December 08, 2015

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Summit Call Recap – December 3, 2015
Summit Call Recap – November 19, 2015
Announcements
Information from CDC
Announcements

SUMMIT CALL RECAP – DECEMBER 3, 2015


Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)

Carolyn Bridges served as the moderator for today’s call.

Sophie provided a summary of the published reports for week 46, ending November 21, 2015. Influenza activity in the U.S. increased slightly during this week.

CDC is now reporting separately on influenza specimens received from U.S. clinical laboratories and U.S. public health laboratories. For week 46, 1.1% of specimens submitted to clinical laboratories were positive for influenza. Of these, 48.3% were influenza A and 51.7% were influenza B. For public health laboratories, 24/638 (3.8%) specimens were positive, with 18 (75%) influenza A and 6 (25%) influenza B.

Twenty (20) influenza virus specimens have been characterized as of October 1. Of these, 1 was A(H1N1), 18 were A(H3N2),), and 1 was influenza B. All 18 A(H3N2) viruses were similar to the A(H3N2) component of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. Ten (10) viruses, including 1 A(H1N1), 8 A(H3N2), and 1 B Yamagata, were characterized, and all were similar to the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine.

Since October 1, 28 influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been tested for antiviral resistance. All 28 were sensitive to oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir.

Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data available on November 25, 5.9% of deaths occurring during the week ending November 7 (week 44) were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I.) (NCHS data has an approximate 2 week lag time for reporting.) This is below the epidemic threshold of 6.7% for week 44. Similarly, data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System for week 46 indicate 6.0% of deaths were due to P&I. This is below the epidemic threshold of 6.4% for week 46.

One influenza-associated pediatric death was reported to CDC during week 46. This death, which occurred during week 44 (ending November 7), was associated with an influenza B virus. A total of 2 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2015–2016 season. Of these 2 deaths, 1 was not eligible for vaccination due to age, and 1 was unvaccinated.

During week 46, influenza-like Illness (ILI) activity levels, which are based on the percent of outpatient visits due to ILI, were at 1.6%, well below the baseline of 2.1% for the week.

On a regional level, outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 0.5% to 3.9% during week 46. Two public health regions (Regions 3 and 6) reported outpatient visits for ILI to be at or above region-specific baseline levels. The geographic spread of influenza as assessed by state and territorial epidemiologists indicates the following levels of influenza activity during week 46:

  • Widespread – Guam
  • Regional – Puerto Rico
  • Local – 5 states
  • Sporadic – 39 states
  • No activity – 6 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.


Announcements – Carolyn Bridges (CDC)
  • National Influenza Vaccination Week – Carolyn reminded partners that NIVW will be occurring next week, on December 6–12. She encouraged everyone to participate in the Thunderclap activity which will take place on December 6. Additional information about the week is available on CDC’s NIVW website.
  • 2016 National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit – The annual Summit meeting is scheduled for May 10–12 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. Based on feedback from partners, an Influenza Vaccine Workgroup has now been established. Initially, the group plans to focus on appropriate vaccine administration and storage/handling, particularly for temporary offsite clinics. Watch the Summit website for registration details.
  • National Immunization Conference – This conference will be held in Atlanta on September 13–16. Registration information will be posted on the NIC website as soon as it is available.
  • Next call – The next Summit call will be held on December 10, 2016.

SUMMIT CALL RECAP – NOVEMBER 19, 2015


Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)

LaDora Woods served as the moderator for today’s call.

Sophie provided a summary of the published reports for week 44, ending November 7, 2015. Influenza activity in the U.S. continues to remain low.

CDC is now reporting separately on influenza specimens received from U.S. clinical laboratories and U.S. public health laboratories. For week 44, 1.2% of specimens submitted to clinical laboratories were positive for influenza. Of these, 58.6% were influenza A and 41.4% were influenza B. For public health laboratories, 18/606 (3.0%) of specimens were positive, with 10 (56%) influenza A and 8 (44%) influenza B.

