Immunization Works March 2018

March 29, 2018: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

Immunization Works February 2018 Newsletter

Top Stories

National Infant Immunization Week: National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) 2018 is April 21–28. CDC, immunization partners, and health care professionals will come together during NIIW to celebrate the importance of infant immunization for protecting babies, families, and communities.
Planning your NIIW?

  • Access CDC’s online NIIW Digital Toolkit. Find sample social posts, parent resources, graphics, and more to help you promote NIIW.
  • CDC hosted an NIIW Planning VICNetwork webinar on March 7. Access presentation audio and slidesExternal to get ideas and materials to help you plan NIIW events.
  • If you’re looking for Spanish materials to share with parents during NIIW, link to the new childhood vaccines page in Spanish to help parents easily access information about infant immunization.

This NIIW, join CDC for NIIW events:

  • Join CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and What to Expect for a #ivax2protect Twitter Storm on Tuesday, April 24, from 8a.m.–10a.m. EDT. Use the hashtag #ivax2protect during the Storm to share why you support immunizations or to call others to action and encourage others to share why they vaccinated on time. Continue to use the hashtag #ivax2protect throughout the week to celebrate immunization.
  • Celebrate your state’s Childhood Immunization Champion. Each year during NIIW, CDC’s Childhood Immunization Champion Award recognizes individuals who make significant contributions toward improving public health through their work in childhood immunization.

Child care professionals, pediatric office staff, and health care providers all have an important role to play in helping parents choose vaccines for their child. During NIIW, build and support a culture of immunization within your organization or practice. Access two customizable slide decks to share with your colleagues, staff, or volunteers:

We look forward to celebrating the importance of infant immunizations with you during NIIW. If you already have events or activities planned in your community, be sure to share them here!

48th National Immunization Conference (NIC): The 48th NIC—Immunization: Prevention, Protection, and Progress—will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 15–17, 2018. The NIC brings together around 1,500 local, state, federal, and private-sector immunization stakeholders and partners to explore science, policy, education, and planning issues related to immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases. The conference will have exhibits and poster presentations and will include tracks on adult immunization, immunization information systems, programmatic issues, health and risk communications, epidemiology and surveillance, and childhood/adolescent immunization. The NIC mission is to offer information that will help participants provide comprehensive immunization services for all age groups. The conference also provides participants with an opportunity to learn innovative strategies for developing programs and policies and advancing science to promote immunization among all ages today for a healthy tomorrow. Conference registration is open and the abstract submission deadline has passed. For more information, please visit the NIC registration siteExternal and the NIC web page.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Rates: The March issue of Academic PediatricsExternal offers a CDC-sponsored supplement, “Raising Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Rates.” The supplement reviews 10 years of HPV vaccination experience and offers seven commentaries and 11 articles, with topics ranging from parent and provider perspectives to information about the integration of HPV vaccine into health systems.

While there have been advances and successes in the HPV vaccination program in the U.S., the uptake of HPV vaccine remains lower than expected. The supplement articles explore the challenges faced with this vaccine and approaches that are being used to address them. Topics include:

  • Influence of provider communication techniques on parental attitudes toward HPV vaccine
  • Evaluations on breadth of HPV counseling materials
  • Quality improvement methods for improving HPV vaccination rates in clinical practice
  • Discussions on the continued challenges of improving HPV vaccination coverage
  • Comparative analysis of recommended HPV vaccine interventions
  • Opportunities for creating vaccination coverage initiatives that extend beyond the health care setting

The information and perspectives offered in the supplement can provide the foundation for discussion as we strive to improve HPV vaccination coverage in the U.S.

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Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication in Nigeria, January–December 2017: Nearly three decades after the World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, four of the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions have been certified polio-free. Nigeria is one of three countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, where wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission has never been interrupted. In September 2015, after more than one year without any reported WPV cases, Nigeria was removed from WHO’s list of countries with endemic WPV transmission; however, during August and September 2016, four type 1 WPV (WPV1) cases were reported from Borno State, a state in northeastern Nigeria experiencing a violent insurgency. The Nigerian government, in collaboration with partners, launched a large-scale coordinated response to the outbreak. The March 2 MMWR describes progress in polio eradication activities in Nigeria during January–December 2017 and updates previous reports. No WPV cases have been reported in Nigeria since September 2016; the latest case had onset of paralysis on August 21, 2016. However, polio surveillance has not been feasible in insurgent-controlled areas of Borno State. Implementation of new strategies has helped mitigate the challenges of reaching and vaccinating children living in security-compromised areas, and other strategies are planned. Despite these initiatives, however, approximately 130,000–210,000 (28%–45%) of the estimated 469,000 eligible children living in inaccessible areas in 2016 have not been vaccinated. Sustained efforts to optimize surveillance and improve vaccination coverage, especially among children in inaccessible areas, are needed.

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Flu Season Update: The 2017–18 flu season has been severe, with some of the highest levels of influenza-like illness and hospitalization rates observed in recent years and elevated activity occurring in most of the country simultaneously. Influenza activity in the U.S. began to increase in early November 2017 and rose sharply from December through February 3, 2018. Current data indicate that the 2017–18 flu season peaked at 7.5% ILI during the week ending February 3, 2018. While influenza activity has been decreasing since that time, it remained high and widespread across much of the U.S. as of early March. Though influenza A(H3N2) viruses remain predominate this season overall, the proportion of B viruses versus A viruses is now about even as H3N2 viruses decreased while parts of the country experienced a wave of influenza B activity. The overall hospitalization rate and all age-specific hospitalization rates are now higher than the end-of-season hospitalization rates for 2014–15, a high-severity, H3N2-predominant season. Only pediatric deaths are nationally notifiable; 128 flu deaths in children had been reported to CDC as of March 3.

