MMWR News Synopsis
Friday, November 12, 2021
- Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2020
- HIV Prevention Program Eligibility Among Adolescent Girls and Young Women — Namibia, 2019
- Influenza Vaccinations During the COVID-19 Pandemic — 11 U.S. Jurisdictions, September–December 2020
- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in Children Aged 5–11 Years — United States, November 2021
- Notes from the Field
Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2020
CDC News Media
Reported measles cases fell in 2020 after a global resurgence from 2017-2019, but progress toward measles elimination continued to slow as more children missed out on measles vaccines and disease surveillance to detect measles deteriorated during the COVID-19 pandemic. While data show fewer reported measles cases than in previous years, progress toward measles elimination continued to slow in 2020, likely due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 22 million infants missed their first dose of measles vaccine – 3 million more than in 2019 and the largest annual increase in over 20 years. Surveillance for measles, the key component to detecting cases and outbreaks, also deteriorated. The number of specimens submitted to test for measles was the lowest in over a decade. To help save and protect lives, countries must work to move forward with preventive measles vaccination activities, especially those that were postponed due to COVID-19. Surveillance systems must be prioritized so countries can rapidly identify and respond to measles outbreaks.
HIV Prevention Program Eligibility Among Adolescent Girls and Young Women — Namibia, 2019
CDC News Media
The Namibia 2019 Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) found that 62% of all adolescent girls and young women in Namibia ages 13–24 had one or more risk factors associated with getting HIV. Girls and young women at increased risk for getting infected with HIV are eligible for the PEPFAR-supported DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) program, which aims to prevent HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Data from the 2019 Namibia VACS were used to estimate the percentage of all adolescent girls and women in Namibia ages 13–24 who had known risk factors associated with getting infected with HIV, thus making them eligible for DREAMS program services. The data were also used to describe and compare these risk factors by age group. Among all adolescent girls and young women in Namibia, 62% had one or more risk factors. Common risk factors were adverse childhood experiences, including orphanhood and physical, emotional, and sexual violence experiences; and high-risk behaviors, including early alcohol use, recent heavy alcohol use, and infrequent condom use. The findings uncovered in this report can be used to guide DREAMS and other programs aimed at achieving global HIV epidemic control.
Influenza Vaccinations During the COVID-19 Pandemic — 11 U.S. Jurisdictions, September–December 2020
CDC News Media
A new analysis of influenza vaccine data from select jurisdictions reveals a higher number of flu vaccines were given between September and December 2020 compared with the same timeframe in 2018 and 2019. However, that increase was driven largely by adolescents and adults, while the number of flu vaccines administered to children aged 6 months to 4 years showed a concerning decline. With both COVID-19 and flu potentially circulating this fall and winter, these findings highlight the importance of ensuring high flu vaccination coverage among all age groups. To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on flu vaccine uptake last year, flu vaccine data was analyzed from 11 jurisdictions (Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York City, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin). The number of flu vaccine doses administered from September to December 2020 were compared with the average administered doses in the corresponding periods in 2018 and 2019, among people 6 months and older. Overall, flu vaccine administration was 9% higher in 2020 compared to the average in 2018 and 2019. However, fewer administered doses of flu vaccine were reported in 2020 for children aged 6 to 23 months (13.9% lower) and 2 to 4 years (11.9% lower) compared to 2018 and 2019. While it is uncertain what will happen this flu season, CDC is preparing for seasonal flu viruses to spread alongside COVID-19. Because flu activity was low last season, population immunity may be reduced, potentially resulting in more flu illness and possibly more severe illness. With more schools and daycares now reopened, and workplaces back to in-person activities, it’s critical that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. If a patient is eligible and the timing coincides, CDC encourages healthcare providers to administer a flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine during the same visit.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in Children Aged 5–11 Years — United States, November 2021
CDC News Media
- Childhood Lead Poisoning Associated with Turmeric Spices — Las Vegas, 2019
Lead poisoning linked to contaminated turmeric spices highlight why it’s important for healthcare providers and health departments to be aware of sources of lead exposure beyond traditional sources. In March 2019, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) was contacted by a local pediatrician regarding a 2-year-old child discovered to have high blood-lead levels during a routine well-child visit. The pediatrician was aware of no obvious source of lead exposure and also reported that a 9-month-old cousin of the child, who lived in a different household, also had elevated blood-lead levels. A standardized questionnaire administered to both families by SNHD did not initially identify potential sources of lead exposure. However, after inspecting the patients’ homes, investigators identified turmeric spices purchased from a local market as a source of lead exposure in both homes. Although the impact of lead exposures may be irreversible, such exposures remain an environmental health concern that is completely preventable. Healthcare providers and local health department staff must be aware of additional risks outside of traditional lead exposures (such as paint, dust, and contaminated soil) in households with children and/or pregnant individuals. There are multiple ways children can be exposed to lead. A multidisciplinary approach and open communication between health care providers and health department staff is important in identifying potential links between lead poisoning cases. These findings also highlight the need for health care facilities to be prepared to respond to cases of lead poisoning.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.