Ten (10) influenza virus specimens have been characterized as of October 1. Of these, 8 were A(H3N2), 1 was A(H1N1), and 1 was influenza B. All 8 A(H3N2) viruses were similar to the A(H3N2) component of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. Six viruses, including 1 A(H1N1), 4 A(H3N2), and 1 B Yamagata, were characterized, and all were similar to the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine.

No antiviral resistance data is yet available for specimens collected after October 1, 2015.

Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data available on November 12, 5.8% of deaths occurring during the week ending October 24 (week 42) were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I.) (NCHS data has an approximate 2 week lag time for reporting.) This is below the epidemic threshold of 6.5% for week 42. Similarly, data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System for week 44 indicate 5.7% of deaths were due to P&I. This is below the epidemic threshold of 6.2% for week 44. No pediatric influenza deaths have been reported for the season. During week 44, influenza-like Illness (ILI) activity levels, which are based on the percent of outpatient visits due to ILI, were at 1.4%, well below the baseline of 2.1% for the week.

All 10 public health regions are reporting activity below baseline levels. The geographic spread of influenza as assessed by state and territorial epidemiologists indicates the following levels of influenza activity during week 44:

    • Widespread – Guam
    • Regional – Puerto Rico
    • Local – 4 states
    • Sporadic – 39 states and the District of Columbia
    • No activity – 7 states

One Summit partner noted that misinformation is spreading that indicates this year’s circulating viruses and the vaccine are not a match. She suggested that CDC should highlight that the match is good so far, which is different from the experience of the 2014–2015 season. Sophie agreed, but she also noted that this information is available in the key points and on the FluView page.


National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) Plans – Cindy Alvarez (CDC)

Cindy provided background information on NIVW, which was originally started to counteract the typical waning of influenza vaccine activity in late November. The major concept covered is that it is not too late to be vaccinated in December or even later.

Messages used during the week include:

  • a reminder for parents that children 6 months through 8 years need 2 doses of vaccine if they have not been immunized previously;
  • the importance of vaccine for persons at high risk of complications e.g., pregnant women, persons age 65 years and older, very young children, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

NIVW will be held December 6–12. Multiple resources are available online to make it easier for partners to participate and to encourage influenza vaccination throughout the season.

CDC plans to send out a Thunderclap social media message on December 7, and they will be sharing instructions explaining how to participate in this effort. On December 7, a message will be triggered to go out widely from anyone who has preregistered with their Twitter profile. In this way, a wide-reaching message will be shared with a large number of providers. CDC also plans to host a Twitter chat featuring a CDC influenza SME on December 8 at 1 p.m. ET. CDC will use the hashtag #NIVW2015 in all messages. The organization also plans to share informational updates through partner emails, online at the NIVW website, and possibly a telebriefing, if warranted by influenza activity and coverage data for the season. A two-day radio media tour also is planned for December 10–11.

Other lower level activities planned include a Google keyword search and display area to help spread the word about the importance of everyone 6 months and older being vaccinated. All partners will receive prepared social media (e.g., tweets) that they can use to share information with their followers.

Outside these broad national activities, CDC also has plans for reaching medically underserved populations, including African Americans and Hispanics. Partners at the local level will be the messengers for this information. The National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership, which is comprised of a wide variety of organizations, is planning several local activities related to this outreach. This often includes media events to recognize local grassroots partners and vaccination clinics.

Cindy reminded partners about the wide variety of resources available for use during NIVW as well as throughout the year. The NIVW webpage offers flyers, posters, and digital and web tools, including an animated image which can be embedded on partner websites or social media. A matte article is available to drop into newsletters or emails. In addition, a separate NIVW partner page is available with a wealth of resources and other helpful information. To be added to CDC’s flu partner distribution list and receive email updates about available resources, send a message to fluinbox@cdc.gov.

