Immunization Works March 2019

March 28, 2019: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

Immunization Works Newsletter March 2019

Top Stories

Get Ready for National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)! This year marks the 25th anniversary of NIIW. From April 27 through May 4, 2019, NIIW will highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and will celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the U.S.

Please visit the newly launched 2019 NIIW digital media toolkit, which includes:

  • Sample NIIW announcements
  • Sample social media content
  • NIIW social media graphics, sized for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Links to multimedia materials to share with parents, including animated videos, posters, and infographics
  • Links to updated immunization slide decks for clinicians
  • Details about two NIIW digital events:
    • #ivax2protect Twitter Storm on April 30
    • Instagram Q&A event for parents on May 2

Spanish resources will be added to the toolkit soon. These will include Spanish graphics sized for social media and sample social media posts, as well as NIIW promotional materials and educational materials for parents.

During NIIW, CDC will be promoting its new three-part video series called “How Vaccines Work.” In these videos, parents follow baby Jack and his parents, getting answers to common vaccine-related questions and learning about the importance of vaccinating on schedule. We encourage you to share these videos with your members or constituents during NIIW. You can view all three videos here.

In case you missed the NIIW planning webinar on March 12, 2019, you can view the archived webinar hereexternal icon. View this webinar to learn about resources to help you plan and implement NIIW activities in your community, develop partnerships, and participate in CDC digital events.

Please let us know what you are planning for NIIW by using our online activity form.

If you need additional information, please e-mail

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 vaccine storage and handling recommendations and best practices
  • Clarifying language on CDC recommendations versus best practices

Please contact or questions and additional information.


U.S. Influenza Activity Update: Influenza activity remained elevated through March. Recent surveillance suggests that while outpatient flu illness likely peaked nationally, activity remains elevated and widespread across the country, with most activity being caused by a second wave of H3N2-predominant activity that is expected to continue for a number of weeks. During the week ending March 23, the percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was above the national baseline of 2.2% and was equal or above the region-specific baselines in all 10 regions. A total of 76 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2018–19 flu season have been reported to CDC. CDC estimates that so far this flu season:

  • 5 million to 32.8 million people have been sick with flu
  • 2 to 15.4 million people have been to the doctor because of flu
  • 375,000 to 454,000 people have been hospitalized because of flu
  • 25,000 to 41,500 people have died because of flu

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. To receive weekly e-mails with technical flu season updates, sign up at the flu partner web page.

Composition of Northern Hemisphere 2019–2020 Seasonal Flu Vaccines: The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses (depending on the vaccine) that research suggests will be most common. For 2019–2020, trivalent (three-component) vaccines are recommended to contain:

  • A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
  • A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus (updated)
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus

Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccines, which protect against a second lineage of B viruses, are recommended to contain the three recommended viruses above, plus B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus.

Please visit the flu web site for updated information about the upcoming 2019–2020 flu season.

Global Influenza Strategy Meeting: This month the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new 10-year strategy for safeguarding the health of all people from influenza. It sets the tone for global work on influenza over the coming decade, with the goals of preventing seasonal influenza, controlling the spread of influenza from animals to humans, and preparing for the next pandemic. The strategy calls on countries and partners, including CDC, to align their global and national capacities for influenza prevention, rapid detection, and response so that countries will reduce the burden and the impact of seasonal, zoonotic, and pandemic influenza by 2030.

High-level outcomes for 2030 include new and improved tools for prevention, detection, control, and treatment of influenza, and a prioritized influenza program that contributes to national and global preparedness, response, and health security in every country.

Visit Global Influenza Strategy: 2019–2030external icon and WHO launches new global influenza strategy for more information.

Sick With Flu? Know What To Do: While CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination as long as flu viruses are circulating, flu antiviral drugs are an important second line of defense that can be used to treat flu. Prompt antiviral treatment is recommended for people with severe illness or people who are at high risk of flu complications, including adults 65 years of age and older, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. These drugs work best the sooner they are started. Prompt treatment with antivirals is especially important for older adults during the current wave of H3N2-predominant activity, which is typically associated with more severe illness in older adults.

When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lesson symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by one or two days. They also can prevent serious flu complications like pneumonia. For people at high risk of serious flu complications, treatment with antiviral drugs can mean the difference between milder or more serious illness possibly resulting in a hospital stay. Take everyday 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 like 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.

Continue to fight flu this season. Share CDC’s infographic on what to do when you’re sick with flu. Utilize CDC’s campaign toolkit, which includes social media content, posters, website assets, and media prep material and 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 Video Series–“How Vaccines Work”: CDC and NCIRD are excited to launch the third video of their latest animated video series for parents titled “What to Expect When Your Child Is Vaccinated.” The first two videos, titled “How Do Germs Make Your Baby Sick,” and “How Do Vaccines Help Babies Fight Infections,” are also available for viewing. 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.  Please share this new educational resource with parents! Learn more at the parents/childhood vaccines web page.

Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers (IQIP): IQIP will be replacing AFIX as CDC’s national immunization quality improvement program on July 1, 2019. The purpose of IQIP is to promote and support the implementation of provider-level immunization quality improvement strategies designed to increase vaccine uptake among children and adolescents in adherence to the routine schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). IQIP provides technical assistance to providers to support three core quality improvement strategies plus one optional custom quality improvement strategy developed at the immunization program level to advance local priorities. The three core strategies are:

  • Schedule the next immunization visit before the patient leaves the office.
  • Leverage IIS functionality to support immunization practice.
  • Give a strong vaccine recommendation (with an emphasis on HPV vaccination for providers serving adolescent patients).

Stay tuned for additional information and the launch of CDC’s IQIP website.

New Pneumococcal Vaccination App: CDC has launched a new pneumococcal vaccination app, PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor, for iOS and Android mobile devices. Take the confusion and stress out of interpreting pneumococcal vaccine recommendations. Use this app to quickly and easily determine which pneumococcal vaccines a patient needs and when. Simply enter a patient’s age and note if the patient has specific underlying medical conditions. After answering questions about the patient’s pneumococcal vaccination history, you’ll receive patient-specific guidance consistent with ACIP’s recommended immunization schedule. The app incorporates recommendations for all ages, so internists, family physicians, pediatricians, and pharmacists will all find the tool beneficial. Visit the app web page for additional 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.

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Course: CDC will host up to 250 state and local public health staff at an Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases course (also known as a 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 can be found on the course information 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 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 on March 13, 2019, and covered the 2019 adult immunization schedule and the 2019 child and adolescent immunization schedule. The archived webinar 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 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.” The 2019 recommended immunization schedules will be available for ordering soon.

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

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

California Immunization Coalition Summitexternal icon, California Immunization Coalition, April 8–9, 2019, Riverside, CA

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

Utah Immunization Conference–You Are the Keyexternal icon, Utah Public Health Association, April 19, 2019, West Jordan, UT

Northern Utah Immunization Coalition Conferenceexternal icon, April 19, 2019, Ogden, UT

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book Course pdf icon[1 page], April 30–May 2, 2019, Bloomington, UT

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

Iowa Immunization Summit and Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book Courseexternal icon, Iowa Department of Health, June 19–20, 2019, Altoona, IA

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 icon, Hawaii Immunization Coalition and the Hawaii Public Health Institute, November 13–15, 2019, Honolulu, HI

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

Clinical Vaccinology Courseexternal icon, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), November 16–17, Washington, D.C.

NCIRD Calendar of Events

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) Calendarexternal icon

Page last reviewed: March 28, 2019