Immunization Works July 2018

August 1, 2018: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

Immunization Works Newsletter July 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. In August, also 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 vaccines recommended for them. Take action to promote and support vaccinations during NIAM and beyond!

The National Public Health Information Coalition’s (NPHIC) NIAM communication toolkitsexternal icon are available for download on the NPHIC websiteexternal icon. You can find CDC promotional and educational resources for every stage of the life span on CDC’s website for immunization partners. Additionally, please take a moment to shareexternal icon the great work your organization is doing during NIAM.

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.

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Mumps Outbreaks at Four Indiana Universities, 2016: From February to April 2016, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirmed mumps outbreaks at four universities. The universities were located within 65 miles of Indianapolis; however, epidemiological links between outbreaks were limited. The ISDH and local health departments investigated the outbreaks and initiated control measures at all universities. A protocol describing appropriate testing for mumps and a pre-authorization process for submitting specimens to the ISDH Laboratory (ISDHL) were developed and disseminated to providers and public health partners. Outbreaks at each university were declared over after two incubation periods elapsed without identified cases; the last outbreak ended September 10, 2016. Among the 281 confirmed and probable cases identified, 216 (76.9%) had documentation of presumptive evidence of immunity. The July 26 MMWR details the response to mumps outbreaks at the Indiana universities and highlights the utility of laboratory testing protocols, the need for standardized immunization documentation, and the challenges of implementing exclusion policies in populations with high mumps vaccination coverage.

The following videos may be helpful and are available for viewing:

Measles-Rubella Supplementary Immunization Activity Readiness Assessment in India, 2017–2018: In 2013, during the 66th session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR), the 11 SEAR countries adopted goals to eliminate measles and control rubella and congenital rubella syndrome by 2020. To accelerate progress in India, a phased nationwide supplementary immunization activity (SIA) using measles-rubella vaccine and targeting approximately 410 million children aged 9 months–14 years commenced in 2017 and will be completed by the first quarter of 2019. To ensure a high-quality SIA, planning and preparation were monitored using a readiness assessment tool adapted from the WHO global field guide by the India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The July 6 MMWR describes the results and experience gained from conducting SIA readiness assessments in 24 districts of three Indian states (Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Telangana) during the second phase of the SIA. In each selected area, assessments were conducted 4–6 weeks and 1–2 weeks before the scheduled SIA. At the first assessment, none of the states and districts were on track with preparations for the SIA. However, at the second assessment, two (67%) states and 21 (88%) districts were on track. The SIA readiness assessment identified several preparedness gaps; early assessment results were immediately communicated to authorities and led to necessary corrective actions to ensure high-quality SIA implementation.

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First Variant Virus Infection of 2018 Linked to Pig Exposure: The first human infection with an influenza A(H3N2) variant (A(H3N2)v) virus was reported by CDC on July 6, 2018. When influenza viruses that normally spread in swine are detected in people, they are called variant viruses and are designated with a letter v at the end of the virus subtype. The patient was a child less than 18 years of age, was not hospitalized, and has fully recovered from the illness. Indirect contact with swine at an agricultural fair was reported in the week preceding illness onset. This infection is a reminder about important precautions that people should take at agricultural fairs to avoid the spread of influenza viruses between people and pigs.

This report brings the total number of reported A(H3N2)v infections in the U.S. since 2005 to 435. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect people; however, sporadic human infections with these viruses have occurred. Illness associated with variant virus infection includes symptoms similar to those of seasonal flu. Most illness has been mild, but as with seasonal flu, hospitalization and death can occur.

Some people are at high risk of developing serious illness from variant virus infections, just as they are from seasonal influenza. This includes young children, people with underlying health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart disease, pregnant women, and people who are 65 and older. To reduce the possible risk of serious illness to people posed by interactions between people and pigs at fairs, CDC recommends that people at high risk for serious flu complications avoid pigs and swine barns at fairs. Precautionary measures for people who are not in a high-risk group pdf icon[1.3 MB, 2 pages] include not taking food or drink into swine barns, avoiding swine that look or act sick, and handwashing after swine exposure. For more information on this variant virus case, visit CDC’s Flu News and Spotlights.

New FluView Interactive Application: CDC recently released a new FluView Interactive application that displays information collected on human infections with novel influenza A viruses in the U.S. and allows users to view characteristics of cases and counts by geographic location, virus subtype, influenza season, and calendar year. Additional information on human infections with novel influenza A viruses, including data for the current and previous seasons, can be found at FluView Interactive.

Flu Graphic Novel: CDC has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 4-H to develop a graphic novel called “The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak.” The novel was published on the Apple iTunes bookstore on July 10 and is available for free downloadexternal icon. CDC’s official launch of the novel will occur soon, at which time CDC will make the novel available as a PDF for free download from the CDC flu website. The novel follows a group of teenage 4-H members who participate in a state agricultural fair and later attend CDC’s Disease Detective Camp in Atlanta. When one of the boys becomes sick following the fair, the rest of the group uses their newly acquired disease detective knowledge to help a team of public and animal health experts solve the mystery of how their friend became sick. The graphic novel is intended to raise awareness among youth about the potential human health risks associated with variant influenza virus infections, and it is also intended to inspire youth interest in careers in public and animal health. The release of the graphic novel is intended to coincide with agriculture fair season, which is occurring right now in the U.S.

CDC collaborated with teachers participating in its Science Ambassador Fellowship to develop educational activities to accompany the graphic novel for use in middle and high school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms across the country. The activities highlight themes in the graphic novel to help teach youth about public health science, epidemiology, biology, outbreak investigations, and associated career skills. This spring, the CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship piloted the first activity with over 120 middle and high school STEM teachers. CDC intends to release this activity and additional classroom activities currently in development for free download via the CDC flu 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 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. The next netconference is scheduled for August 7, 2018, and the webinar will provide health care professionals with an update on influenza for the 2018–19 season. The speaker will be Lisa Grohskopf from the Influenza Division. Please visit the netconference web page for additional information and to view archived webcasts.

CE Activity: Prevention of Pertussis, Tetanus, and Diphtheria with Vaccines: CDC’s MMWR and Medscape are offering a new free CE activity that describes current ACIP recommendations regarding prevention and control of pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria in the U.S., based on a comprehensive summary of previously published recommendations. This activity is intended for public health officials, family medicine practitioners, infectious disease clinicians, nurses, obstetrician-gynecologists, pediatricians, pharmacists, and other clinicians caring for patients in whom vaccination against pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria may be indicated.

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.

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

National Immunization Awareness Month, August

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

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, NV

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: August 1, 2018