Finally, Cindy shared information about the #VaxWithMe Selfie Social Media Campaign. This was designed as a way to capture and share influenza vaccination promotion activities. A selfie can be posted with the #VaxWithMe hashtag, and then shared via social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. CDC will compile these on a weekly basis and add it to the campaign’s interactive timeline.

For questions or additional information about NIVW, email Cindy Alvarez.


New Jersey Adult Immunization Leadership Summit – Maria Lanzi

On November 4 the New Jersey Immunization Network held a leadership summit for 100 participants. The Summit’s goal was to engage New Jersey leadership to focus on adult immunization rates and develop a plan to include these rates. Speakers from CDC included Carolyn Bridges and Carlos Velasquez.

Topics covered at the Summit included the public health case for immunization in New Jersey, the impact of illness among adults, how to build a culture of health, and how to address immunization disparities. The Summit was part of the ACP’s I Raise the Rates initiative.  Breakout sessions focused on immunizing health care workers, plans for the I Raise the Rates program in New Jersey, and new ways of communicating to create a culture of immunization among both clinicians and the adult population.

An agenda and slides from the Summit currently are available online, and a white paper from the meeting will be issued in the future.


Partner Announcements – LaDora Woods (CDC)
  • As noted earlier, National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 6–12.
  • The 2016 National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit is scheduled for May 10–12, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, GA. Additional information will be provided on the Summit website as it becomes available.
  • The 47th National Immunization Conference which will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Atlanta on September 13–15, 2016.

Dara Liebermann with Trust for America’s Health announced that the organization’s annual report on infectious diseases and preparedness, Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases, will be coming out in mid-December. Dara will be sure to share the report as it becomes available.

Lynette Bellin shared that Immunize Nevada is conducting an ongoing multi-media campaign about influenza vaccination. The most recent addition to the campaign is cartoon germ versions of political candidates who have visited Nevada. This incorporates a message about the number of people who have been shaking hands and kissing babies, and the importance of being vaccinated before attending a political event. Partners can follow this Immunize Nevada campaign on Facebook. The group also has had activities associated with sporting events, as well as targeted campaigns and toolkits for casinos. The group will be coordinating with CDC to conduct a media event in Las Vegas during NIVW.

Kara Anderson from Passport Health announced that today (November 19) the organization is once again partnering with UberHealth to deliver influenza vaccine in 36 cities around the country.


ANNOUNCEMENTS


December 6–12, 2015 is National Influenza Vaccination Week!

CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination (NIVW) is here and runs through December 12th, 2015! NIVW is an opportune time to emphasize the importance of vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, remind parents that some children 6 months through 8 years need a second dose of flu vaccine to be fully protected, and underscore that vaccination is especially important for those at high risk for flu complications.

Increasing flu vaccination uptake requires commitment and collaboration across all levels of public health. While many organizations across the U.S. have planned their own NIVW activities, CDC also invites your participation in the following activities:

  • Dec 8 Twitter Chat:  A @CDCFlu-hosted live Twitter chat on Tuesday, December 8 from 1–2 pm ET featuring CDC influenza subject matter expert, Dr. Grace Appiah. Participate or follow this event on Twitter: @CDCFlu, or #NIVW2015. The chat will:
    • emphasize that getting vaccinated in December, January, and beyond may still provide protective benefit against flu;
    • remind parents and providers of the need for certain children to receive a second dose of flu vaccine; and
    • provide an opportunity for people to ask questions about the flu and flu vaccination
  • Dec 9-11 Blog Relay:  CDC Digital Ambassadors will host a blog relay by leveraging the holiday season to encourage readers to focus on protecting the family with a flu vaccine. Participating Digital Ambassadors include: Shot of Prevention, Voices for Vaccines, March of Dimes, A Place For Mom, Healtheo360.

Be sure to stop by the NIVW relay participants blogs to learn about the benefits of flu vaccination.

