Immunization Works December 2018

November 28, 2018: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

December Immunization Works Newsletter


Influenza Activity in the U.S. from September 30–December 1, 2018: According to the December 14 MMWR, seasonal influenza activity was low in the U.S. during October, and although it increased slowly through November, activity remained low across most of the country. During the week ending December 1, 2018, the percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was at the national baseline (2.2%) and was equal or slightly above the region-specific baseline in four of the 10 regions. The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza remained below the epidemic threshold and the rate of influenza-associated hospitalizations remained low. Five laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring since September 30 had been reported to CDC. Influenza A(H1N1) viruses were most commonly reported as of December 1.

Influenza Surveillance Data: The most up-to-date influenza surveillance data in the U.S. for the 2018–2019 flu season can be found on the current FluView web page.

Early-Season Influenza Vaccination Coverage in the U.S., November 2018: CDC released early-season flu vaccination coverage estimates for the 2018–19 season. Estimates of flu vaccination coverage as of mid-November 2018 are based on the CDC-sponsored surveys, the National Immunization Survey-Flu (NIS-Flu) for children age 6 months–17 years and the National Internet Flu Survey (NIFS) for adults age 18 years and older. Early 2018–19 season estimates indicate increases in flu vaccination coverage among children and adults compared with 2017–18 early-season estimates. Final 2018–19 flu season vaccination coverage estimates will be available on the CDC FluVaxView web page in September 2019. Learn more about early-season estimates at the influenza coverage web page.

Flu Vaccine Distribution: As of December 14, 166.6 million doses of flu vaccine were distributed, an increase from the 155 million total doses distributed last season.

Flu Fighter Partners: CDC is one of the nation’s leaders in flu surveillance, research, and prevention. Whether it is a parent who makes sure their entire family is vaccinated every year, a health care provider who goes above and beyond to ensure their patients are protected from flu, or a community advocate who organizes flu clinics–flu fighters across the country are working daily to fight flu. Learn more about CDC and other partner flu fighters’ work on the flu fighters web page.

Continuing Flu Vaccination Efforts for the 2018–2019 Flu Season: The timing of influenza activity varies; however, influenza activity has peaked between December and February about 75% of the time over the past 30 years, and significant flu activity can occur as late as May. Influenza activity is expected to increase in coming weeks. As long as flu viruses are circulating, it is not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later. Remember, it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to create protective antibodies.

Continue to fight flu this season. Stay up to date on the latest flu information from CDC by following @CDCFlu on Twitter and signing up for CDC’s weekly Influenza Newsletter.



Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination—Worldwide, 2000–2017: In 2010, the World Health Assembly set three milestones for measles prevention to be achieved by 2015: 1) increase routine coverage with the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) among children age 1 year to more than 90% at the national level and to more than 80% in every district; 2) reduce global annual measles incidence to less than five cases per million population; and 3) reduce global measles mortality by 95% from the 2000 estimate. In 2012, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), with the objective of eliminating measles in four of the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions by 2015 and in five regions by 2020. Countries in all six WHO regions have adopted goals for measles elimination by 2020. The November 30 MMWR describes progress toward global measles control milestones and regional measles elimination goals during 2000–2017 and updates a previous report. During 2000–2017, estimated MCV1 coverage increased globally from 72% to 85%; annual reported measles incidence decreased 83%, from 145 to 25 cases per million population; and annual estimated measles deaths decreased 80%, from 545,174 to 109,638. During this period, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 21.1 million deaths. However, measles elimination milestones have not been met, and three regions are experiencing a large measles resurgence. To make further progress, case-based surveillance needs to be strengthened, and coverage with MCV1 and the second dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV2) needs to increase; in addition, it will be important to maintain political commitment and ensure substantial, sustained investments to achieve global and regional measles elimination goals.

Resources and Information

2018 HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Champion Award Announced: CDC, the American Cancer Society, and the American Association of Cancer Institutes are proud to announce the winners of 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. This year’s champions come from 32 states in both urban and rural communities, and include physicians, small and large clinics, as well as a registered nurse. All champions will receive a plaque to display, and many will be publicly recognized by their state health department for their outstanding work. You can learn more about each champion and how they achieved high HPV vaccination rates on the HPV is Cancer Prevention Champion Award website.

The Journey of Your Child’s Vaccine Video: Learn about the journey of a childhood vaccine’s development, from lab testing through safety monitoring. This video explains the three phases of clinical trials, vaccine licensing and manufacturing, how a vaccine is added to the U.S. recommended immunization schedule, and how FDA and CDC continue to monitor vaccine safety after the public begins using the vaccine.

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 or downloaded from the NCIRD vaccines site.

2018 Webinar Series for Pink Book: This 2018 online series of 15 webinars, which concluded on October 3, 2018, 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.

“Keys to Storing and Handling Your Vaccine Supply” Video: Two of the most important safeguards for the nation’s vaccine supply are proper vaccine 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, 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 last netconference on November 28, 2018, covered hepatitis A guidelines. Please visit the netconference web page for additional information and to view archived webcasts.

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. The Vaccine Administration module has recently been updated and is now available. Please visit the You Call the Shots web page to view all 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, 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, including a recently released commentaryExternal titled “Rotavirus Outbreaks Still Occur; Encourage Vaccination of Infants,” featuring Dr. Rachel Burke. In the video, she talks about rotavirus disease and recent outbreaks that illustrate some general characteristics of rotavirus outbreaks in the post vaccine era. 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 2018 recommended immunization schedules.

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.

Calendar of Events

ACIP Meeting, February 27–28, 2019, Atlanta, GA

Annual Conference on Vaccinology ResearchExternal, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), April 3–5, 2019, Baltimore, MD

California Immunization Coalition SummitExternal, California Immunization Coalition, April 8–9, 2019, Riverside, CA

Wyoming Immunization ConferenceExternal, Wyoming Department of Health, May 21–22, 2019, Casper, WY

ACIP Meeting, June 26–27, 2019, Atlanta, GA

ACIP Meeting, October 23–24, 2019, Atlanta, GA

National Conference for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships (NCICP)External, Hawaii Immunization Coalition and the Hawaii Public Health Institute, November 13–15, 2019, Honolulu, HI

Clinical Vaccinology Course (URL available soon), National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), November 16–17, Washington, D.C.

NCIRD Calendar of Events

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) CalendarExternal

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Page last reviewed: December 21, 2018 (archived document)