Immunization Works July 2019

August 2, 2019: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.


Immunization Works Newsletter July 2019

Top Stories

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM): This annual observance highlights the efforts of health care professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.

The Public Health Foundation and CDC have developed a digital communication toolkit with resources for partners, including:

  • Key messages
  • Social media content
  • Social media graphics
  • Newsletter announcements
  • Links to educational resources for health care professionals

Please share these resources with members of your organization and on your social media platforms using the hashtag #ivax2protect.

CDC will also be hosting a NIAM webinar in late August on strategies for addressing vaccine misinformation. Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks. CDC will launch a website for the #HowIRecommend video series by August 1, 2019.

2019 Pink Book Webinar Series: CDC is offering a weekly series of 15 one-hour webinars that will provide 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) and also include updated information from recent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meetings and votes. The webinars started June 5, 2019, and will air live most Wednesdays from 12–1 p.m. EDT through September 25, 2019. Please visit the Pink Book webinar web page for the schedule and additional information. Continuing Education (CE) will be available for each event.


Hospitalization Rates and Risk of Death from Flu Increase with Age among the Elderly: People 85 years and older are much more likely to be hospitalized and die from flu than adults 65 to 74 years old. That’s according to a new CDC coauthored study published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases (OFID) that also confirmed that H3N2 flu viruses are particularly dangerous to older people. H3N2 flu viruses predominated in the U.S. during the second half of the 2018–19 flu season, and contributed to a record-breaking 21-week flu season. The study looked at age-related differences in flu-related hospitalization rates, clinical presentation of illness, and clinical outcomes among nearly 20,000 people older than 65 years who were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu at 14 FLuSurv-NET sites during the 2011–12 through 2014–15 flu seasons, using 10-year age groups. Study results showed that:

  • Hospitalization rates among adults age 85 years and older were 2–6 times greater than rates for adults age 65–74 years.
  • The highest hospitalization rates occurred during H3N2-predominant seasons.
  • Patients age 85 years and older had an increased risk of pneumonia and in-hospital death or transfer to hospice compared to hospitalized patients age 65–74 years.
  • The frequency of fever and several other typical flu symptoms decreased in frequency with age beyond 65 years, highlighting the importance of flu testing and clinical discretion in rapid treatment in older adults.

The OFID study adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the importance of vaccination in older adults and their contacts against flu, and for the use of antiviral therapy as currently recommended by CDC. The study is available hereexternal icon.

The Discovery and Reconstruction of the 1918 Flu Pandemic Virus: The 100–year anniversary of the 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic and the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic provide an opportunity to highlight the work that led to the discovery, sequencing, and reconstruction of the 1918 pandemic flu virus. This achievement advanced understanding of the deadliest pandemic in modern history. It has also helped global public health workers prepare for contemporary pandemics, such as the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, as well as future pandemic threats. You can learn more about this groundbreaking work here.


Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine – Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP): Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, is the most common vaccine-preventable cause of encephalitis in Asia. JE occurs throughout most of Asia and parts of the western Pacific. Approximately 20%–30% of patients die, and 30%–50% of survivors have neurologic, cognitive, or behavioral sequelae. In countries where the disease is endemic, JE primarily affects children. Although rare, travel-associated JE can occur among persons of any age. For most travelers to Asia, the risk for JE is very low, but varies based on travel duration, season, location, activities, and accommodations. JE virus is maintained in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and amplifying vertebrate hosts, primarily pigs and wading birds. JE virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. JE virus transmission occurs primarily in rural agricultural areas. In most temperate areas of Asia, JE virus transmission is seasonal, and large outbreaks can occur. In the subtropics and tropics, transmission can occur year-round, often intensifying during the rainy season. The July 19 MMWR updates the 2010 ACIP recommendations for use of JE vaccine among U.S. travelers and laboratory workers.

Genetic Characterization of Measles and Rubella Viruses Detected through Global Measles and Rubella Elimination Surveillance, 2016–2018: All six World Health Organization (WHO) regions have established measles elimination goals, and three regions have a rubella elimination goal. Each region has established a regional verification commission to monitor progress toward measles elimination, rubella elimination, or both, and to provide verification of elimination. To verify elimination, high-quality, case-based surveillance is essential, including laboratory confirmation of suspected cases and genotyping of viruses from confirmed cases to track transmission pathways. In 2000, WHO established the Global Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network (GMRLN) to provide high-quality laboratory support for surveillance of measles, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome. GMRLN is the largest globally coordinated laboratory network, with 704 laboratories supporting surveillance in 191 countries. The July 5 MMWR updates a previous report and describes the genetic characterization of measles and rubella viruses during 2016–18.

Resources and Information

Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers (IQIP): On July 1, 2019, IQIP replaced Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange (AFIX) as CDC’s national immunization quality improvement program. IQIP promotes and supports 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). Visit the IQIP website for additional information.

Pediatricians Answer Parent’s HPV Vaccine Questions in New “Can I Ask You a Question” Videos; CDC’s new “Can I Ask You a Question” video series for parents is now available for viewing. In the series, real pediatricians use their expertise to answer parents’ questions about the HPV vaccine and why it’s important for preventing cancer. The videos feature pediatricians answering friends’ questions about the HPV vaccine in a casual setting, and reflect some of the most common questions parents have about the HPV vaccine.

Each video answers a different question. Some of these questions include:

  • Why do kids need protection against HPV?
  • Do boys need the HPV vaccine?
  • Does the HPV vaccine really prevent cancer?

You can find all the videos on the CDC website and on YouTube. You can find a Spanish version of one of these videos on YouTube, as well.

Nominations Open for 2019 HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Champion Award: CDC, the American Cancer Society, and the American Association of Cancer Institutes are partnering for the third annual “HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Champion” Award. The Champion award recognizes clinicians, clinics, practices, groups, and health systems that are going above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination among adolescents in their communities. The award recognizes up to one champion from each of the 50 U.S. states, 8 U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia. Recognize a deserving health care professional in your state by nominating them for the award. Learn more about the award and how to submit a nomination by visiting the “HPV is Cancer Prevention Champion” Award website, or send an e-mail to

Pneumococcal Vaccination App: CDC has launched a 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.

“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. An updated 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. Please visit the netconference web page for additional information and to view archived webcasts.

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. 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 are 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.

Calendar of Events

Northwest Immunization Conference and Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book Courseexternal icon, Oregon Immunization Program, August 13–15, 2019, Portland, OR

Arkansas Immunization Summitexternal icon, August 16, 2019, North Little Rock, AR

North Carolina Immunization Conference, Your Health Can’t Wait . . . Vaccinateexternal icon, August 21–23, 2019, Greensboro, NC

VFC Annual Immunization Reviewexternal icon, Tennessee Immunization Program, September 19, 20, 24, and 25, 2019, various cities in Tennessee

Washington State Immunization Summitexternal icon, October 8, 2019, Lynwood, WA

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

Texas Immunization Conferenceexternal icon, Texas DSHS, October 23–25, 2019, Addison, TX

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

Clinical Vaccinology Courseexternal icon, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), November 16–17, 2019, Washington, D.C.

NCIRD Calendar of Events

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) Calendarexternal icon

Page last reviewed: August 2, 2019