Flu Vaccination Selfies Wanted–anytime! We encourage anyone and everyone—individuals and partners alike—to show off their flu vaccination using CDC’s #VaxWithMe selfie campaign. This campaign is an innovative way to capture and share flu vaccination promotion activities posted with the #VaxWithMe hashtag across various digital platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube). Just post a selfie getting your flu vaccine and use the hashtag. CDC posts weekly updates to the campaign timeline.

Supporting Information & Resources for NIVW
  • NIVW- specific tweets are provided below to help partners promote NIVW. All messages will include the hashtag #NIVW2015.

Week of 12/6/2015:

(For Tuesday only): Don’t forget! Join CDC’s Twitter chat TODAY about flu vaccination! Have Q’s? We’ll answer them! 1pm EST #NIVW2015

This week is Nat’l Influenza Vaccination Week! Have you gotten your flu vaccine? Visit: http://go.usa.gov/5jM #NIVW2015

NIVW is a national observance that highlights the importance of ongoing influenza vaccination. Visit: http://go.usa.gov/5jM  #NIVW2015

The flu can be a serious disease which can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death #NIVW2015 http://go.usa.gov/5WS

Anyone, even healthy people, can get sick from the flu. http://go.usa.gov/5WS #NIVW2015

Some people are at high risk of serious flu illness which can lead to hospitalization or death http://go.usa.gov/WseT  #NIVW2015

Vaccination of high risk people is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. http://go.usa.gov/5Z3 #NIVW2015

A list of people who are at high risk of flu complications is at http://go.usa.gov/5UY  #NIVW2015

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills & fatigue #NIVW2015

The 1st & most important step in protecting against the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. http://go.usa.gov/5ju #NIVW2015

Everyone ≥6 months of age is recommended to get a flu vaccine every year. http://go.usa.gov/5ju #NIVW2015

As long as flu is spreading & causing illness, flu vaccination should continue. http://go.usa.gov/5ju #NIVW2015

Take time to get a flu vaccine for yourself & your fam. Learn more at http://go.usa.gov/5UT #NIVW2015

Some kids 6 mo. thru 8 years may need 2 doses of flu vaccine. Check with your child’s doc to find out what they need.  #NIVW2015

Hundreds of millions of people have safely received influenza vaccines. http://go.usa.gov/5W6 #NIVW2015

People 65 yrs & older should get vaccinated b/c they’re at high risk of serious flu complications http://go.usa.gov/5Ws #NIVW2015

CDC reports very little #flu activity so far this season. It’s not too late to get vax this season. #NIVW2015 http://1.usa.gov/1dgiUJY

CDC reports #flu season has not started yet. Get your flu vaccine if you haven’t done so yet. #NIVW2015 http://1.usa.gov/19iciK4

For your awareness, CDC will conduct a two-day radio media tour, on December 10 and 11, with CDC influenza experts as a way to expand the reach of consistent and credible messaging.

CDC will also share updated information.

Visit the CDC NIVW website for NIVW-specific key points, print and web tools, and more.


Summit releases Immunization Information Systems Brochure to Increase Awareness Among Providers

This new brochure encourages healthcare providers with adult patients to use IIS. It aims to create awareness among these healthcare providers about “what’s in it for them” when they document the immunizations they give to their adult patients in their state’s registry.

This is a “customizable”* brochure (i.e., any state or city health department can insert their own name and logo) can be used in your state or city, if you would find it helpful. The brochure is a product of many inputs, including feedback from many IIS managers and a review of the currently available state-specific websites and promotional brochures that now exist. It also includes feedback from the IIS sentinel sites when they visited CDC in Atlanta in August 2015.

The brochure resulted from efforts of two workgroups (Provider and Access Workgroups) of the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit. The goal was to be helpful to all of you who are working so hard to increase the number of adult records in state IIS.

Thanks to all, and we hope it will be useful to you. Let us know what you think about it! Contact Susan Farrall for further information or comments.

