- Materials from the CDC for the 2019–20 Influenza Season
- American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA), and American Lung Association (AHA) Joint Press Release
- Register now! Dr. L.J Tan to Present Webinar on Current Issues in Influenza on October 29
- Release of NIS-Child and Kindergarten Vaccination Coverage Reports
- American Hospital Association launches United Against the Flu Campaign
- FDA Expands Approval of Baloxavir Marboxil to People at High-Risk for Influenza-Related Complications
- Nominations open for the ESWI Influenza Award for Young Scientists
- CDC Influenza Updates
- Researchers Try to Use AI to Better Predict How Influenza Will Spread During Flu Season
- AI Could Pave Way for More Effective Flu Shots
- Patients with T2DM Who Have Flu More Likely to be Hospitalized
- Novavax Initiates Phase 3 Clinical Trial of NanoFlu Influenza Vaccine in Older Adults/li>
- Summit Website Offers Wonderful Resources on Adult and Influenza Vaccination/li>
Materials from the CDC for the 2019–20 Influenza Season
CDC has a variety of materials for health care providers for this year’s influenza season. This includes Vaccine Information Statements (VISs), educational materials such as You Call The Shots web modules, and a video with FAQs for the upcoming flu season. Please see Materials for the 2019–20 Influenza Season for more information.
American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA), and American Lung Association (AHA) Joint Press Release
The American Lung Association has collaborated with the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association on a joint press release to urge patients with chronic health conditions to get an influenza vaccine.
Register now! Dr. L.J Tan to Present Webinar on Current Issues in Influenza on October 29
Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer with the Immunization Action Coalition, will present a webinar on Current Issues in Influenza on Tuesday, October 29, at 1:00 pm ET. During the webinar Dr. Tan will discuss the 2018–2019 influenza season, some of its unique aspects, and the topic of vaccine effectiveness. He also will review the importance of vaccination in preventing negative outcomes, particularly in the elderly, in those with chronic illnesses, and in the young. Finally, he will highlight new ACIP language regarding influenza vaccination and discuss messaging for the 2019–2020 season.
Register today for this engaging informational session.
Release of NIS-Child and Kindergarten Vaccination Coverage Reports
As part of this release, CDC is planning proactive social media engagement on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and interviews in response to inquiries from reporters.
CDC’s topline messages include:
The US has already had 22 measles outbreaks in 2019, and most cases were among people who were not vaccinated.
- Lack of access to vaccination services and hesitancy resulting from the spread of inaccurate information about vaccines, continue to increase the likelihood of outbreaks.
NIS-Child – Coverage by Second Birthday
- While most U.S. parents are protecting their children from vaccine-preventable diseases by making sure they are getting recommended vaccines, there are areas where coverage is low.
- 20 states have MMR coverage less than 90 percent.
- CDC’s data suggest that parents want to vaccinate their children, but they may face barriers to protecting their children.
- Coverage was lower for children without private health insurance, especially those with no insurance, as well as those living below the poverty line and in more rural areas.
- Only 1.3 percent of children received no vaccines by age 24 months
Kindergarten Vaccination Survey
- National coverage of kindergartners with MMR, DTaP, and varicella vaccines remained near 95 percent.
- Recent measles outbreaks in states with high overall MMR coverage show how important it is for states to use school level data to identify where local vaccination efforts are needed.
- Although the overall percentage of children with an exemption increased slightly for the second consecutive school year, children with exemptions still represent a small proportion of kindergartners nationally and in most states.
- Almost every state could have 95 percent MMR coverage if all nonexempt kindergartners were vaccinated in accordance with local and state vaccination policies.
CDC encourages you to share these report findings with your members and constituents.
American Hospital Association launches United Against the Flu Campaign
United Against the Flu is a collaborative effort by several national health care organizations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to amplify the importance of getting vaccinated, especially this flu season.
On October 14, 2019, the American Hospital Association (AHA) launched its United Against the Flu campaign in coordination with national health care organizations, non-profits and government agencies. The four-month effort will target caregivers and consumers, especially the elderly, young children and pregnant women with a clear message: get your flu shot. The campaign is also aimed at correcting misinformation, such as the myth that a flu shot can actually cause the flu or that the vaccinations are dangerous for pregnant women.
Shared resources such as the CDC’s flu shot finder tool and social media will help spread the word. All partners are welcome to contribute resources. A capstone event, National Influenza Vaccination Week, kicks off the first week of December, offering additional tools and videos for patients and providers.
“Get vaccinated” is a message everyone should hear, and hospitals and health systems are the ideal partners to spread it.
FDA Expands Approval of Baloxavir Marboxil to People at High-Risk for Influenza-Related Complications
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the indication for baloxavir marboxil tablets to include people at high risk of developing influenza-related complications. The new indication regards patients with conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, or morbid obesity, and for adults aged 65 years or older. Additional information is available on Medscape. (free registration required)
Nominations open for the ESWI Influenza Award for Young Scientists
To advance research in the influenza field by Young Scientists, ESWI launches its fourth award for the most promising body of work in flu research. The competition is open to all Young Scientists throughout the world and will be judged by an international committee of influenza experts.
