Immunization Works February 2018
2018 Immunization Schedules: The Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger and the Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older, which includes the new shingles vaccine recommendations, are now available online.
CDC encourages organizations to syndicate content rather than copy a PDF version of the schedule onto their websites to share with visitors. View or print several formats for both health care professionals and the general public, and display any of the schedules on your website. Whenever CDC makes a change to the immunization schedules, your page will automatically display the update. For syndication instructions, see Display Immunization Schedules and Quizzes on Your Website.
ACIP Meeting: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met February 21–22, 2018. They voted on vaccination recommendations for a new hepatitis B vaccine for adults, live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4), and the hepatitis A vaccine.
ACIP comprises medical and public health experts who develop recommendations for the routine use of vaccines for children, adolescents, and adults in the U.S. When adopted by the CDC Director, these recommendations become official CDC/HHS policy and stand as public health guidance for the safe use of vaccines and related biological products. After ACIP votes on vaccine recommendations, CDC reviews the recommendations and, if approved, provides necessary guidance on implementing the recommendations.
This month, ACIP voted to include the recombinant vaccine, Heplisav-B, on its list of recommended products for adult vaccination against hepatitis B (HBV).
The committee also voted on changes to the hepatitis A vaccine recommendation. The recommendation states that hepatitis A vaccines should be administered for postexposure prophylaxis for all persons age equal to and greater than 12 months. In addition to hepatitis A vaccine, IG may be administered to persons over 40 years of age, depending on the provider’s risk assessment. Hepatitis A vaccine should be administered to infants age 6–11 months traveling outside the U.S. when protection against hepatitis A is recommended.
ACIP voted to include the live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) as an option for use during the 2018–19 flu season to prevent influenza. LAIV4 is licensed for use in otherwise healthy, nonpregnant people ages 2 through 49 years.
Once approved by CDC, the hepatitis B, hepatitis A, and flu vaccination recommendations will be published in the MMWR, at which time the recommendations will become official CDC policy. Once published in the MMWR, CDC will update vaccination information and educational materials on CDC’s website and in other communication channels.
Please visit the ACIP meeting web page for agendas, presentation slides, meeting minutes, and archived video broadcasts. The minutes from the latest meeting will be posted soon.
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW): NIIW is April 21–28 and it will be the perfect time to highlight the important role vaccines play in protecting children and communities from serious diseases. If you are looking for ways to promote infant immunization this NIIW, you can:
- Register for and attend the VICNetwork webinar on March 7 to get ideas and materials to help you plan NIIW events.
- Access NIIW promotional materials and use the NIIW Digital Toolkit (coming soon).
- Use the hashtag #ivax2protect throughout the week and during the NIIW Twitter Storm (date and time will be announced soon). Use #ivax2protect to share why you support immunizations or to call others to action, encouraging others to share why they vaccinated on time.
Child care professionals, pediatric office staff, and health care providers all have an important role to play in helping parents choose vaccines for their children. This NIIW, build and support a culture of immunization within your organization or practice. Visit the Provider Resources page for resources, including two customizable slide decks to share with your colleagues, staff, or volunteers:
- “10 Ways to Create a Culture of Immunization Within Our Pediatric Practice”[4.7 MB, 23 pages]
- “How Your Child Care Program Can Support Immunization”[5.8 MB, 37 pages]
Please visit the NIIW site for additional information and look for more information about NIIW events and activities in the March and April editions of “Immunization Works.”
Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) Updates: There is a new Recombinant Zoster VIS, and the Live Zoster VIS, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella VIS, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella VIS, and Varicella VIS have all recently been updated. Providers are encouraged to begin using the updated VISs immediately, but existing stocks may be used until exhausted. Please visit the CDC VIS web page for additional information on VISs.
48th National Immunization Conference (NIC): The 48th NIC—Immunization: Prevention, Protection, and Progress—will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 15–17, 2018. The NIC brings together more than 1,500 local, state, federal, and private-sector immunization stakeholders and partners to explore science, policy, education, and planning issues related to immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases. The conference will have exhibits and poster presentations and will include tracks on adult immunization, immunization information systems, programmatic issues, health and risk communications, epidemiology and surveillance, and childhood/adolescent immunization. The NIC mission is to offer information that will help participants provide comprehensive immunization services for all age groups. The conference also provides participants an opportunity to learn innovative strategies for developing programs and policies and advancing science to promote immunization among all ages today for a healthy tomorrow. Conference registration is open and the abstract submission deadline has passed. For more information, please visit the NIC registration site and the NIC web page.