* Instructions on CUSTOMIZING the brochure

  • To edit a pdf in Acrobat, go to the view tab in the Acrobat bar.
  • Pull down the menu under the view tab and select tools.
  • A bar menu will appear to the side. Then select Content Editing. After selecting Content Editing, another window will come up.
  • Click on Edit Text and Images, then click in the area that you want to revise.

After clicking on Edit Text; all of the text boxes will be seen in text frames. Once you have made your revisions, save the document and you will be good to go.


IAC California Workshops to Improve Implementation of Standing Orders for Adult Vaccines Begins on January 19, 2016, with the first stop in San Francisco

Please help IAC get the word out to California medical practices on the availability of a workshop to help them implement standing orders for adult vaccinations. This workshop is part of a national initiative to assist medical practices put standing orders into action. IAC is also delighted to announce that national immunization thought leaders, Drs. Sharon Humiston, Mark Sawyer, and others, will be presenting at the California workshops. As part of the initiative, IAC is offering a full year of free follow up support to medical practices that participate in the workshop and implement standing orders for adult vaccines.

Check the Take A Stand™ website to register for the workshops or to learn more about the initiative and see other workshop locations.


INFORMATION FROM CDC


CDC/Influenza Division Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report and CDC Key Points

The CDC weekly influenza surveillance report for week 47, 2015 (ending November 28, 2015) and region specific data are now available.

NCHS mortality surveillance data for week 45 (ending November 14, 2015, but available on December 3) indicate 5.9% of deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 6.8% for week 45. During week 47, 6.1% of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to P&I. This percentage was below the epidemic threshold of 6.5% for week 47.

CDC characterized 62 influenza viruses 18 A (H1N1)pdm09, 43 A (H3N2), and 1 influenza B viruses] collected by U.S. laboratories since October 1, 2015. All 43 H3N2 viruses were genetically sequenced, and all viruses belonged to genetic groups for which a majority of viruses antigenically characterized were similar to A/Switzerland/9715293/2013, the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. A subset of 16 H3N2 viruses also were antigenically characterized; 15 of 16 (93.8%) H3N2 viruses were A/Switzerland/9715293/2013-like by HI testing or neutralization testing.

All 18 influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 viruses were antigenically characterized as A/California/7/2009-like, the influenza A (H1N1) component of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. Only one influenza B specimen has been characterized, and this B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage virus was antigenically characterized as B/Phuket/3073/2013-like, which is included as an influenza B component of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccines.

No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 47. A total of two influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2015-2016 season. More detail is available on CDC’s Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality webpage.

The Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) conducts all age population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations in select counties in the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) states and Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP) states. FluSurv-NET estimated hospitalization rates will be updated weekly starting later this season.

Nationwide during week 47, 1.9% 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 2.1%. ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater), and cough and/or sore throat.

An Influenza Summary Update of the influenza activity reported by state and territorial epidemiologists, which indicates geographic spread of influenza viruses but does not measure the intensity of influenza activity, is available. This currently reflects data from November 28, 2015. Guam is reporting widespread activity, Puerto Rico is reporting regional activity, 7 states are reporting local activity, and most other states are reporting sporadic activity.

CDC Influenza Division seasonal influenza key points for December 4, are now available, as is the FluView report for week 47, ending November 28. Archives of previous FluViews also may be found online.


New CDC Video on Adult Immunizations

CDC has a new video featuring real-life parents learning about the vaccines they and other adults need to protect their health. This video (2 versions available) or one of the 15-second teasers can be shared online, through social media, or in waiting rooms. Visit CDC’s adult immunization patient education webpage for details and to view/download. On this page, you will also find other patient education materials on adult immunization. Most factsheets and posters can be ordered at no cost from the CDC warehouse. If you have any questions or need assistance accessing these resources, please contact Aparna Ramakrishnan.


CDC Releases 2015-2016 Influenza Key Points in English and Spanish

The CDC Influenza Division’s Master Key Points are now available in both English and Spanish.


CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Information

CDC Science Clips: Volume 7, Issue: 48 – (CDC)
Each week select science clips are shared with the public health community to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge. The focus is applied public health research and prevention science that has the capacity to improve health now.

