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Immunization Works May 2014

Immunization Works May 2014 Newsletter


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First Confirmed Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection in the United States: Since mid-March 2014, the frequency with which cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection have been reported has increased, with the majority of recent cases reported from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). In addition, the frequency with which travel-associated MERS cases have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) has increased, as well as the number of countries reporting such cases. The first case of MERS in the United States, identified in a traveler from Saudi Arabia, was reported to CDC by the Indiana State Department of Health on May 1, 2014, and confirmed by CDC on May 2. A second imported case of MERS in the United States, identified in a traveler from Saudi Arabia with no connection to the first case, was reported to CDC by the Florida Department of Health on May 11, 2014.

The purpose of this report is to alert clinicians, health officials, and others to increase awareness of the need to consider MERS-CoV infection in persons who have recently traveled from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. The May 16 MMWR summarizes recent epidemiologic information, provides preliminary descriptions of the cases reported from Indiana and Florida, and updates CDC guidance about patient evaluation, home care and isolation, specimen collection, and travel as of May 13, 2014. Please visit the CDC MERS web page for additional information and the latest updates.

New NCIRD Deputy Director: CDR Amanda Cohn has joined the Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, as Deputy Director. CDR Cohn received her medical training at Emory University School of Medicine and then completed her internship and residency in pediatrics in Boston. She joined CDC in 2004 as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer in the Bacterial Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch, National Immunization Program. She has been a medical officer in the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch since 2006, where she has been a subject matter expert for meningococcal disease. During that time, she was the CDC lead of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) Meningococcal Vaccines Work Group, where she led several important policy discussions around use of meningococcal conjugate vaccines in children and adolescents. She has led and supervised multiple domestic and international meningococcal disease outbreak investigations and she has led numerous CDC activities around introduction of meningococcal A conjugate vaccine and establishment of meningitis surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa. Since January 2013, she has directed MVPDB epidemiology activities around pertussis, H. influenzae, meningococcal disease, tetanus, and diphtheria as Acting Epidemiology Team Lead. She has been an author or co-author on numerous publications, including recently published AAP guidelines for anthrax clinical management and ACIP recommendations on the Prevention and Control of Meningococcal Disease.

CDC Vaccine Schedules App for Clinicians and Other Immunization Providers: Healthcare providers who recommend or administer vaccines can immediately access all CDC-recommended immunization schedules and footnotes using the CDC Vaccine Schedules app. Optimized for tablets and useful on smartphones, the app shows the child, adolescent, and adult vaccines recommended by ACIP.

The app visually mimics the printed schedules, which are reviewed and published annually. Users can identify correct vaccine, dosage, and timing with two or three clicks. Any changes in the schedules will be released through app updates. This app is one of an expanding collection of applications from CDC on a variety of specific topics, each optimized for your mobile device. Download this free app from the iTunes App Store.

National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit: The NAIIS was a great success, thanks to the contribution and participation of numerous partners. Three-hundred-and-fifty attendees participated in sessions and breakout meetings during the three days. Speakers included Assistant Secretary of DHHS Dr. Howard Koh, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, and NCIRD Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. The Summit highlighted the importance of the healthcare provider recommendation in prompting adult patients to get vaccinated. Five Summit workgroups began planning action items for 2014–15 to improve adult immunization coverage for ACIP-recommended vaccines and uptake of seasonal influenza vaccine. Awards for individuals and organizations were presented at an inspiring lunch program during the summit. Please visit the Summit web page for best practices in influenza and adult immunization.

National Adult Immunization Practice Standards: More organizations are stepping forward in support of the National Adult Immunization Practice Standards. These standards serve as a call to action for healthcare providers to: 1) routinely assess vaccination status; 2) strongly recommend needed vaccines; 3) administer needed vaccines or refer to a vaccine provider; and 4) document vaccines given in immunization information systems (IIS) (aka vaccine registries). Please visit the Standards web page for additional information, including new fact sheets (see more about these resources below). Also, visit the Summit webpage to see a list of organizations supporting these standards.

