Immunization Works June 2018

July 5, 2018: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

Immunization Works Newsletter June 2018 CDC

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National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM): NIAM is coming up in August! With a new school year upon us, it is an opportune time to raise awareness about the importance of vaccines in protecting children against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. August is also a timely opportunity to remind adults, including pregnant women and adults with chronic conditions, about the vaccines they need to stay healthy before the flu season. CDC encourages partners to motivate people of all ages to stay up to date on the recommended vaccines. Take action to promote and support vaccinations during NIAM and beyond! The National Public Health Information Coalition’s (NPHIC) NIAM communication toolkits will be available for download on the NPHIC websiteexternal icon the week of June 25.

CDC develops immunization materials our partners can use in outreach and education efforts during NIAM and throughout the year. You can find CDC promotional and educational resources for every stage of the life span on CDC’s website for immunization partners. We hope these resources are helpful in supporting your vaccine education efforts during NIAM and throughout the year. Additionally, please take a moment to shareexternal icon the great work your organization is doing during NIAM.

2018 HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award Launch: CDC, the American Cancer Society, and the American Association of Cancer Institutes are partnering for the 2018 HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award. The champion award was established in 2017 to recognize health care professionals who are going above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination in their communities. Last year’s champions came from the 10 HHS regions in the U.S. This year, the award criteria have been expanded to recognize up to one champion from each of the 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia. The official launch will take place during the next #PreteenVaxScene webinar on June 27, during which more detailed information about the award and how to submit a nomination will be available. You can register for the webinarexternal icon, find out more on the HPV Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award website, or send an e-mail to

2018 Pink Book Webinar Series: This 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 will explore a chapter from the 13th edition of Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (the Pink Book). The webinars started on June 6 and will air live most Wednesdays from 12–1 p.m. EDT through September 26, 2018. Please visit the Pink Book webinar web page for the schedule and additional information. Continuing Education (CE) will be available for each event.

CDC Childhood Immunization Schedule Catch-Up Job Aids: CDC has released updated job aids that complement figure 2 of the childhood immunization schedule. These job aids will help health care providers navigate information about four of the vaccines in the childhood immunization catch-up schedule by enabling providers to look at the current age of the child and the number of previous doses they have had, and then showing when the next dose will be due.

The job aids are available for the following vaccines.

  • DTaP for children 4 months through 6 years of age
  • Tdap/Td for children 7 through 18 years of age
  • Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) for healthy children 4 months through 4 years of age
    • Haemophilus influenzae type b (hib) vaccine for healthy children 4 months through 4 years of age, including information on:
    • Hib vaccine products: ActHIB, Pentacel, Hiberix, or unknown
    • Hib vaccine product: PedvaxHIB only

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Progress Toward Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Control in the South-East Asia Region, 2000–2016: In 2013, the 66th session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR) adopted the goal of elimination of measles and control of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020. Rubella is the leading vaccine-preventable cause of birth defects. Although rubella typically causes a mild fever and rash in children and adults, rubella virus infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can result in miscarriage, fetal death, or a constellation of congenital malformations known as CRS, commonly including visual, auditory, and/or cardiac defects, and developmental delay. Rubella and CRS control capitalizes on the momentum created by pursuing measles elimination because the efforts are programmatically linked. Rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) is administered as a combined measles and rubella vaccine, and rubella cases are detected through case-based surveillance for measles or fever and rash illness. The June 1 MMWR summarizes progress toward rubella and CRS control in SEAR during 2000–2016.

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2017–2018 Flu Season Summary: The 2017–18 influenza season (October 1, 2017–May 19, 2018) was a high-severity season with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating. It is the first flu season to be classified as a high severity season for all age groups, using a new severity classification system CDC developed in 2017 and applied retroactively for 2003–2004. The season was notable for the sheer volume and intensity of influenza that occurred in most of the country at the same time. Overall hospitalization rates (for all ages combined) were the highest ever recorded in this surveillance system, breaking the previously recorded highs during 2014–15, another H3N2-predominant season. Reported flu-associated pediatric deaths also were record-breaking.

Influenza activity began to increase in November, peaked nationally in early January and February, and remained elevated through the end of March. Typically, flu activity in the U.S. begins to increase in late December or early January and peaks most commonly in February. As of early April 2018, indicators of national flu activity were below seasonal baseline levels. While influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominated overall, influenza B viruses became more commonly reported than influenza A viruses in early March through May.

CDC preliminary vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies for the season showed that flu vaccination reduced the risk of getting sick and having to go the doctor because of flu by 36% overall, with vaccine providing better protection against influenza B viruses (42%) than against the most common influenza A(H3N2) viruses (25%). During the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting on June 20–21, 2018, end-of-season VE data were presented. While this season’s VE results underscore the importance of developing better, more effective flu vaccines, they also show that current flu vaccines do offer substantial public health benefit and increased coverage could provide additional benefit.