CDC Emergency Response – CDC Response to 2014 Ebola in the United States and West Africa
UPDATE: Case Counts

Seasonal Influenza Information for Healthcare Professionals
CDC’s Long Term Care toolkit is also available at this website.

Recent COCA webinars/calls
How to Prevent and Control Pediatric Influenza
Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015


ANNOUNCEMENTS


Summit Starts New Influenza Working Group in Response to Partner Requests

NAIIS is delighted that a working group on influenza has been started in response to interest from the partners. Amy Behrman and Kelly McKenna have kindly agreed to co-lead this working group for the Summit, along with Tom Fitzgerald from the CDC, and we encourage partners sign up to participate. Please email either L.J Tan or LaDora Woods with your name and email address, and we will connect you directly into the working group. Thanks to Amy and Kelly and Tom, and to the Summit partners for their interest.


Premier Safety Institute’s Latest Safety Share Newsletter on Influenza Vaccination

On December 7, Premier Safety Institute sent the following information to 55,000 subscribers (including healthcare workers, providers, media, industry, and others) of SafetyShare public Enews (editor: Gina Pugliese RN MS.)

Who needs a flu vaccination? You, colleagues, patients and loved ones
December 6–12, 2015 is National Influenza Vaccination Week and highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination throughout the holiday season and beyond. Even healthy people can get the flu, and it can be serious. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, especially those at high risk for serious complications (i.e., infants, children, adults >65; those with heart disease, asthma, and diabetes; and pregnant women.) Health care staff are at risk for acquiring influenza and transmitting it to their patients.

U.S. FLU FACTS

  • Up to 20% – will get flu this year
  • 200,000 – will be hospitalized with flu
  • Up to 49,000 – will die from flu-related illness
  • <47% – vaccinated last flu season
  • >22% – healthcare staff NOT vaccinated last year
  • 1 to 4 days – for symptoms to appear
  • 1-2 days – contagious before symptoms appear
  • 2 weeks – after vaccination you are protected

Flu vaccination drops off quickly at the end of November. But in the United States, flu activity is usually highest between December and February and continues as late as May.

This season’s flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. Flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu. Vaccination can reduce illness, doctors’ visits, missed work and school, and prevent hospitalizations.

With flu activity starting to increase, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine to protect yourself, patients, colleagues and your loved ones.

CDC has many resources to help promote flu vaccination including fact sheets, brochures, posters, stickers, badges, web tools, videos and e-cards to send out.

Everyday precautions to prevent colds and flu

  • Wash hands often with soap and water especially after a cough or blowing nose.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rubs if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough or sneeze into elbow/sleeve or cover with tissue and wash hands afterwards.
  • Don’t touch eyes, nose, mouth as viruses are spread that way.


LinkedIn Blog from Dr. Chip Altman – Coming Soon to a College Near You: The Flu

Coming Soon to a College Near You: The Flu is the title of the latest LinkedIn post by Dr. Chip Altman, US Head of Medical Affairs, Influenza at Seqirus. Dr. Altman spoke to over 50 students at Temple University this fall to bust the common myths surrounding the flu and the flu vaccine. Dr. Altman will also be visiting the University of Rhode Island in early December for another myth-busting session on campus. This is a part of the overall Seqirus focus to encourage college students to get their flu vaccinations. Consider sharing Dr. Altman’s post with any college students you know!


NFID Hosts CME Webinar on Influenza at Noon Eastern, December 9th, 2015

NFID will present a complimentary CME webinar, “Influenza Vaccines: Giving the Right Dose at the Right Time” on December 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM ET. The presentation by Kathleen M. Neuzil, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, will focus on the characteristics of currently available flu vaccines, current recommendations for administering the vaccine, and strategies to improve immunization coverage. Registration and additional information is available on the NFID website.


