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Immunization Works January 2014

Immunization Works January 2014 Newsletter


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New Director of the Immunization Services Division (ISD), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD): Dr. Melinda Wharton has been appointed as the new Director of ISD/NCIRD. Dr. Wharton is well known to the immunization community, as she has worked in CDC’s immunization program since 1992 and served as Deputy Director of NCIRD from 2006 to the present. Dr. Wharton is a national and international expert in vaccine policy, vaccine safety science, and public health response. Dr. Wharton has authored or co-authored more than 95 scientific journal articles, book chapters, and CDC publications. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Philip R. Horne Award and the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service. She currently chairs the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety for the World Health Organization.

Dr. Wharton graduated from the University of Oklahoma with highest honors and received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and her infectious diseases fellowship at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham North Carolina. She joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 1986 and was assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health and Environment in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1989, she began work as a medical epidemiologist in CDC's Epidemiology Program Office.

She joined CDC's immunization program in 1992 and since that time has held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as Chief of the Child Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch from 1994-2000 and as Director of the Epidemiology and Surveillance Division from 2000-2004. Dr. Wharton also served as Acting Director of CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and of the Immunization Services Division during periods of transition in those units. Dr. Wharton brings tremendous expertise and her customary wisdom and calm to complex leadership demands.

2014 Immunization Schedules: Every year, recommendations for routine use of vaccines in children, adolescents, and adults are developed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and, when adopted by the Director of CDC, become official CDC/HHS policy. In early 2014, MMWR will publish a summary of schedule changes but will not publish the figures, footnotes, and tables. 2014 figures, footnotes, and tables will only be published on the CDC website.

The 2014 child and adolescent schedule is set to be released on January 31 and the adult schedule is set to be released on February 3. Until then, the 2013 schedules will remain on the website.

CDC encourages organizations to content syndicate rather than copy a PDF version of the schedule onto their websites to share with visitors. Content syndication allows other organizations’ websites to mirror CDC web content, with immediate and automatic updates whenever changes are made on the CDC site. This helps ensure that all schedules are current across the Internet.

Recent Internet searches reveal hundreds of old copies of the schedules; please use this best practice to keep your website up to date. Prepare now for the release of the 2014 schedules by following the steps to display the schedules on your site.

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Influenza Information

HAN Alert: On January 15, 2014, the CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) issued a CDC Health Advisory titled Human Infection with Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus. On January 8, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported the first confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus identified in North America. The patient exhibited symptoms while returning from travel to Beijing, China, on December 27, 2013. The patient was hospitalized on January 1, 2014, and subsequently died on January 3, 2014. Investigations by Canadian public health officials are ongoing. Since avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses have only been rarely, and never sustainably, transmitted from person to person, there is a very low risk of subsequent related cases. To date, no cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses have been reported in the United States. Please read the advisory for the full report.

Flu Season Resources: Are you promoting flu vaccination this season? CDC provides a variety of free materials for all audiences, including print, audio/video, social media tools, and web tools. This season CDC has added new flu promotional materials for grassroots outreach to health disparate populations. Order these resources and more at the free resources web page; it’s one-stop shopping for up-to-date flu information!

Also, check out our flu partner website, where partners are entering activities into the calendar of events for the 2013-14 flu season. Submit your flu prevention activities/events and see what others are planning now.

You can also visit CDC’s main flu website to access relevant Q&As; learn more about the most recent ACIP recommendations; keep up with national and international flu activity, surveillance, and vaccine coverage data; or view information tailored specifically for health care professionals.

Health Map Vaccine Finder: Need help finding flu vaccine? The Health Map Vaccine Finder helps consumers find flu vaccine within their communities.

Health care providers can register their location on this site, which now shows availability for more than 38,000 locations. Spread the word to immunization providers about how they can register.

Flu-related questions and information requests (including web content syndication or how to receive updates via subscription) should be directed to CDC at

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Resources and Information

Current Issues in Immunization Netconference: Immunization netconferences are live, one-hour presentations combining an online visual presentation with simultaneous audio via telephone conference call and a live question and answer session. Internet access and a separate phone line are needed to participate. The most recent netconference was December 12, 2013. Please visit the netconference web page for additional information and archived webcasts of past presentations.

You Call the Shots Modules: You Call the Shots is a web-based training course developed through the Project to Enhance Immunization Content in Nursing Education and Training. The Vaccine Storage and Handling and Vaccines for Children (VFC) modules have recently been updated and are now available. Please visit You Call the Shots for additional information and other modules. Continuing Education (CE) credit is available for viewing a module and completing an evaluation.

