Summit Call Recap – February 4, 2016
- Unity Consortium Seeking Practices for Research Study
- NFID Spring 2016 Clinical Vaccinology Course
- Let All Know about the Summit’s Video Contest and Encourage Submissions
Information from CDC
- CDC/Influenza Division Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report and CDC Key Points
- CDC Has Released the Latest Surveillance of Vaccination Coverage Among Adult Populations – United States, 2014
- CDC’s Embeddable Zika Virus Microsite
- Other CDC Flu Resources
- CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) information
- Upcoming and Recent COCA webinars/calls
- Dr. Bruce Gellin and Maryland Partnership for Prevention Receive National Awards from APhA
- DHHS Releases First Ever National Adult Immunization Plan
- Consensus Statement Endorsing HPV Vaccination as Cancer Prevention
- Countering HPV Vaccination Opposition – a Webinar
- Please Share MenB Vorver Emily PSA video
- APIC Announces New ‘Fellows’ Program
- How and When Will We Get to a Zika Vaccine?
- WHO Issues Influenza Risk Assessment
- Michigan Teacher of the Year Loses 6-year-old Son to Flu
- Pregnant Women Benefit From Tamiflu at First Sign of Flu: Study
- Flu Victims: 60 People Dead in One Week…In Greece
- Gloomy Assessment Underpins UN Panel’s Health Crisis Advice
- Whooping Cough Booster Loses Effectiveness in Teenagers
- Summit’s IVATS Program Is Now Live for 2015–2016 to Assist Providers Locate Influenza Vaccine
- Don’t Forget the Summit Awards in your Immunization Programmatic Planning this Fall
- Please Help the Summit, AIRA, and CDC Engage EHR Vendors in Immunization IT
- Three Slide Decks Available to Support New Standards for Adult Immunization Practice
- Every Child By Two (ECBT) Compiles Media Information on Its Website
- Summit Website Offers Wonderful Resources on Influenza Vaccination
SUMMIT CALL RECAP – FEBRUARY 04, 2016
Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)
Sophie provided a summary of published reports for week 3, ending January 23, 2016. 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 3, 5.0% of specimens submitted to clinical laboratories were positive for influenza. Of these, 73.5% were influenza A and 26.5% were influenza B. For public health laboratories, 242/865 (28.0%) specimens were positive, with 195 (80.6%) influenza A and 47 (19.4%) influenza B.
Three hundred twelve (312) influenza virus specimens have been characterized as of October 1. Of these, 74 were A(H1N1), 188 were A(H3N2), and 50 were influenza B. All 74 A(H1N1) viruses and all 188 A(H3N2) viruses were similar to their respective components of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. A subset of 92 H3N2 viruses also were antigenically characterized, with 91/92 (98.9%) being A/Switzerland/9715923/2013-like. Twenty-five of the B viruses were of the B/Yamagata lineage, and the remaining 25 were B/Victoria.
Since October 1, 439 influenza viruses have been tested for antiviral resistance, including 143 influenza A(H1N1), 192 influenza A(H3N2), and 104 influenza B. Of these, 1 influenza A(H1N1) was resistant to oseltamivir and peramivir. All the remaining samples tested were sensitive to oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir.
Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data available on January 28, 7.2% of deaths occurring during the week ending January 9 (week 1) 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 7.5% for week 1. Similarly, data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System for week 2 indicate 6.8% of deaths were due to P&I. This is below the epidemic threshold of 7.2% for week 2.
No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 3. A total of 7 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2015–2016 season. Of these 7 deaths, 2 had no vaccination history available, 1 was not eligible for vaccination due to age, and 4 were unvaccinated.
During week 3, influenza-like Illness (ILI) activity levels, which are based on the percent of outpatient visits due to ILI, were at 2.2%, above the baseline of 2.1% for the week. The increase in the percentage of patient visits for ILI in previous weeks may be influenced in part by a reduction in routine healthcare visits during the holidays, as has occurred in previous seasons.