CDC recommends that flu vaccination efforts continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating. Flu vaccines this season were 36% effective overall–25% effective against H3N2, 67% effective against H1N1, and 42% effective against influenza B viruses based on early data from the U.S. Flu Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) Network. During influenza seasons with increased severity and/or reduced VE, influenza antiviral medications are an increasingly important adjunct to vaccination in the treatment of influenza. CDC recommends rapid treatment with influenza antiviral drugs for people who are very sick with flu or people who are at high risk of flu-related complications who develop flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long you are sick, and observational studies have shown they also can prevent serious flu complications.

For more information on the 2017–18 flu season activity update and vaccine effectiveness, see the weekly U.S. influenza surveillance reports.

1918 Flu Pandemic Commemoration: This year marks 100 years since the 1918 influenza pandemic, the most severe pandemic in recent history. The 1918 flu swept the globe, infecting an estimated 1/3 of the world’s population and killing an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans. CDC will commemorate the 1918 pandemic with a series of events, exhibits, and communications activities in remembrance of the pandemic and to mark the progress made in pandemic flu preparedness and response. More information and updates can be found on the 1918 Flu Commemoration website.

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Resources and Information

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases , 13th Edition (the Pink Book): Published by CDC, NCIRD, and the Public Health Foundation (PHF), the Pink Book provides health care professionals with the most comprehensive information available on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases. The Pink Book is available for purchase from the PHF Learning Resource CenterExternal, and the chapters and appendices can be viewed/downloaded from the NCIRD vaccines site.

Webinar Series for Pink Book: This 2017 online series of 15 webinars provides an overview of vaccination principles, general recommendations, immunization strategies, and specific information about vaccine-preventable diseases and the vaccines that prevent them. Each webinar explored a chapter from the 13th edition of the Pink Book. All of the recordings can be viewed online at the Pink Book webinar web page. Continuing Education (CE) is available for each webinar.

Vaccine Administration e-Learn: An e-Learn on vaccine administration is now available. Proper vaccine administration is critical for ensuring that vaccines are both safe and effective. Vaccine administration errors happen more often than you might think. Of the average 36,000 reports received annually by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)External, about 1,500 are directly related to administration error.

Some of the most common vaccine administration errors include:

  • Not following the recommended immunization schedule
  • Administering improperly stored or expired vaccine and/or diluent
  • Administering the wrong vaccine—confusing look-alike or sound-alike vaccines such as DTaP/Tdap or administering products outside age indications

The e-Learn is a free, interactive, online educational program that serves as a useful introductory course or a great refresher on vaccine administration. The self-paced e-Learn provides comprehensive training, using videos, job aids, and other resources to accommodate a variety of learning styles, and offers a certificate of completion and/or Continuing Education (CE) for those that complete the training.

For more information, please contact

Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit: The Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit Cdc-pdf[2.5 MB, 81 pages] was updated in January 2018. The updates include:

  • A reorganized table of contents to better navigate the toolkit
  • Revised recommendations for monitoring and recording storage unit temperature
  • A new document on how to handle a temperature excursion in your vaccine storage unit
  • Updated content to reflect current vaccine products on the market

And be sure to check out the redesigned You Call the Shots: Storage and Handling training module that includes the updates and changes made to the Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit.

For more information, please e-mail

Current Issues in Immunization NetConferences: Immunization netconferences are live, one-hour events combining an online visual presentation with simultaneous audio via telephone conference call, along with a live question-and-answer session. Registration, Internet access, and a separate phone line are needed to participate. Please visit the netconference web page for information on upcoming netconferences and to view archived webcasts. The latest netconference was March 21 and it provided an update on ACIP recommendations for the 2018 immunization schedules and an update on herpes zoster vaccines. The webcast will be posted soon.

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 the You Call the Shots web page for additional information and other modules. Continuing Education (CE) is available for viewing a module and completing an evaluation.

ACIP Meeting: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) comprises medical and public health experts who develop recommendations for the routine use of vaccines for children, adolescents, and adults in the U.S. The recommendations stand as public health guidance for the safe use of vaccines and related biological products. After ACIP votes on vaccine recommendations, CDC reviews the recommendations and, if approved, provides necessary guidance on implementing the recommendations. ACIP meetings are held quarterly. The latest meeting was February 21–22 and the next meeting is scheduled for June 20–21. Please visit the ACIP meeting web page for agendas, presentation slides, meeting minutes, and archived video broadcasts. The minutes from the latest meeting will be posted soon.

Measles and Mumps Resources: CDC aims to continue increasing awareness of measles and mumps among individuals and families and to encourage MMR vaccination. To support disease prevention and vaccination educational efforts, CDC has developed a variety of measles and mumps resources, including fact sheets, podcasts, and matte articles. Some of the measles graphics are also available in Spanish.

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

Immunization Resources: Publications are available for ordering at CDC-INFO on Demand. You can search for immunization publications by using the “Programs” drop-down menu and selecting “Immunization and Vaccines,” or you can search by “Title.” Numerous items are available for ordering, including the Parents’ Guide to Childhood Immunizations and various campaign materials. The 2018 Recommended Immunization Schedules will be available in early April.

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

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book CourseExternal, April 10–11, Morgantown, WV

National Infant Immunization Week, April 21–28.

National Immunization Conference (NIC), May 15–17, Atlanta, GA

National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS)External, May 18, Atlanta, GA

American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA) National MeetingExternal, August 14–16, Salt Lake City, UT

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book CourseExternal, September 11–13, Greenwood Village, CO

Clinical Vaccinology Course, 2018, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), November 9–10, Bethesda, MD (URL available soon)

NCIRD Calendar of Events

Upcoming ACIP Meetings

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) CalendarExternal

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Page last reviewed: April 3, 2018 (archived document)