Flu Season Update: CDC’s latest tracking data indicate that flu activity is still high and widespread across most of the nation. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses continue to predominate this season. However, we are seeing an increasing proportion of influenza B viruses, as well as H1H1 viruses causing illness. Seasons when H3N2 dominates are associated with more hospitalizations, more deaths, and more illness and, unfortunately, lower vaccine effectiveness. This season looks most similar to the 2014–15 season when H3N2 predominated. However, key indicators that CDC uses to track flu activity, like influenza-like illness and hospitalizations, are now higher than was observed during that season. CDC estimates there were more than 34 million flu illnesses, more than 16 million flu-related doctor’s visits, and 710,000 hospitalizations that season. Only pediatric deaths are nationally notifiable; so far this season, 97 influenza associated pediatric deaths in children have been reported to CDC as of February 23.
As of February 9, 2018, approximately 154.7 million doses of flu vaccine have been distributed in the U.S. for the 2017–18 flu season. Each season, CDC studies how well flu vaccines work by collecting data through a network of five sites across the United States. CDC’s early flu vaccine effectiveness estimates for this season show the vaccine has performed similarly to what we expected at the beginning of the season. The vaccine is 36% effective overall (reduced the risk of getting sick and having to go to the doctor from flu by one third). Effectiveness against H3N2 was lower (25%), except for among children 6 months to 8 years (51%). Effectiveness against H1N1 (67%) and influenza B viruses (42%) was better. While this season’s vaccine performed as we expected and offers some protection for many people who received it, there is room for improvement. There are many possible reasons for lower effectiveness against H3N2 viruses and it’s important to get more scientific data to help develop better vaccines. CDC will continue to monitor vaccine effectiveness through the rest of the season. Yearly monitoring of vaccine effectiveness is critical to identifying vaccine issues that need to be understood and corrected. CDC continues to recommend getting a flu vaccine. While flu vaccine varies in how well it works, it is the best available way to prevent influenza and can reduce illnesses, doctor’s visits, and hospitalizations.
Although influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza, antiviral medications can treat influenza illness. CDC recommends rapid treatment with influenza antiviral drugs for people who are very sick with flu or people who are at high risk of flu-related complications who develop flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long you are sick, and observational studies have shown they also can prevent serious flu complications. CDC has received reports of antiviral drug spot shortages in some places experiencing high influenza activity. However, manufacturers say that at a national level, there is product available.
Because elevated flu activity is expected to continue for several more weeks, receiving a flu vaccination now can still offer benefit. Additionally, everyone should take everyday precautions to help slow the spread of flu. You should clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, including flu, wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough, and stay home from work or school to prevent spreading the flu to others.
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 Center, and the chapters and appendices can be viewed/downloaded from the NCIRD vaccines site.
Webinar Series for Pink Book: This 2017 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 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.
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), 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit: The Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit[2.5 MB, 81 pages] was updated in January 2018. The updates include:
- A reorganized table of contents to better navigate the toolkit
- Revised recommendations for monitoring and recording storage unit temperature
- A new document on how to handle a temperature excursion in your vaccine storage unit
- Updated content to reflect current vaccine products on the market
And be sure to check out the redesigned You Call the Shots: Storage and Handling training module that includes the updates and changes made to the Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit.
For more information, please e-mail email@example.com.
Updated Shingles Vaccine Label Examples: Based on the recently released, updated shingles vaccine recommendations, CDC recently made the following changes to the vaccine label examples.
- Created two new Shingrix vaccine labels (the standard and the reconstitution label)
- Changed the abbreviation on the Zostavax vaccine label from LZV (live zoster vaccine) to ZVL (zoster vaccine live)
The vaccine label examples can be used to organize vaccines within your storage unit and are referenced in the Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit.
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 information on upcoming netconferences and to view archived webcasts. The next netconference is scheduled for March 21, 2018.
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 Storage and Handling and Vaccines for Children (VFC) modules have recently been updated and are now available. Please visit the You Call the Shots web page for additional information and other modules. Continuing Education (CE) is available for viewing a module and completing an evaluation.
Communications Resources: CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases has created new communications resources for partners. The first resource is a microsite for measles. A microsite is an easy way to add CDC content to your website, which automatically gets updated every time CDC makes changes to the content. This can save you time and resources in creating your own content. The second resource is our Communication Toolkit for Disease Outbreak Investigations and Response, which contains communications materials that can be readily adapted and used to reach different audiences during outbreak investigations and response. The toolkit contains materials for raising general awareness about the disease and outbreak among different audiences, and materials for communicating with the audiences affected by an outbreak, or involved in the outbreak investigation and response. We currently have toolkits available for measles, mumps, norovirus, and MERS. If you are interested in the measles microsite or obtaining any of the toolkits, contact Amie Nisler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 commentaries, 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: 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 will be available in late March.
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.
Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book Course, March 8–9, Salt Lake City, UT
Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book Course, April 10–11, Morgantown, WV
National Immunization Conference (NIC), May 15–17, Atlanta, GA
National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS), May 18, Atlanta, GA
Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Pink Book Course, September 11–13, Greenwood Village, CO
Clinical Vaccinology Course, 2018, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), November 9–10, Bethesda, MD (URL available soon)