On a regional level, outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 0.5% to 4.3% during week 1. Four public health regions (Regions 1, 3, 4, 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 1:
- Widespread – 4 states
- Regional – 14 states and Puerto Rico
- Local – 12 states and Guam
- Sporadic – 20 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands
Two Summit partners asked about the just-released CDC Health Alert Network Advisory on increasing influenza activity, noting that they were not seeing severe illness in their locations. Sophie was unsure about the rationale behind why the HAN Advisory was released at this time, but provided the following information after the call:
“The HAN didn’t specifically say where these severe cases were located, but we know we had severe cases reported to CDC from both the Midwest and Southwest US. Given that these were young to middle-aged adults, the title of “severe case” means they required hospitalization and admittance to the ICU. There were also fatalities reported. Most of these were caused by H1N1pdm09, as the HAN already said (but just to reiterate). Otherwise, the surveillance is not indicative of a different flu season in terms of cases.”
Announcements – L.J Tan (IAC)
The 2016 National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit is scheduled for May 10–12, 2016 in Atlanta, GA. The password-protected registration site is now available online, though a password is required to obtain access. Persons needing the password for this invitation only event may contact L.J Tan or LaDora Woods. Please be sure to go through the Summit website when making hotel reservations.
Unity Consortium Seeking Practices for Research Study
The UNITY Consortium is inviting practices to apply for participation in an important new study, the “Pursuit of the Three Cs: Confident, Concise, and Consistent Physician Recommendations for Adolescent Vaccines”. This study will evaluate the impact of a simple intervention designed to improve adolescent vaccination rates that can be readily adopted by healthcare personnel (HCPs) regardless of HCP type, geography, or location.
The following are the inclusion and exclusion practice criteria:
- Single specialty pediatrics practice with moderate to high volume of adolescent visits.
- Practice has at least five providers, which may include NPs and/or Pas.
- At least 90% of the providers in the practice must agree to participate.
- Participating providers should work at least 60% FTE, spend ≥70% of time in direct patient care, and have been practicing for >2 years and <25 years.
- Practice equipped with electronic health records that allow for generating blinded vaccination data/rates by provider.
- Practice based in hospital/academic center.
- Practice cannot reside in Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, or Utah, as new adolescent vaccination mandates for these states are starting in the upcoming school year (2015–16).
Unity Consortium welcomes an opportunity to discuss this groundbreaking study with interested practices. There is no fee to participate, and practices will be provided a modest honorarium. Please email Denise Lewis for additional information.
NFID Spring 2016 Clinical Vaccinology Course
The 2.5 day Clinical Vaccinology Course will be held March 18–20, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ. The course focuses on new developments and issues related to the use of vaccines. Expert faculty will provide the latest information on vaccines, including updated recommendations for vaccinations across the lifespan, and innovative and practical strategies for ensuring timely and appropriate immunization.
Topics covered include:
- Best practices to improve childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization rates
- Current vaccine recommendations
- Effective vaccine communication strategies
- Vaccine administration, storage and handling, and reimbursement
Let All Know about the Summit’s Video Contest and Encourage Submissions
The Summit has just opened a new NAIIS 2016 Adult Vaccine Video Contest. The contest asks the public to help raise awareness about the importance of adult vaccine by creating a short, creative video that promotes adult immunization. The video can be a rap, sketch, dance, slide show, or anything the developer wants it to be, as long as it is appropriate for all audiences and follows the contest guidelines outlined on the website.
The top videos will be posted on the Summit webpage, and the public will be provided an opportunity to vote for their favorite. In addition to a monetary award of $750 (first place) and $350 (second place), the top three videos will receive recognition from NAIIS, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Immunization Action Coalition, and other partners.
Please share information about the contest through your professional networks. An e-blast example is available that can be used to help spread the word. Attached is an e-blast example that can be used to help spread the word!
INFORMATION FROM CDC
CDC/Influenza Division Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report and CDC Key Points
NCHS mortality surveillance data for week 2 (ending January 16, 2016, but available February 4, 2016) indicate 7.0% of deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 7.6% for week 2. During week 2, 6.8% of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to P&I. This percentage was below the epidemic threshold of 7.2% for week 4.
CDC characterized 407 influenza viruses [130 A (H1N1)pdm09, 190 A (H3N2), and 87 influenza B viruses] collected by U.S. laboratories since October 1, 2015. All 190 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 93 H3N2 viruses also were antigenically characterized; 92 of 93 (98.9%) H3N2 viruses were A/Switzerland/9715293/2013-like by HI testing or neutralization testing.