ACIP Meeting: The next ACIP meeting will be held February 26-27, 2014. Please visit the ACIP meeting web page for presentation slides, meeting minutes, archived video broadcasts, and additional information.

Kick-off Webinar for National Infant Immunization Week: In preparation for National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 26-May 3, 2014, NCIRD will host a free webinar, New CDC Resources and Tools for National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) 2014. It is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at 1 p.m. EST. The webinar will cover:

  • New 20th anniversary promotional materials
  • Updated planning tools to help you create a successful NIIW
  • Key dates and resources for the 2014 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award
  • Tips and best practices for media outreach, event planning, parent education, and more from your peers at state health departments and coalitions

This event requires pre-registration. To secure your spot, e-mail Brian Katzowitz at

Nominations for Childhood Immunization Champion Awards: The annual CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award recognizes individuals who make a significant contribution toward improving public health through their work in childhood immunization.

Each year, up to one CDC Immunization Champion from each of the 50 states, eight U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia will be honored. Champions can include coalition members, parents, health care professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, etc.), and other immunization leaders who meet the award criteria. Immunization program managers, state and federal government employees of health agencies, individuals who have been affiliated with and/or employed by pharmaceutical companies, and those who have already received the award are not eligible to apply.

Awardees will be announced during National Infant Immunization Week, April 26–May 3.

The suggested due date is February 14, 2014, but states may select a unique deadline. Please contact your state immunization program to confirm your state’s deadline.

Please visit the Childhood Immunization Champions web page for additional information.

Immunizations for School-Aged Children: If your child has missed any recommended immunizations, talk to your child’s health care professional (HCP) about catch-up immunizations. Immunizations aren’t just for young children. In fact, there are certain immunizations that are recommended at various stages throughout childhood and on through adulthood. According to CDC, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. CDC urges people of all ages to receive those immunizations that are recommended for their age and health status. Continue to protect your child’s health by making sure your child gets timely immunizations to prevent your child from getting and spreading diseases. Additional immunization information is available from Family Health Series.

Vaccines for Preteens and Teens: CDC has introduced a web portal resource to increase clinician recommendations for HPV.

  • HPV Vaccine Resources for Health Care Professionals: This new web portal includes resources for clinicians, as well as handouts to give to parents. Features on the portal include a Tips for Talking to Parents about the HPV Vaccine[1 page] fact sheet and an Understanding the Burden of HPV-Cancers slide presentation. The fact sheet provides helpful responses to answer parents’ questions about the HPV vaccine. The customizable presentation offers a detailed overview about the disease, the vaccine, and tips on making a strong HPV vaccine recommendation.

Adult Immunization Materials: Adult resource materials are available for order from the Public Health Foundation, including a new prescription pad with a checklist health care providers can use to counsel patients about which vaccines are right for them. Each sheet on the pad lists 17 possible vaccinations and serves as a convenient resource for patients and providers.

Also visit CDC’s Resources for Educating Adult Patients about Vaccines, which has various materials available for download to educate and encourage adult patients to get vaccinated. The resources, along with the new Vaccines for Adults website provide general information on adult vaccination. Targeted groups include young adults (19-26 years), pregnant women, adults with special health conditions, and older adults (60 years and older).

CDC and Medscape Videos: This special series of commentaries is part of a collaboration between CDC and Medscape and is designed to deliver CDC's authoritative guidance directly to Medscape's physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers. In this series, experts from CDC offer video commentaries on the current topics important to practicing clinicians. NCIRD has contributed to a variety of commentaries. You may need to sign up and log in as a member to view the videos. Registration is free.

Immunization Resources: The NCIRD publication ordering form is a thing of the past and selected NCIRD publications are now available for ordering at CDC-INFO on Demand. You can search for immunization publications by using the “Programs” drop down menu (Immunization and Vaccines) or you can search by “Title.” Numerous items, including the Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations and flu campaign materials, are available for ordering. The 2014 immunization schedules will be available in early March.

CDC Job Openings: CDC is committed to recruiting and hiring qualified candidates for a wide range of immunization and other positions. Researchers, medical officers, epidemiologists, and other specialists are often needed to fill positions within CDC. For a current listing, including international opportunities, please visit CDC’s employment web page.

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Calendar of Events

9th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD), March 9-13, 2014, Hyderabad, India

2014 Spring Clinical Vaccinology Course, March 21-23, 2014, Seattle, WA

New Hampshire Immunization Conference, March 26, 2014, Manchester, NH

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 26-May 3, 2014, nationwide

17th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research, April 28-30, 2014, Bethesda, MD

2014 National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit, May 12-15, 2014, Atlanta, GA

Pennsylvania Immunization Conference, June 19, 2014, Wyomissing, PA


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