- National Vaccine Program Office releases National Adult Immunization Plan – Seeks Public Comment
- Nominations Now Open for 2015 NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards (Deadline Extended to March 1, 2015)
Summit Call Recap – February 12, 2015
Information from CDC
- CDC/Influenza Division Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report and CDC Key Points
- CDC Provides Measles Information to its Partners
- Updated information on Acute Flaccid Myelitis
- CDC Social Media Messages
- Upcoming and Recent CDC COCA Calls
- Save the Date: Protecting Children: Influenza Updates for Clinicians Webinar – 2/26/15 at 2:00pm ET/1:00pm CT
- Grant Opportunity from the National Vaccine Program Office
- VICNetwork Webinar on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – 11am PT / 2pm ET
- Recap of Senate HELP Committee Immunization Hearing – February 10, 2015
- Flu Vaccine Prevented Millions of Flu Cases During the 2013–2014 Flu Season
- Why Doesn’t Everyone Get the Flu Vaccine? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast
- House Resolution on the Benefits of Vaccines Announced
- New Publication in Lancet ID on High Dose Influenza Vaccine
- Visit American Osteopathic Association’s new webpage “Know Your Classical Illnesses”
- 2nd Asia-Pacific Influenza Summit, June 11–12, 2015
- European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) holds 3rd Conference on Vaccines
- Every Child By Two (ECBT) Compiles Media Information on Its Website
- Summit Website Offers Wonderful Resources on Influenza Vaccination
National Vaccine Program Office releases National Adult Immunization Plan – Seeks Public Comment
The long-awaited National Adult Immunization Plan from the national Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) was released on February 6 and is now open for public comment.
NVPO asks for your participation in the public comment process for the Plan (see solicitation in the Federal Register notice) by the deadline of March 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. We invite you to pay special attention to Table 3: Indicators for the Goals of the NAIP and Appendix 5: Non-Federal Roles and Responsibilities. NVPO thanks you for your participation in this process.
Nominations Now Open for 2015 NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards (Deadline Extended to March 1, 2015)
Give national recognition to those working to improve public health! The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) is soliciting candidates for the 2015 NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards. The 2015 awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions towards improving vaccination rates within their communities during 2014. 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). Unless an award criteria is specifically focused on influenza, it is the intent of the Summit to recognize broader adult immunization activities.
A National Winner will be selected for each award category, and where appropriate an Honorable Mention recipient. The winners will be presented with their awards at the NAIIS meeting which is being held on May 12–14, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. The national winner in each category will be invited to present their programs at the meeting.
The six categories of recognition are:
- Influenza Season Campaign
- Healthcare Personnel Campaign
- “Immunization Neighborhood” Champion
- Adult Immunization Champion
- Corporate Campaign
- NEW! Adult Immunization Publication Award
Additional information and the nomination submission form may be found online. (Note: The nomination deadline has been extended to March 1, 2015.)
SUMMIT CALL RECAP – FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Announcements – L.J Tan (IAC)
- Upcoming Summit Calls Cancelled – The regularly scheduled Summit calls for February 19 and February 26 have been CANCELLED. The February 19 call conflicts with the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) National Adult Vaccine Roundtable, while the February 26 call conflicts with the ACIP meeting.
- Agenda for March 5 Summit Call – The planned agenda for the next scheduled Summit call includes several items of interest. Carolyn Bridges will provide an update on the February ACIP meeting, and Shiree Sutherland will be presenting on the QINs/QIOs new quality objective on adult immunization. In addition, Walt Williams will provide a report on non-influenza vaccine coverage rates in the U.S.
- National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) Seeks Public Comment on National Adult Immunization Plan – NVPO asks for your participation in the public comment process for the Plan (see solicitation in the Federal Register notice) by the deadline of March 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. We invite you to pay special attention to Table 3: Indicators for the Goals of the NAIP and Appendix 5: Non-Federal Roles and Responsibilities. NVPO thanks you for your participation in this process.