All 130 (100%) 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. All 75 (100%) B/Yamagata-lineage viruses were 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. All 35 (100%) B/Victoria-lineage viruses were antigenically characterized as B/Brisbane/60/2008-like, which is included as an influenza B component of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere quadrivalent influenza vaccines.
Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 4. A total of nine influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2015–2016 season. One death was associated with an influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus and occurred during week 2 (the week ending January 16, 2016), and one death was associated with an influenza B virus and occurred during week 4 (the week ending January 30, 2016). More detail is available on CDC’s Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality webpage.
The Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations in children younger than 18 years of age (since the 2003–2004 influenza season) and adults (since the 2005–2006 influenza season) in select counties in the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) states and Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP) states.
Between October 1, 2015 and January 30, 2016, 723 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported. The overall hospitalization rate was 2.6 per 100,000 population. The highest rate of hospitalization was among adults aged ≥65 years (8.5 per 100,000 population), followed by children aged 0-4 years (3.8 per 100,000 population). Among all hospitalizations, 490 (67.8%) were associated with influenza A, 203 (28.1%) with influenza B, 18 (2.5%) with influenza A and B co-infection, and 12 (1.7%) had no virus type information. Among those with influenza A subtype information, 115 (79.3%) were A(H1N1)pdm09 and 28 (19.3%) were A(H3N2) virus.
Clinical findings are preliminary and based on 274 (37.8%) cases with complete medical chart abstraction. The majority (88.9%) of hospitalized adults had at least one reported underlying medical condition; the most commonly reported were cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and obesity. There were 38 hospitalized children with complete medical chart abstraction, 20 (52.6%) had no identified underlying medical conditions. The most commonly reported underlying medical conditions among pediatric patients were asthma, neurologic disorders and chronic lung disease. Among the 20 hospitalized women of childbearing age (15-44 years), 5 were pregnant.
Nationwide during week 4, 2.2% 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 at 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 January 30, 2016. Currently four states are reporting widespread activity, 19 states are reporting regional activity, and most other states are reporting local or sporadic activity.
CDC Has Released the Latest Surveillance of Vaccination Coverage Among Adult Populations – United States, 2014
Adults are recommended to receive vaccinations based on their age, underlying medical conditions, lifestyle, prior vaccinations, and other considerations. Updated vaccination recommendations from CDC are published annually in the U.S. Adult Immunization Schedule. Despite longstanding recommendations for use of many vaccines, vaccination coverage among U.S. adults is low. Data for 2014 for adult vaccination coverage in the United States indicate that aside from a few minor improvements, vaccination coverage among adults in 2014 was similar to estimates from 2013. This report represents the first comprehensive release of adult vaccination coverage data to include assessment of associations with expanded data on demographic characteristics of respondents including access to health care. These findings can be used by public health practitioners, adult vaccination providers, and the general public to better understand factors that contribute to low vaccination and modify strategies and interventions to improve vaccination coverage.
CDC’s Embeddable Zika Virus Microsite
CDC has developed an easily embeddable collection of Zika Virus information for partner and stakeholder websites. This collection, called a microsite, can supplement partner websites with CDC’s up-to-date, evidence-based content.
The Zika Virus Microsite is automatically updated on partner sites in real time as CDC updates existing Zika web pages. CDC is here 24/7, and with this Zika Virus Microsite, staying current is made easy and maintenance-free.
Additional Clinician Resources Regarding Zika
- Zika Virus Travel Notice Information – Feb 5
- Clinical Evaluation and Disease – Feb 5
- Diagnostic Testing – Feb 5
- Interim Guidelines for Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus – Feb 5
- Questions and Answers: Zika and Sexual Transmission – Feb 5
- Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure – Feb 5
- Questions and Answers for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure – Feb 5
- Interim Guidelines for the Evaluation and Testing of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection – Jan 26
- Questions and Answers for Pediatric Healthcare Providers: Infants and Zika Virus Infection – Jan 26
- Surveillance and Control of Aedes aegypti in the United States – Jan 25
Other CDC Flu Resources
- Pregnant? Get a Flu Shot!