Local Public Health Departments Stops Offering Adult Influenza Clinics

For the first time, the Washington County Health Department will not operate its “mass” adult flu shot clinic this year, according to an agency official. Mary McPherson, a spokeswoman for the health department, said it is encouraging residents to use other resources to receive the vaccine.

“We feel that there are lots of resources in the community right now,” she said. “It’s not a service that is needed like it used to be…. Everyone understands the importance now. It’s just easy to get it anywhere now.”


App Delivers Free Flu Shots to Your Doorstep

Flu shot stragglers can no longer use laziness or inconvenience as excuses not to get vaccinated. An on-demand health care app called Pager is now bringing the influenza vaccinations to people who request them, sending physicians to administer the shots free of charge.

In recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week, a CDC initiative that kicked off on Sunday, Pager is offering up to 5,000 complimentary vaccinations to people in six U.S. markets: San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Dallas. The promotion is being offered through a partnership with Envision Healthcare, a publicly traded medical services company that operates ambulances, staffs emergency rooms and provides house calls for managed care.


FDA Grants 510(k) Clearance, CLIA Waiver to Cepheid Flu/RSV Test

The US Food and Drug Administration has granted 510(k) clearance and CLIA waiver to an assay for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus manufactured by Cepheid, the firm announced today.


New Vaccine Strategy Shields Cancer Patients from Flu Better

Researchers have developed a new vaccine strategy that reduces the risk of flu infections in cancer patients at highest risk for influenza. Patients with cancers of the immune system, like multiple myeloma, are especially susceptible to common infections, and a bout of the flu can lead to serious illness and even death.

Even though patients with multiple myeloma and other plasma cell disorders may receive an annual flu vaccine, studies show that a one-time flu shot does not offer adequate immune response.

The new strategy entails offering patients a high-dose flu vaccine followed by a second high-dose booster shot one month later.


A New Approach to Predict Evolution of Influenza Viruses Can Enhance Vaccine Efficacy

New results from a study performed at the University of Helsinki suggest that genomic information from circulating influenza viruses can help in producing more efficient seasonal vaccines. The researchers were able to develop a simple approach for reliable real-time tracking and prediction of viral evolution based on whole-genome sequences of influenza viruses. A full story is available online.


Mariah Carey’s hospitalization underscores flu dangers

Mariah Carey’s hospitalization for the flu is a reminder how serious, and sometimes life-threatening, the virus can be.


Why Is A Universal Flu Shot So Difficult To Make?

Since making its debut during World War II, the influenza vaccine has become one of the most heavily criticized immunizations. It is not just anti-vaxxers, even science advocates think it underperforms. The seasonal nature of the shot, as well as misinformation about its perceived toxins, has damaged the vaccine’s public image.

But researchers are looking to change that, by trying to learn why we are failing to make a universal flu vaccine. An additional story is available in Science 2.0.


Summit’s IVATS Program Is Now Live for 2015–2016 to Assist Providers Locate Influenza Vaccine

The Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System (IVATS) has been a staple of the Summit for several years. The 2015–2016 iteration is now live. Distributors are encouraged to submit their latest data via the IVATS submission form. Submission is entirely voluntary. Providers can use IVATS to locate influenza vaccine supply.


Don’t Forget the Summit Awards in your Immunization Programmatic Planning this Fall

The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) is soliciting candidates for the 2016 NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards. The 2016 awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions toward improving vaccination rates within their communities during 2015. The awards focus on individuals and organizations that exemplify the meaning of the “immunization neighborhood” (collaboration, coordination, and communication among immunization stakeholders dedicated to meeting the immunization needs of the patient and protecting the community from vaccine-preventable diseases).

National Awards will be presented in the following categories: 1) Influenza Season Campaign (Laura Scott NAIIS Immunization Excellence Award for Outstanding Influenza Season Activities); 2) “Immunization Neighborhood” Champion; 3) Adult Immunization Champion; 4) Corporate Campaign; 5) Adult Immunization Publication Award. A National Winner will be selected for each award category, and, where appropriate, an Honorable Mention recipient.