- 2015 NAIIS Meeting – Registration is now open for the 2015 NAIIS meeting to be held May 12–14 in Atlanta. A draft agenda and information on reserving a hotel room through the Summit block are also on the website. (Note: The password needed for registration to this invitation-only meeting has been shared directly with Summit members or may be obtained by contacting LaDora Woods.) Participants needing a federal government rate should contact LaDora Woods. Please be sure to follow the links to reserve a room using the hotel rooming block.
- Nomination Deadline EXTENDED for NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards – The nomination deadline for the 2015 NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards has been extended to MARCH 1. The nomination form and additional information are available online. The six categories for this year’s awards are shown on the website and include the NEW category of Adult Immunization Publication Award. This award was established to encourage publication of some of the great work being done by Summit members which may not have made it into the literature. The Summit wants to encourage publication of these types of activities so that persons who are unable to attend the meeting will still be able to learn about them.
Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)
Sophie provided a summary of the published reports for week 4, ending January 31, 2015. Influenza activity in the U.S. has decreased, but remains elevated.
The ILI-Net national data indicated 4.1% of total outpatient visits were for influenza-like illness (ILI), which is above the national baseline. Approximately 17.5% of specimens submitted for testing were positive, which is a decrease from the level of the previous week. Of the deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System during week 4, 8.5% were attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I), above the 7.2% epidemic threshold for the week. Reports indicated there were 43.5 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population.
Eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the week 4, though some of these reports were for deaths which had occurred in earlier weeks. Four deaths were associated with an influenza A (H3) virus, and four deaths were associated with an influenza A virus for which subtyping was not performed. A total of 69 pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2014–2015 season. Of the 58 for whom vaccination status was known, six were ineligible for vaccination, and only four were fully vaccinated.
As shown in CDC’s weekly influenza summary map, the geographic spread for influenza for week 4 is:
- Widespread – 40 states and Puerto Rico
- Regional – 9 states, Guam, and the Virgin Islands
- Local – 1 state and the District of Columbia
- Sporadic – no states
- No activity – no states
- No report – no states
Since October 1, CDC has antigenically characterized 734 influenza viruses; 21 2009 A (H1N1) virus, 569 influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and 144 influenza B viruses. All 21 of the 2009 H1N1 viruses tested were characterized as A/California/7/2009-like, the influenza A (H1N1) component of the 2014–2015 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. Of the 569 influenza A (H3N2) viruses tested, 178 (31.3%) were characterized as A/Texas/50/2012-like, which also is included in this season’s Northern Hemisphere vaccine. Three hundred ninety one (68.7%) of viruses tested were different from A/Texas/50/2012. The majority of these were antigenically similar to A/Switzerland/9715293/2013, the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2015 Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. Both B/Victoria and B/Yamagata-lineage viruses are circulating in the U.S. Ninety-nine (68.7%) of the influenza B viruses tested belonged to the B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage, and the remaining 45 (31.3%) influenza B viruses tested belonged to the B/Victoria/91/87 lineage. Ninety-two (92.9%) of the 99 B/Yamagata-lineage viruses were characterized as B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like, a component of both the trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere, while seven (7.1%) of the 92 B/Yamagata-lineage viruses showed reduced titers to B/Massachusetts/2/2012. Forty-one (91.1%) of the 45 B/Victoria viruses were characterized as B/Brisbane/60/2008-like, a component of the 2014–2015 Northern Hemisphere quadrivalent influenza vaccine. Four (8.98%) of the B/Victoria lineage viruses tested showed reduced titers to B/Brisbane/60/2008.
One of the 1,210 specimens tested this season showed resistance to oseltamivir, none of 1,207 showed resistance to zanamivir, and one of 982 specimens tested showed resistance to peramivir.
A Summit member noted that the split in B viruses found this year (68.7% B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage and 31.3% B/Victoria/91/87 lineage) seemed to support the need for increased availability of the quadrivalent vaccine in the future. Another caller asked which clade had been identified for the A/Switzerland virus. Following the call, Sophie reported that both 2A and 3A are in circulation.