- What You Should Know for the 2015–2016 Influenza Season
- Information for Health Professionals – Healthcare providers play an important role during flu season. This guidance and information will assist healthcare providers and service organizations to plan and respond to seasonal flu.
CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) information
CDC Science Clips: Volume 7, Issue: 49
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.
Seasonal Influenza Information for Healthcare Professional
The CDC’s Long Term Care toolkit is also available at his website.
Upcoming and Recent COCA webinars/calls
2015-2016 Influenza Activity and Clinical Recommendations
Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time)
Influenza activity is increasing across the United States and CDC has received several reports of severe influenza illness. Since October 2015, CDC has detected co-circulation of multiple seasonal influenza virus types and sub-types, with recent reports of severe respiratory illness among young- to middle-aged adults with H1N1pdm09 virus infection. During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about 20152016 influenza activity, hear an overview of CDC’s current recommendations for vaccination and antiviral medications, and gain insight into data supporting the recommendations.
Fiona Havers, MD, MHS
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For additional information and to access call recordings (audio, webinar, and transcript), which will be available a few days after the live call, please visit the call webpage.
Zika Virus — What Clinicians Need to Know Tuesday, January 26, 2016 During this call, participants learned about the epidemiology and clinical manifestation of Zika virus disease and how early recognition and reporting of suspected cases can mitigate the risk of local transmission. Earn free continuing education.
Dr. Bruce Gellin and Maryland Partnership for Prevention Receive National Awards from APhA
On February 4, 2016, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) announced the selection of recipients of its 2016 Immunization Champions Awards recognizing individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions toward improved vaccination rates within their communities.
“Pharmacists continue to make significant contributions to the health and wellness of our communities and are valued members of the immunization neighborhood,” said APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA. “We are excited to announce our 2016 champions who represent a cross-section of pharmacists, pharmacies and activists who have made a profound difference in their communities. These, and the thousands of other immunizing pharmacists and stakeholders are extraordinary people and organizations.”
This year’s national champions include: Holly Van Lew, PharmD, Director of the Pharmacy Immunization Clinic at the Indian Health Service Medical Center in Arizona, winner of the Individual category, who led her center to administer 44,000 vaccinations across the lifespan in 2015; Pratik Patel, PharmD, winner of the Community Outreach category, who worked with faith-based organizations to deliver free influenza vaccinations to residents in medically underserved communities in Detroit, MI; Bruce Gellin, MD, MPH, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the National Vaccine Program Office, winner of the Friend of Pharmacy category, who coordinates the federal government’s effort to increase national immunization rates and is an advocate for pharmacists’ role in the immunization neighborhood; Giant Eagle Pharmacy, national winner of the Corporate/Institute category, for their collaboration with the communities they serve and providing vaccine information and administration across the lifespan; The Maryland Partnership for Prevention, winner of the Partnership with Others category, for coordinating flu clinics and other immunization activities with schools in Baltimore and Howard counties in collaboration with pharmacists; and Kathie Smith, a lead technician for a CVS pharmacy in Godfrey, IL, winner of the Pharmacy Team Member category, who has been a tireless advocate for improving vaccination rates in her store and community.
“The awards demonstrate APhA’s ongoing commitment to improving public health through vaccinations,” Menighan said. “2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of APhA’s gold standard, National Pharmacy-based Certificate Training Program that has trained more than 280,000 pharmacists across the country. This program, resources and the leadership of APhA has supported the profession’s efforts towards making a difference in public health.”
The APhA Immunization Champion Awards consist of six categories of recognition, including individual practitioners, friend of pharmacy’s immunization efforts, corporation/institution, partnership with other health care providers and public health, community outreach, and pharmacy team member. Nominees were evaluated based on the areas of impact, collaboration, originality, and overcoming challenges and creating opportunities for pharmacists. APhA also recognizes Merck, Seqiris, and VaxServe for their support of this awards and recognition program. APhA established the awards in 2008.
“Because of APhA’s leadership, along with others in the pharmacy community,” Menighan said “access and public awareness of immunizations has changed over the past two decades. APhA is committed to collaboration, coordination and communication with other immunization stakeholders focused on meeting the needs of patients and protecting our communities from vaccine-preventable disease.”