The Best Body of Work Award Winner will receive:
- A cash prize of €10,000
- An invitation to speak at the Seventh ESWI Influenza Conference (Valencia, 13-16 September 2020)
- Young Scientists are welcome to apply for the prize. Applicants must hold a PhD for no longer than 7 years at the time of the application.
- Special considerations (e.g. maternity/paternity leave) will be taken into account.
- Applicants should submit an executive summary report of their work as well as a proof of status in the form of an official university certificate or letter, which is signed by the supervisor/departmental head to: firstname.lastname@example.org, before 16 December 2019.
CDC Influenza Updates
The Influenza Surveillance Report (FluView) for Week 40, ending October 5, 2019, is available on CDC’s website.
Here is a synopsis of the latest FluView:
Influenza activity in the United States remains low. Below is a summary of the key influenza indicators for the week ending October 5, 2019:
Viral Surveillance: Reporting for 2019-2020 will begin when a sufficient number of viruses have been characterized. A summary of influenza virus characterization data through September 28 is available.
Influenza-like Illness Surveillance: Nationwide during week 40, 1.4% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to influenza-like illness (ILI). This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.4%. (ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and cough and/or sore throat.).
ILI State Activity Indicator Map: Data collected in ILINet are used to produce a measure of ILI activity by state. Here are the week 40 ILI activity levels:
- Moderate – 1 state (Louisiana)
- Minimal – District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico and 49 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming)
- Data were Insufficient to calculate an ILI activity level from the U.S. Virgin Islands
Geographic Spread of Influenza: The influenza activity reported by state and territorial epidemiologists indicates geographic spread of influenza viruses, but does not measure the severity of influenza activity. During week 40, the following influenza activity was reported:
- Local – four states (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Nevada).
- Sporadic – the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 40 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
- No activity – six states (Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Rhode Island).
- Guam did not report.
Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mortality surveillance data available on October 10, 2019, 5.0% of the deaths occurring during the week ending September 28, 2019 (week 39) were due to P&I. This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 5.6% for week 39.
Influenza-associated Pediatric Deaths: No influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2019-2020 season have been reported to CDC. Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 40. Both occurred during the 2018-2019 influenza season, weeks 9 and 36 (the weeks ending March 2, 2019 and September 7, 2019), and both were associated with influenza A (H3) virus infection.
Frequently Asked Questions about the 2019–2020 influenza season are available on CDC’s website.
Researchers Try to Use AI to Better Predict How Influenza Will Spread During Flu Season
Flu season reliably arrives around this time every year — but where the virus heads and how it will spread can seem wildly unpredictable. Now, artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a bigger role in trying to change that.
One startup is using data collected from thermometers to develop algorithms to derive insights about flu activity that it could sell to retailers, consumer-goods makers, and perhaps even health systems. Academic researchers are refining sophisticated AI models, including using machine learning and statistical methods to recognize patterns and map out future trajectories.
The full story is available on StatNews (paid membership needed).
AI Could Pave Way for More Effective Flu Shots
Researchers at Berg, a Boston-based pharmaceutical startup, are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to develop predictive ways to fight the flu, Time reports. To understand the biology behind effective immune responses to the flu, Berg and Sanofi are using an AI algorithm to analyze data from patient samples exposed to the vaccine. By using AI and machine learning tools, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of immune responses to then develop more precise flu shots and even personalized flu prevention, Niven Narain, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Berg, told Time. Articles on this subject are available in Becker Hospital Review and Time magazine.
Patients with T2DM Who Have Flu More Likely to be Hospitalized
The risk for hospitalization with pandemic influenza is higher for patients with type 2 diabetes than for those without type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online on Oct. 6 in the Journal of Internal Medicine. (paid full access needed)
Novavax Initiates Phase 3 Clinical Trial of NanoFlu Influenza Vaccine in Older Adults
Novavax has announced the initiation of its Phase 3 clinical trial for NanoFlu™, its recombinant quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine candidate, in adults aged 65 and over. The trial, for which the first participants have been enrolled, will evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of NanoFlu with its proprietary Matrix-M™ adjuvant, compared to a U.S.-licensed quadrivalent influenza vaccine.
Summit Website Offers Wonderful Resources on Adult and Influenza Vaccination
Remember to visit the Summit website for the latest on adult and influenza immunization resources. You also can find archived copies of The Summit Buzz there.
Summit calls are held weekly on Thursday at 3 pm ET throughout the influenza season unless cancelled. Call information and an agenda generally are sent the morning of the call. Call summaries are available shortly after each call on the Summit website.
The October 24, 2019 call is cancelled due to the October ACIP meeting. The next call will be on October 31, 2019.