Although influenza activity in the U.S. during the summer is typically low, influenza cases and outbreaks can occur during summer months and clinicians should remain vigilant in considering influenza in the differential diagnosis of summer respiratory illnesses.

Please read the June 8 MMWR for the full report.

Composition of 2018–2019 Influenza Vaccine: For the 2018–19 U.S. influenza season, CDC and ACIP recommend that providers use any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine
(inactivated influenza vaccines [IIVs], recombinant influenza vaccine [RIV], or live attenuated influenza vaccine [LAIV4]) with no preference expressed for one vaccine over another. LAIV4 (nasal spray vaccine) is again a recommended option for people who do not have a condition that is a precaution or contraindication for the vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) recommended that the 2018–19 trivalent (three-component) influenza vaccines to be used in the U.S. contain.

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 A(H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus (updated)
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus (updated)

Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccines, which have two influenza B viruses, contain the viruses recommended for the trivalent vaccines, as well as a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.

These vaccine recommendations were based on a number of factors, including global influenza virologic and epidemiologic surveillance, genetic and antigenic characterization, human serology studies, antiviral susceptibility, and the availability of candidate influenza viruses.

Please read the June 8 MMWR for the full report.

CDC and Emory Flu Symposium: On May 7, 2018, the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, in partnership with NCIRD’s Influenza Division, hosted a one-day symposium to mark the 100-year commemoration of the 1918 influenza pandemic. At that event, experts from academia and public health met to discuss and debate current pandemic influenza threats and the future of pandemic preparedness and influenza prevention and control.

Some of the expert speakers included former acting CDC Director Richard Besser, who moderated a roundtable discussion with three former CDC Directors: William Foege, Jeffrey Koplan, and Julie Gerberding. CNN’s Debra Goldschmidt hosted a roundtable discussion titled “Are We Ready to Respond to the Next Pandemic,” with Luciano Borio of the White House National Security Council, Rick Bright of HHS, and CDC’s Nancy Messonnier.

The livestream of the full day of events has been archived and is available on Emory University’s YouTube Channel.

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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 icon, and the chapters and appendices can be viewed or downloaded from the NCIRD vaccines site.

Keys to Storing and Handling Your Vaccine Supply Video: One of the most important safeguards for the nation’s vaccine supply is proper storage and handling. A new web-on-demand video titled “Keys to Storing and Handling Your Vaccine Supply” is designed to decrease vaccine storage and handling errors by demonstrating recommended best practices and addressing frequently asked questions. Continuing Education (CE) is available.

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 icon, 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

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 next netconference is scheduled for July 24, 2018.

Partnership Meeting: CDC’s Immunization Services Division hosted a meeting on May 31, 2018, titled “Opportunities and Barriers to Improve Immunization Rates among Medicaid-Covered Children and Pregnant Women:  A Federal-State Partnership.” This meeting brought together members of the project’s steering committee, community of practice states (Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico), and project partners for a CDC-funded cooperative agreement focused on immunization barriers in the U.S. targeting Medicaid partnerships. The partners include the National Academy for State Health Policy and AcademyHealth (in collaboration with the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition). A representative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also attended. The meeting focused on identifying areas of federal-state collaboration, exploring policy levers available to states, and understanding what gaps exist between policy and practice. The CDC contact for the project is Aaron Borrelli.

New HPV Video: Immunization providers play a critical role in getting parents to accept HPV vaccination for their children. A new video, titled “You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention” provides up-to-date information on HPV infection/disease, HPV vaccine, and ways to successfully communicate with parents about HPV vaccination. HPV vaccination is cancer prevention. While most U.S. adolescents are starting the HPV vaccine series, less than half have finished the series. Every year that adolescents aren’t vaccinated is another year they are left unprotected against cancer-causing infections. Continuing Education (CE) is available.

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. Please visit the You Call the Shots web page to view the modules. Continuing Education (CE) is available for viewing a module and completing an evaluation.

Shingles Resources: A new, 2-dose shingles vaccine was licensed in October 2017 for healthy adults 50 years and older. To support the uptake of this new vaccine, CDC has created a variety of resources, including new fact sheets, graphics, and videos for both the general public and health care providers. Please visit CDC’s shingles multimedia web page to see the new resources.

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 icon, 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: Various 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 are also available for ordering.

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

North Dakota Immunization Conferenceexternal icon, ND Department of Health, July 17–18, Bismarck, ND

National Immunization Awareness Month, August

American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA) National Meetingexternal icon, August 14–16, Salt Lake City, U.

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

Idaho Immunization Summitexternal icon, October 11, Boise, ID

13th Annual Nevada Health Conferenceexternal icon, Immunize Nevada, October 15–16, Reno, N.

ACIP Meeting, October 24–25, Atlanta, GA

Got Your Shots? Immunization Conferenceexternal icon, Minnesota Department of Health, November 1–2, Minneapolis, MN

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

NCIRD Calendar of Events

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) Calendarexternal icon

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Page last reviewed: July 5, 2018