DHHS Releases First Ever National Adult Immunization Plan
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the first National Adult Immunization Plan in conjunction with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) MMWR article, Surveillance of Vaccination Coverage Among Adult Populations – United States, 2014. The study shows little change in adult immunization rates since 2010, with rates remaining below national targets.
The new plan, developed by the HHS National Vaccine Program Office with input from a wide range of experts from a variety of organizations, lays out the following four goals to increase adult immunization rates in the U.S.:
- Strengthen the public health and health care systems involved in adult immunization;
- Improve access to adult vaccines;
- Increase awareness of adult vaccine recommendations and use of recommended vaccines; and
- Foster innovations in adult vaccines, including new vaccines and new ways to provide them.
For more information:
Consensus Statement Endorsing HPV Vaccination as Cancer Prevention
On January 27, 2016, all 69 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Centers across the country simultaneously released a consensus statement endorsing HPV vaccination as cancer prevention.
The American Cancer Society, one of many organizations and institutions supporting this collective announcement, issued a press release, a cancer.org article and blog; also on the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable website. The HPV Vaccination Roundtable currently has multiple representatives from NCI and several Cancer Centers working on various task groups.
The Wall Street Journal also posted an article that highlights this “joint statement calls for all boys and girls to complete the three-dose vaccination by their 13th birthdays.”
Countering HPV Vaccination Opposition – a Webinar
Countering HPV Vaccination Opposition, an archived webinar presented by George Washington University, includes an introduction to and brief history of the anti-vaccine movement. It also discusses and debunks common vaccine myths, and highlights contemporary sources of misinformation while providing strategies for validating good information and countering misinformation.
Please Share MenB Vorver Emily PSA video
The Emily Stillman Foundation was created in 2014 to preserve the memory of Emily Nicole Stillman. Emily was a 19-year-old sophomore at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. On January 31, 2013, Emily called home complaining of a headache. Thirty-six hours later, she passed away. We learned that Emily had contracted Serogroup B of Meningococcal Disease – the only serogroup not included in the vaccine that was being used in the United States. This is their recent public service announcement.
MENB FOREVEREMILY PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Today is Tuesday, February 2, 2016 – exactly three years since my life changed forever.
On this day, in 2013, my beautiful and healthy nineteen-year-old daughter Emily was declared brain dead, just 30 hours after complaining of a simple headache. She died from a vaccine preventable disease – Meningococcal Disease Serogroup B, because the vaccine that would have protected her was not available in the United States at that time. That is no longer the case.
On that bitter cold day when I said goodbye to my sweet daughter, I vowed to be her voice. I promised to investigate this disease and do everything in my power to prevent other families from living the same nightmare. Since the creation of The Emily Stillman Foundation I have done just that.
Today I am releasing this public service announcement in an emotional attempt to educate the public about the importance of “complete and total” protection against Meningococcal Disease. Complete protection means both doses of the conjugate vaccine (at age 11 and again at 17) to protect against Serogroups A, C, W, and Y, as well as a complete series of one of the two MenB vaccinations for protection against Serogroup B.
I know this video is very hard to watch. Trust me when I say It was even harder to film, and hardest yet to live. But it is an important message, with a very important call to action – a plea to get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated.
Get Committed, Get Educated. Get Protected. And Get Vaccinated!
In addition, I ask that you support the foundation by sharing this video on any social media sites you manage using the hashtag #ForeverEmily. Please also forward this email to others on your contact list. The more people this message reaches, the more lives we will be able to save.
With my love and gratitude,
The Emily Stillman Foundation
APIC Announces New ‘Fellows’ Program
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today announced the Advanced Designation Program, which will recognize exemplary APIC members with status as a Fellow of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (FAPIC).
The Fellow of APIC status will be awarded to APIC members in good standing who have demonstrated superior competency in infection prevention through certification in infection prevention and control (CIC®), length of practice and academic degrees, publications and presentations, and other activities that demonstrate their experience and leadership in the field.