Additional award to be presented: “Influencer Award” – Selected by the NAIIS Summit Organizing Committee to recognize an individual or organization in the media, legislature, or community whose activities, contributions and/or willingness to go above and beyond have advanced adult and/or influenza immunization implementation. There is no nomination application, but the Organizing Committee would be interested in receiving input on individuals or organizations to consider.

The winners will be presented with their awards at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit meeting (to be held in May 10–12, 2016, location TBD). The national winner in each category will be invited to present their programs at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit meeting.  Submit nominations online by February 15, 2016.


Please Help the Summit, AIRA, and CDC Engage EHR Vendors in Immunization IT

The Summit has been active and interested in improving interoperability and utilization of EHRs and immunization information systems (IIS) for several years. Indeed, for the past two years, there has been a lot of prioritization of IIS and health information technology (HIT) activity within the Summit workgroups.

However, engagement by vendors of EHRs remains difficult. We hope that, with the Summit’s support, we can begin to change that in little steps. If you are connected with an EHR vendor, perhaps you can start by encouraging them to simply join in two activities in the IIS community that are not demanding on their time.

The first is the AIRA Standards & Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC). SISC provides technical support and guidance to interoperability efforts of AIRA members and the IIS community. They act as a liaison between national organizations involved with interoperability, such as the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and others, and serve as a technical resource for AIRA members and the IIS community.  SISC meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 1–2 pm ET. Participation of EHR, pharmacy, health information exchange (HIE), and other IIS partners trading perspectives is welcomed to help drive forward increased interoperability. For more information, please connect with Mary Beth Kurilo.

The second is the CDC Clinical Decision Support for Immunization (CDSi) project. This project provides a single, authoritative, implementation-neutral foundation for development and maintenance of CDS engines. It captures ACIP recommendations in an unambiguous manner and improves the uniform representation of vaccine decision guidelines, as well as the ability to automate vaccine evaluation and forecasting. Interested parties can reach out to Eric Larson.


Three Slide Decks Available to Support New Standards for Adult Immunization Practice

The Summit has been active and interested in improving interoperability and utilization of EHRs and immunization information systems (IIS) for several years. Indeed, for the past two years, there has been a lot of prioritization of IIS and health information technology (HIT) activity within the Summit workgroups.

However, engagement by vendors of EHRs remains difficult. We hope that, with the Summit’s support, we can begin to change that in little steps. If you are connected with an EHR vendor, perhaps you can start by encouraging them to simply join in two activities in the IIS community that are not demanding on their time.

The first is the AIRA Standards & Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC). SISC provides technical support and guidance to interoperability efforts of AIRA members and the IIS community. They act as a liaison between national organizations involved with interoperability, such as the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and others, and serve as a technical resource for AIRA members and the IIS community.  SISC meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 1–2 pm ET. Participation of EHR, pharmacy, health information exchange (HIE), and other IIS partners trading perspectives is welcomed to help drive forward increased interoperability. For more information, please connect with Mary Beth Kurilo.

The second is the CDC Clinical Decision Support for Immunization (CDSi) project. This project provides a single, authoritative, implementation-neutral foundation for development and maintenance of CDS engines. It captures ACIP recommendations in an unambiguous manner and improves the uniform representation of vaccine decision guidelines, as well as the ability to automate vaccine evaluation and forecasting. Interested parties can reach out to Eric Larson.


Every Child By Two (ECBT) Compiles Media Information on Its Website

On a daily basis, ECBT assembles significant news media coverage on immunizations in their “Daily Clips.” Summit partners may find this effort useful.


Summit Website Offers Wonderful Resources on Influenza Vaccination

Remember to visit the Summit website for the latest on influenza immunization resources. You also can find archived copies of The Summit Buzz there.


Reminder

Summit calls are now scheduled every Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time, unless cancelled. Please email L.J Tan or LaDora Woods if you have any updates on activities to provide to the Summit.

 

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