the four remaining polio endemic countries where indigenous transmission of WPV has never been interrupted, and they form one epidemiologic reservoir. With the use of vaccines containing polioviruses types 1 and 3 in eradication campaigns, the number of cases and extent of transmission of WPV type 3 (WPV3) has decreased greatly during January 2010—September 2011. Transmission of WPV type 1 (WPV1), however, has increased during January 2010—September 2011 and is widespread and uncontrolled in Pakistan and in parts of Afghanistan. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative 2010-2012 Strategic Plan aimed for both of these countries to stop WPV transmission by the end of 2012, but it is unlikely that either country will meet this target. Enhanced commitment, management and oversight by provincial and district authorities will be needed to make further progress toward polio eradication in Pakistan, and continued efforts will be needed in both countries to reach and vaccinate children in insecure areas of both countries.

4. Update on the Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccine in Persons Aged 50 Through 59 Years

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While the FDA recently expanded the license for Zostavax to adults aged 50–59, there have been supply problems for this vaccine, and so ACIP declined to expand its recommendation to adults aged 50–59 to make sure there was adequate vaccine for older adults aged 60 and older for whom Zostavax is already recommended and who are at greater risk of shingles. Shingles vaccine (Zostavax, Merck & Co.) was licensed and recommended in 2006 for prevention of shingles among adults aged 60 and older. In March 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved Zostavax for adults aged 50–59. However, since 2007, Merck has experienced intermittent Zostavax production problems and supply shortages. In June 2011, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reaffirmed its recommendation to vaccinate adults aged 60 and older, but declined to extend the recommendation to adults aged 50–59 so that vaccine would be available for older adults who experience higher rates of shingles. ACIP may reconsider this issue when a stable supply of Zostavax is assured. Changes by Merck in production processes are expected to increase Zostavax supply in coming years.

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