INFORMATION FROM CDC
CDC/Influenza Division Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report and CDC Key Points
The CDC weekly influenza surveillance report for week 5, 2015 (ending February 7, 2015) and region specific data are now available. During week 5, 8.1% of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage was above the epidemic threshold of 7.2% for week 5.
For the 2014–2015 influenza season, CDC/Influenza Division and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) are collaborating on a pilot project to use NCHS mortality surveillance data for the rapid assessment of P&I mortality.
About 199 (31.4%) of the 634 H3N2 viruses tested have been characterized as A/Texas/50/2012-like, the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2014–2015 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. 435 (68.6%) of the 634 viruses tested showed either reduced titers with antiserum produced against A/Texas/50/2012 or belonged to a genetic group that typically shows reduced titers to A/Texas/50/2012. Among viruses that showed reduced titers with antiserum raised against A/Texas/50/2012, most were antigenically similar to A/Switzerland/9715293/2013, the H3N2 virus selected for the 2015 Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 is related to, but antigenically and genetically distinguishable from, the A/Texas/50/2012 vaccine virus. A/Switzerland-like H3N2 viruses were first detected in the United States in small numbers in March of 2014 and began to increase through the spring and summer.
For week 5, 107 (69.5%) of the influenza B viruses tested belong to B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage and the remaining 47 (30.5%) influenza B viruses tested belong to B/Victoria/02/87 lineage. One hundred (93.4%) of the 107 B/Yamagata-lineage viruses were characterized as B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like, which is included as an influenza B component of the 2014–2015 Northern Hemisphere trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccines. Seven (6.6%) of the B/Yamagata-lineage virses tested showed reduced titers to B/Massachusetts/2/2012. Forty-three (91.5%) of the 47 B/Victoria-lineage viruses were characterized as B/Brisbane/60/2008-like, the virus that is included as an influenza B component of the 2014–2015 Northern Hemisphere quadrivalent influenza vaccine. Four (8.5%) of the B/Victoria-lineage viruses tested showed reduced titers to B/Brisbane/60/2008.
Eleven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 5. Four deaths were associated with an influenza A (H3) virus and occurred during weeks 52, 3 and 4 (weeks ending December 27, 2014, January 24, and January 31, 2015). Five deaths were associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed and occurred during weeks 53, 1, 2, and 3 (weeks ending January 3, January 10, January 17, and January 24, 2015). One death was associated with an influenza B virus and occurred during week 4. One death was associated with an influenza A and influenza B virus co-infection and occurred during week 5 (week ending February 7, 2015).
A total of 80 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2014–2015 season from New York City  and 28 states (Arizona , Colorado , Florida , Georgia , Indiana , Iowa , Kansas , Kentucky , Louisiana , Maryland , Massachusetts , Michigan , Minnesota , Missouri , Nebraska , New Jersey , North Carolina , Nevada , New York , Ohio , Oklahoma , Pennsylvania , South Carolina , South Dakota , Tennessee , Texas , Virginia , and Wisconsin ). More detail is available on the FluView website.
Between October 1, 2014 and February 7, 2015, 12,065 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported. The overall hospitalization rate was 44.1 per 100,000 population. The highest rate of hospitalization was among adults aged ≥65 years (217.3 per 100,000 population), followed by children aged 0–4 years (40.4 per 100,000 population). Among all hospitalizations, 11,585 (96.1%) were associated with influenza A, 377 (3.1%) with influenza B, 40 (0.3%) with influenza A and B co-infection, and 54 (0.4%) had no virus type information. Among those with influenza A subtype information, 3,517 (99.7%) were A(H3N2) virus and 10 (0.3%) were A(H1N1)pdm09. Additional virus characterization is available on FluView.
Nationwide during week 5, 3.8% 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 above the national baseline of 2.0%. 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 February 7, 2015. At this time, 33 states and territories are reporting widespread influenza activity.
CDC Provides Measles Information to its Partners
CDC has new measles information and resources available which it invites you to share with your membership.
Current information about measles cases and outbreaks is available from CDC. The agency also has developed corresponding information (available to Summit partners) to assist you as you receive questions about measles, develop new materials for your members, post to social media, etc. Let CDC know if you have any additional questions or would like to request resources from them.