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Influenza Information

CDC Study—Influenza Vaccination Prevents Hospitalization in Older People: A new CDC study shows that flu vaccines prevent flu-associated hospitalizations in people 65 years and older, even during seasons when vaccine effectiveness is low. The study reinforces CDC’s existing recommendation for annual vaccination of adults 65 years and older who are at high risk for serious flu-related complications and often most impacted by serious flu disease each year, resulting in hospitalization or death.

The study, published online[12 pages] in Clinical Infectious Diseases on May 6, 2014, used statistical modeling to estimate hospitalizations prevented by flu vaccine in adults aged 65 years and older for estimates of vaccine effectiveness against medically attended influenza illness ranging from 10% to 70%. Researchers used CDC flu surveillance data collected during the 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons. The 2011–12 season was considered to be a mild flu season, whereas the 2012–13 season was characterized as moderate to severe. Using data from these two seasons, researchers were able to determine the varying impact that flu vaccination had in terms of hospitalizations prevented.

Flu Season Resources: 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 flu resources web page; it’s one-stop shopping for up-to-date flu information!

Also, check out our flu partner website, where partners enter activities into the calendar of events for the flu season. Submit your flu prevention activities/events and see what others have submitted.

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 healthcare providers.

Health Map Vaccine Finder: Help consumers find flu vaccine within their communities by referring them to the Health Map Vaccine Finder.

Healthcare providers can register their locations 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 next netconference is scheduled for July 30, 2014. Please visit the netconference web page for additional information and archived webcasts.

ACIP Meeting: The next ACIP meeting will be held June 25–26, 2014. Please visit the ACIP meeting web page for the agenda, presentation slides, meeting minutes, archived video broadcasts, and additional information.

Vaccines for Preteens and Teens: CDC understands that a strong recommendation for HPV vaccine from a healthcare provider can make an impact on vaccination rates, but we know there can be some challenges with messaging. To remedy these challenges, CDC has developed two new CME courses to assist doctors, nurses, and other health providers in effectively speaking with patients and their parents about HPV vaccine.

  • Continuing Education Opportunity: You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention: This is a web-on-demand video which is approximately one hour in length. It was posted for CE credit on February 26, 2014 and CE credit is available until February 26, 2016. Credit is available for immunization providers, including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician’s assistants, DoD paraprofessionals, medical students, etc.
  • COMING SOON: Medscape CME—How to Make the Recommendation: This CME activity is for pediatricians, family physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers who care for adolescent patients in their practice or clinic. The goal of the CME is to enhance decision-making skills and knowledge, building both confidence and competence in the care of adolescent patients. Included in this CME are Skill-building Video Vignettes, custom-developed videos illustrating provider-patient encounters that demonstrate educational gaps that cannot be as effectively achieved with text alone, such as clinician/patient communication.

CDC Resources on Implementing the Standards for Adult Immunization Practice: CDC has developed resources to support healthcare providers in implementing NVAC’s recently updated adult immunization practice standards. In addition to an overview of the new standards, there is a series of fact sheets on improving vaccine assessment, recommendation, administration, and referral.

Each two-sided fact sheet (8.5" x 11") includes key information, tips, and resources relevant for all healthcare providers-whether they provide vaccination services or not. CDC encourages wide distribution of these resources.

Adult Immunization Materials: Adult resource materials are available for order from the Public Health Foundation, including a new prescription pad with a checklist healthcare 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 Adult Vaccination Information for Healthcare and Public Health Professionals,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 healthcare 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: NCIRD publications are available for ordering at CDC-INFO on Demand. You can search for immunization publications using the “Programs” drop down menu and selecting “Immunization and Vaccines”, or you can search by “Title.” Numerous items, including the 2014 printed and laminated immunization schedules, the Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations, and flu campaign materials, can be ordered.

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

National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) Meeting, June 10–11, 2014, Washington, DC

Immunization Summit, June 17–18, 2014, Charleston, WV

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

Colorado Two-Day Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Course (VPD), July 30–31, 2014, Breckenridge, CO

Immunization Business and Clinical Strategies for Ob-gyn Practices, July 30, 2014, webinar


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