Immunization Works January 2019

January 31, 2019: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

Immunization Works Newsletter January 2019

Top Stories

2019 Immunization Schedules: Every year, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) develops recommendations for routine use of vaccines in children, adolescents, and adults. When adopted by the CDC Director, these recommendations become official CDC/HHS policy. On February 8, the Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule and the Adult Immunization Schedule are expected to be available on the CDC website. The 2018 schedules will be available on the website until the 2019 versions are posted.

CDC encourages organizations to syndicate content rather than copy a PDF version of the schedule onto their websites to share with visitors. Content syndication allows other organizations’ websites to mirror CDC web content, with automatic updates whenever changes are made on the CDC site. This helps ensure that all schedules are current across the Internet. See how to display the schedules on your site.

Updated Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit: The Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit is a comprehensive guide that reflects best practices for vaccine storage and handling from ACIP recommendations, product information from vaccine manufacturers, and scientific studies. The toolkit has been redesigned for 2019 to help health care providers find the information they need quickly and easily. Revisions include:

  • A reorganized layout with color coded sections to help better navigate the toolkit.
  • Updated job aids and resource documents.
  • Updated visuals for the vaccine storage and handling recommendations and best practices.
  • Clarifying language on CDC recommendations versus a best practice.

Please contact nipinfo@cdc.gov or questions and additional information.

Influenza

Influenza Activity Update: The 2018–19 flu season is well underway. Influenza A(H1N1) viruses have predominated in the U.S. since the beginning of October in most areas of the country. However, influenza A(H3N2) viruses have predominated in the southeastern U.S. During the week ending January 19, the percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was above the national baseline of 2.2% and was equal to or above the region-specific baselines in all 10 regions. The rate of influenza-associated hospitalizations increased and the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza has now been above the epidemic threshold for 2 weeks this flu season. A total of 22 laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2018–19 flu season have been reported to CDC.

The most up-to-date influenza surveillance data in the U.S. for the 2018–19 flu season can be found in the current FluView. Sign up to receive weekly e-mails with technical flu season updates.

Preliminary In-Season U.S. Influenza Burden Estimates: We know that each year, seasonal flu places a significant burden on the health of people in the U.S. To better represent the burden of flu nationally, this season, CDC has begun to share preliminary estimates of cumulative in-season (2018–19) burden of flu in the U.S. These data are derived using the same mathematical model applied retroactively back to 2010 to estimate numbers of flu illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths each season, and are based on data collected from a flu-associated hospitalization network that covers about 27 million people. Newly released seasonal estimates of flu illnesses, medical visits, and hospitalizations occurring between October 1 and January 19 in the U.S. show:

A preliminary in-season estimate of flu deaths in the U.S. will be provided, pending availability of data. These data are cumulative and will be updated over the course of the flu season.

Learn more at the flu season update web page.

FluSight: Flu Forecasting: Flu forecasting aims to predict future seasonal flu activity before it occurs, potentially reducing the impact of flu. Flu forecasts can be used to prepare for and prevent illness, hospitalization, and death, as well as the economic burden-experienced each flu season.

CDC’s efforts to forecast began in 2013 with the “Predict the Influenza Season Challenge,” a competition that encouraged external researchers to forecast the timing, peak, and intensity of flu season. This flu season, more than 20 teams are providing weekly forecasts to CDC. These forecasts utilize a variety of methods and data sources. As part of this effort, CDC provides relevant surveillance data to participating teams, analyzes and visualizes the forecasts, and collaborates with forecasters and state and local public health officials to improve the accuracy and usefulness of the forecasts. At the conclusion of each challenge, CDC determines how accurate each team’s forecasts were by scoring forecasts against actual flu activity.

CDC has developed “FluSight,” a flu forecasting website, which displays the national, regional, and state-level forecasts on an interactive website. This season, in addition to the visualization of weekly flu forecasts, CDC will be posting a short summary of the forecasts each week. Additional background information on CDC’s forecasting efforts, how forecasting works, and why it’s important to forecast the flu are also available at this site.

Take 3 Actions to Fight Flu: Flu is a potentially serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. CDC urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from flu.

  1. If you have not gotten a flu vaccine yet this season, get vaccinated now—it’s not too late! As long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even in January or later. CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated against flu every year, with rare exceptions. With weeks of flu activity expected to continue this flu season, there is still time to get vaccinated if you haven’t already done so.
  2. Take every-day preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. If possible, try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you do get sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Also, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as flu. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because germs spread this way. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Antiviral drugs can be used to treat flu illness. CDC recommends rapid treatment of seriously ill and high-risk flu patients with antiviral drugs. These drugs work best when they are started soon after you get sick.

Continue to fight flu this season. Utilize CDC’s campaign toolkit website. The toolkit includes social media content, posters, website assets, media prep material, and information on important events. Stay up to date on the latest flu information from CDC by following @CDCFlu and signing up for CDC’s weekly Influenza Newsletter.

 

Resources and Information

CDC Launches New Video Series: CDC and NCIRD are excited to launch the first video of their latest, animated video series for parents, “How Vaccines Work.” In these short videos, viewers follow baby Jack and his parents as they get answers to common vaccine-related questions and learn more about the importance of vaccinating on schedule. The first video describes how vaccines fight germs and provide long-lasting protection against 14 serious diseases. CDC will be launching additional videos in February and March covering immunization-related topics. Please share this new educational resource with parents!

Learn more at the parents/childhood vaccines web page.

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.

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Course: CDC is hosting up to 250 state and local public health staff at an Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases course (also known as Pink Book course) in Atlanta at CDC’s Roybal campus, May 28–May 30, 2019. This live, on-site course is intended for state, county, and regional immunization program staff. Only a limited number of these on-site courses can be presented each year. The course is based on the Pink Book and the Pink Book webinars. Immunization program updates will also be included.

At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the difference between active and passive immunity.
  2. List two characteristics of live, attenuated vaccines.
  3. List two characteristics of inactivated vaccines.
  4. For each vaccine-preventable disease, identify those for whom routine immunization is recommended.
  5. For each vaccine-preventable disease, describe characteristics of the vaccine used to prevent the disease.
  6. Describe an emerging immunization issue.
  7. Locate resources relevant to current immunization practice.
  8. Implement disease detection and prevention health care services (e.g., smoking cessation, weight reduction, diabetes screening, blood pressure screening, immunization services) to prevent health problems and maintain health.

CE is available for physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, health educators, and pharmacists.

Additional information will be posted soon on the immunization education and training web page.

2018 Webinar Series for Pink Book: This 2018 online series of 15 webinars, which concluded in October, 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. We will have updated webinars in 2019 and that schedule will be posted soon.

“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 nipinfo@cdc.gov.

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 on November 28, 2018, covered hepatitis A guidelines. The 2019 netconference schedule will be posted soon. 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 series of interactive, web-based training courses developed through the Project to Enhance Immunization Content in Nursing Education and Training. These courses are ideal for medical or nursing students, new vaccination providers, or seasoned health care providers seeking a review. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Vaccine Storage and Handling modules have recently been updated and are 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. 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.”.

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

The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS)External, May 14–16, 2019, Atlanta, GA

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

Nevada Health ConferenceExternal, Immunize Nevada, October 14–15, 2019, Las Vegas, NV

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

Page last reviewed: January 31, 2019 (archived document)