Immunization Works August 2018

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

Immunization Works Newsletter August 2018 CDC

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National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM): August is NIAM and 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. 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!

Getting vaccinated on time according to CDC’s recommended immunization schedule provides the best protection from many serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. To encourage on-time vaccination, CDC has launched an interactive guide to help families navigate information about recommended vaccines from birth through adulthood. Click through various stages of life to learn about vaccine-preventable diseases—like the flu, whooping cough, and HPV cancers—and the recommended timing for key immunizations.

The National Public Health Information Coalition’s (NPHIC) NIAM communication toolkitsexternal icon in both English and Spanish 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 in June 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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National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years in the U.S., 2017: To estimate adolescent vaccination coverage in the U.S., CDC analyzed data from the 2017 National Immunization Survey–Teen (NIS-Teen) for 20,949 adolescents aged 13–17 years. The report shows HPV vaccination rates are increasing as the number of teens up to date–meaning they started and completed the HPV vaccine series–increased by five percentage points from 2016 to 2017. In 2017, nearly 66% of adolescents aged 13–17 years received the first dose of the HPV vaccine series, and nearly 49% of adolescents completed the vaccine series in 2017. There is still room for improvement as over half of adolescents have not completed the HPV vaccine series (51%) or received both doses of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (56%). Additionally, fewer adolescents in rural areas are getting the HPV and meningococcal conjugate vaccines compared with their urban peers. Please read the August 23 MMWR for the full report. Additional information for parents and clinicians is available on the CDC HPV web page.

Trends in Human-Papillomavirus-Associated Cancers in the U.S., 1999–2015: To assess trends in HPV-associated cancers from 1999–2015, CDC analyzed data from cancer registries covering nearly the entire U.S. population. During 1999–2015, rates of cervical cancer and vaginal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) decreased, rates of oropharyngeal and anal SCC rates increased, and rates of vulvar SCC and penile SCC remained stable. In 2015 oropharyngeal SCC was the most common HPV-associated cancer. Please read the August 23 MMWR for the full report.

Mumps Outbreak in Alaska, May 2017–July 2018: In May 2017, the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE) was notified of an Anchorage resident with laboratory-confirmed mumps who reported exposure to an out-of-state visitor with mumps-like symptoms. Additional laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in late July and August; all were in Anchorage residents, mostly in persons who self-identified as native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. In response, SOE disseminated educational materials and recommended that all Alaskans ensure that they were up to date on their MMR vaccinations. Cases were classified as suspected, probable, and confirmed according to the CSTE case definition. Please read the August 23 MMWR for the full report.

Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication in Afghanistan, January 2017–May 2018: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria remain the only countries where transmission of endemic wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) continues. The August 3 MMWR describes polio eradication activities, progress, and challenges to eradication in Afghanistan during January 2017–May 2018 and updates previous reports. Fourteen WPV1 cases were confirmed in Afghanistan in 2017, compared with 13 in 2016; during January–May 2018, eight WPV1 cases were reported–twice the number reported during January–May 2017. To supplement surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and laboratory testing of stool samples, environmental surveillance (testing of sewage samples) was initiated in 2013 and includes 20 sites, 15 of which have detected WPV1 circulation. The number of polio-affected districts increased from six in 2016 to 14 in 2017 (including WPV1 cases and positive environmental samples). Access to children for supplementary immunization activities (mass campaigns targeting children under 5 years of age with oral poliovirus vaccine [OPV], regardless of vaccination history), which improved during 2016 to early 2018, worsened in May 2018 in security-challenged areas of the southern and eastern regions.

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Study Shows Flu Vaccine Reduces Risk of Severe Illness: A new CDC-supported study conducted over multiple flu seasons and published in Vaccineexternal icon shows that getting a flu shot lessened the risk of severe influenza among adults, including reducing the risk of hospitalization and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), and also lessened the severity of illness. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Annual flu vaccination varies in how well it works, but it is the best available way to prevent flu and its potentially serious consequences.

The study was conducted over four flu seasons from 2012 to 2015 and found that flu vaccination prevented severe disease:

  • Flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to the hospital with flu and placed in a general ward bed by 32%.
  • Flu vaccination was even more effective in preventing the most severe forms of flu and reduced the risk of being admitted to an ICU with flu by 82%.

And because some people who get vaccinated still get sick, the study also looked at the question of whether a flu vaccine reduces illness severity in those people and found that, yes, flu vaccination did reduce severity and duration of flu illness. Please visit the CDC influenza site to learn more about the study.

Human Infections with Novel Influenza A Viruses: On August 10, CDC’s Influenza Division reported four human infections with influenza viruses that normally circulate in swine and not people. All four of these infections are with influenza A(H1N2) variant viruses, or “A(H1N2)v.” Two infections are being reported by Michigan and two by California. This brings the total number of variant cases reported to five so far in 2018. The previous variant case reported was in Indiana. CDC recently released a new FluView Interactive application that displays information collected on human infections with novel influenza A viruses in the U.S. This application 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 the FluView Interactive page.

The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak Graphic Novel: CDC has released a graphic novel The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak, to help young people understand the potential health risks of human influenza viruses that normally circulate in swine and can cause disease in people (known as variant flu infections).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 use their newly acquired disease detective knowledge to help a team of public and animal health experts solve the mystery of how their friend became ill. 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. Additional information and free download are available from the CDC flu website and the Apple iBook storeexternal icon.

Prevention and Control of Season Influenza with Vaccines in the U.S. during the 2018–2019 Influenza Season–ACIP Recommendations: The August 23 MMWR updates the 2017–18 ACIP recommendations regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines. Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons over 6 months of age who do not have contraindications. A licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine should be used. For the 2018–19 U.S. influenza season, providers may choose to administer any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV, recombinant influenza vaccine [RIV], or LAIV4). LAIV4 is an option for those for whom it is otherwise appropriate. Recommendations for different vaccine types and specific populations are discussed. No preferential recommendation is made for one influenza vaccine product over another for persons for whom more than one licensed, recommended product is available.

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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 latest netconference was August 7, 2018, and the webinar provided health care professionals with an update on influenza for the 2018–19 season. An archive webcast will be available soon. The next netconference is scheduled for September 25, 2018. Please visit the netconference web page for additional information and to view archived webcasts.

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

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

23rd Annual MIAP Pediatric Immunization Skills Building Conferenceexternal icon, Massachusetts Immunization Action Partnership, October 18, Framingham, MA

ACIP Meeting, October 24–25, Atlanta, GA

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

Clinical Vaccinology Courseexternal icon, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), November 9–10, Bethesda, MD

NCIRD Calendar of Events

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) Calendarexternal icon

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Page last reviewed: August 29, 2018