Tuesday, March 31, 2009

7 weeks, and Hep A

Just FYI, Dave and I just received our new (and hopefully 3rd time's the charm) I-171H. Here in Los Angeles it took 7 weeks for them to process. We re-did our fingerprints in October of 2008, but with the current rate of referral, which seems even slower if that is possible, it seems we might need to redo those again. If you know how long I-171H's are taking at your local office would you please reply to this thread with that info.? (You can "leave a comment" to do that, and thank you!)
For referral dates and rates check:
In other news, since you all will eventually travel, it's never too early to plan ahead. I wanted to pass on a recent post from the Our Chinese Daughters' Foundation (http://www.ocdf.org/) about Hep. A (below). Keep yourself healthy, and here's hoping your spirits stay up whether the "numbers" go up or down.

An article in this month's Pediatric News cites the need for close personal contacts of newly arriving children adopted internationally to be immunized against Hepatitis A.
This disease is usually passed by contaminated water and food, as well as unsanitary hygiene (including poor hand washing after changing diapers).
Hepatitis A vaccine is very safe, and is currently recommended for all children ages 1-2 years old. Some medical practices are also giving it to older children, although officially it is not yet recommended for all of those children (to avoid running low on the vaccine for the target group). Two doses are given, 6 months apart. Most people traveling internationally outside of the US, Canada, Australia, and western Europe should receive this vaccine.
What is new about this recommendation is that anyone who will be in close contact with the child within 60 days of arrival should also be immunized, even if they did not travel. This recommendation was prompted by the death of a 51 year old grandmother who acquired the disease from adopted twins. The twins were contagious, yet had no symptoms of the disease. Most adoption docs are now (within the last month or so) testing for this disease with the routine tests done upon arrival.Please share this information with other adoption groups, including outside of the China realm. The link for the article is:
Just a reminder: for adoption trips, most families need the following:

  • Hepatitis A vaccine: preferably 2 doses, 6 months apart
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: three doses spread over 4-6 months
  • Tetanus update: the new TdaP vaccine includes protection against Pertussis(whooping cough), so you especially want to receive this prior to travel
  • Chicken pox: either disease or vaccine
  • MMR: two doses of vaccine or proof of immunity with antibody level (if born in1957or later)
  • Polio: one dose as an adult
  • Flu shot: recommended whenever you travel, especially with the ever present concerns about Avian flu in China.

Again, please feel free to share.