September 9, 2017

Today’s call was moderated by Amy Parker-Fiebelkorn.

Summit Call Summary – September 21, 2017

Influenza Surveillance Update – Alicia Budd (CDC)

Alicia noted that we are seeing low levels of activity overall, as would be expected during this time of the year. She then provided highlights of the influenza surveillance report from week 36, ending on September 9, 2017.

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories was 1.0%. Influenza A viruses were the most commonly detected for the week. The majority of specimens tested at public health laboratories were influenza A(H3N2). Nationwide, influenza-like illness (ILI) activity was at 1.1%, below the national baseline of 2.2%.

Based on reports from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) surveillance system available for the week ending August 26, 5.3% of deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 5.9% for the week.

One influenza-associated pediatric death was reported during week 36. This death occurred in a four-year-old child and was positive for influenza A(H1pdm09) virus. A total of 106 pediatric deaths have occurred during the 2016–2017 season.

CDC “Dear Colleague” Letter – Kathleen LaPorte (CDC)

Kathleen shared information that the 2017–2018 influenza season “Dear Colleague” letter has been posted. Highlights of the information covered in the letter include vaccine recommendations for this year, now to ensure safe vaccine administration, and statistics and talking points that can be used for discussion with patients. Kathleen encouraged all Summit members to share the letter with their partners and vendors.

Evaluating the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion Following Administration of Influenza Vaccines – James Donahue (Marshfield Clinic Research Institute)

Dr. James Donahue, the principal author of an article recently published in Vaccine, “Association of Spontaneous Abortion with Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Containing H1N1pdm09 in 2010–11 and 2011–12,” provided a detailed presentation of the methodology and findings from his analysis. (Summit partners wishing to obtain a copy of the full presentation may contact L.J Tan.) The key findings of this analysis were:

  • Spontaneous abortion (SAB) was significantly associated with IIV receipt in the 28 days preceding the SAB. (This finding differs from the results of a similar study conducted before the 2009 pandemic.)
  • Association between IIV and SAB was significant in 2010–11, but not 2011–12.
  • In both seasons, the association was significantly elevated only in the 28-day window and only in women who had received pH1N1-containing vaccine in the prior influenza season.

NVPO Webinar and Update on Regional Stakeholder Meeting – Angela Shen (NVPO)

Angela reminded Summit members about the National Vaccine Program Office’s upcoming webinar on Aging & the Immune System: Rethinking Vaccines for Older Adults. This event will be held on Tuesday, September 26 from 12–1 pm ET. The immune system changes with age, leaving older adults more susceptible to infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, and shingles. During the webinar a panel of experts will be discussing the changing immune system, how new research is improving the design of vaccine for older adults. Free continuing education credits are available. This webinar is part of the NVPO/CDC “Upshot” webinar series.

Angela also provided an early preview of upcoming regional stakeholder meetings on adult immunization.

The purpose of the meetings will be to work on local/regional level opportunities to advance the goals of the National Adult Immunization Plan. Current plans call for 4–6 meetings to be held in different HHS regions. Potentially, these meetings will be in Region 3 (Philadelphia), Region 5 (Chicago), Region 6 (Dallas), Region 7 (Kansas City), Region 9 (San Francisco). These probably will be held early next year. More information on these meetings will be shared as plans are finalized.

Other Items – Amy Parker-Fiebelkorn (CDC)

Amy reminded callers about several activities related to CDC’s 2017–2018 seasonal influenza campaign.

  • The official campaign kickoff will be on September 28 at a press conference hosted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). All partners are encouraged to join the Thunderclap scheduled to coincide with the kickoff.
  • During November 6–11, CDC will be hosting a blog-a-thon encouraging people to get a flu shot before the holidays.
  • Remember to check out CDC’s digital media toolkit. This toolkit contains helpful resources including social media texts, newsletter blurbs, graphics, and posters.

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