“Many of our members are not only advanced, certified practitioners of infection prevention, but are also influential leaders,” said APIC President Susan A. Dolan, RN, MS, CIC. “The purpose of this new designation is to distinguish and celebrate experts who consistently contribute to the advancement of the infection prevention profession.”
Infection preventionists lead intervention teams committed to reducing healthcare-associated infections. APIC’s competency model identifies three distinct ability levels of the infection preventionist: novice, proficient, and expert. The Fellow of APIC designation recognizes professionals who have made the transition to expert status.
Visit online to learn more about the APIC Fellow designation and how to apply. The 2016 application deadline is March 31.
How and When Will We Get to a Zika Vaccine?
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding that would in part fund an expedited effort to develop a Zika vaccine, but even with presidential power and funding, a vaccine could still be awhile.
Vaccine development is a slow and deliberate process in large part because it needs to keep test subjects, and ultimately those who will get the vaccine, safe. That wasn’t always the case.
WHO Issues Influenza Risk Assessment
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a risk assessment related to seasonal influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus. According to the assessment, compared to previous years, northern hemisphere seasonal influenza activity commenced late in some countries in western Europe, North America and eastern Asia. Transmission, as demonstrated by influenza-like illness (ILI) rates, has started to exceed country-specific baseline rates, but is still relatively low in general with the exception of some eastern European countries where a sharp increase of ILI rates has been observed and countries in western Asia where influenza activity may have already peaked. An additional story is available online.
Michigan Teacher of the Year Loses 6-year-old Son to Flu
In the span of two days in January, Melody Arabo’s husband and three children all fell seriously ill. In the following days they all recovered — except her six-year-old son Ashton, whose condition grew worse with high fever, pneumonia symptoms and a rash. The kindergartner from West Bloomfield was taken to an intensive care unit.
After a prolonged battle in critical condition, he was pronounced dead on Jan. 25. The cause was complications from flu.
Pregnant Women Benefit From Tamiflu at First Sign of Flu: Study
Early treatment with the antiviral drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir) may shorten hospital stays for pregnant women with the flu, especially those who are severely ill, new research suggests. Pregnant women are at increased risk for serious illness, complications and death from the flu, the study authors said.
Flu Victims: 60 People Dead in One Week…In Greece
The number of people affected by the flu in Greece has increased dramatically, leaving 60 people dead since last Monday. More precisely, nine more people died in the last 48 hours raising the death toll due to the flu, and warning for a climax in the next two weeks.
According to the Hellenic Center for Disease Control & Prevention (KEELPNO), 112 patients are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, and a total of 252 have already been treated. Among the treated patients, 16 are underage and 4 of them have perished, including one infant. The average age of the flu victims is 53.3 years and is one of the lowest numbers in the recent years.
Gloomy Assessment Underpins UN Panel’s Health Crisis Advice
The world underestimates the risk of a health threat worse than Ebola, and its capacity to prepare and respond is “woefully insufficient,” according to a high-level panel appointed by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to look at improvements based on lessons learned during the recent outbreak.
Whooping Cough Booster Loses Effectiveness in Teenagers
The booster vaccination given to preteens to prevent whooping cough provides moderate protection in the first year, but decreases over time, suggests a new study. The research, published online Feb. 5 in Pediatrics and scheduled to appear in the journal’s March print issue, found that four years post-vaccination effectiveness was reduced to 9 percent.
According to study researchers from Kaiser Permanente’s Vaccine Study Center, waning immunity may have been a major contributor to the California epidemic breakouts of the disease in 2010 and 2014. Despite routine vaccination coverage in 90 percent of adolescents, this age group had the highest incidence of whooping cough in 2014.
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’s Access and Collaboration workgroup has developed three separate slide decks with talking notes to support partners and others who wish to present on the Standards to their peers and colleagues. The three audiences targeted by the decks are: healthcare providers; patients/public; and public health. These are now available, along with tips and tools on how to use them, at the Summit website.
Also do not forget that Medscape has produced two modules to support the implementation of the Standards:
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.
Summit calls are now scheduled every Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time, unless cancelled. The next Summit call is on Thursday, February 11, 2016 and will feature Dr. Walter Williams summarizing the latest adult immunization coverage numbers. Please email L.J Tan or LaDora Woods if you have any updates on activities to provide to the Summit.