CDC has posted an updated map which indicates the U.S. is currently experiencing a large, multi-state outbreak of measles linked to an amusement park in California. CDC also has reorganized the content on its new Measles Webpage to make it easier to access the resources you need.
Here are some recently developed resources for various audiences that are now available online:
- For parents and child care providers: An infographic showing that measles can be a serious disease
- For child care providers: A drop-in/newsletter article to quickly distribute information to parents about measles and MMR vaccine. In addition, information about preventing measles outbreaks and what to do in the event of a measles case in a child care facility For healthcare and public health professionals: MMWR article about California’s measles outbreak.
- For healthcare professionals and medical associations: A drop-in/matte article that publications who reach healthcare professionals can use to educate their readers about measles and encourage them to “Think Measles.”
- For healthcare professionals: Join us for Measles 2015: Situational Update, Clinical Guidance, and Vaccination Recommendations COCA “call on Thursday, February 19.
- For healthcare professionals: A short PBS video interview of Dr. Anne Schuchat talking about the dangers associated with measles parties and the MMR vaccine recommendations.
Help us promote these new materials
Please help us get the word out about what we have available. We’ve prepared some social media messages to assist you:
- #Measles cases and outbreaks continue to rise. http://1.usa.gov/1hR3aN8
- Think #measles is just a little rash? It can be very serious. http://1.usa.gov/1yTyr9r
- Kids need two doses of MMR vax for best #measles protection. http://1.usa.gov/1gOLRed
- #Measles is very contagious & can be deadly, esp for babies & young kids. Is your child protected? http://1.usa.gov/1Jo97DU
- You have the power to protect your child from #measles: It isn’t just a little rash. http://1.usa.gov/1yTyr9r
- New CDC infographic: #Measles symptoms, possible health problems, & the vaccine that protects your child. http://1.usa.gov/1yTyr9r
CDC knows that you work with various audiences and invites you to feel free to forward the most appropriate updates to your respective audience. Please let them know if you have any questions or additional requests for information. Also, they would like to know what you are doing to promote MMR vaccination and education about measles with your membership. Please send them an email and let them know. Thank you for your continued support and assistance.
Updated information on Acute Flaccid Myelitis
Up-to-date key points (through February 12, 2015) about the investigation of acute flaccid myelitis in children, including the weekly update of CDC-verified neurologic illness cases reported by states that meet the case definition, are available.
CDC Social Media Messages
CDC’s Influenza Division has developed the following social media messages that your organization may use to help communicate about influenza and flu activity. These can be tweeted using your organization’s Twitter handle or adapted for use on other social media platforms.
- Latest FluView report shows #flu activity decreased, but remains elevated in the U.S. http://1.usa.gov/193yN5k
- If you’ve had heart disease or a stroke, take steps to fight the #flu. More in: http://1.usa.gov/1fCGMdM
- Older adults are harder hit by #flu this season. Ppl 65+ seek treatment for flu early: http://1.usa.gov/1MjlOO7 #fightflu
- Get answers to your top flu q’s here: http://1.usa.gov/1p6eYhm
Study shows prompt treatment with #antivirals may improve survival of children critically ill with #flu: http://bit.ly/1B7kY4A
Upcoming and Recent CDC COCA Calls
Measles 2015: Situational Update, Clinical Guidance, and Vaccination Recommendations
Date: Thursday February 19, 2015
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time)
Click to Join Webinar: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW1605001&p=3769846&t=c
Registration is not required. Audio is required for webinar.
Audio Dial In:
- 888-469-3090 (U.S. Callers)
- 517-308-9287 (International Callers)
During this COCA call, clinicians will learn about the current measles situation in the US. In addition, they will learn about clinical guidelines for patient assessment and management, and age-appropriate vaccination recommendations for US residents including those who travel abroad.
Jane Seward, M.B.B.S., M.P.H.
Division of Viral Diseases
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/webinar, please visit the call webpage.
Save the Date: Protecting Children: Influenza Updates for Clinicians Webinar – 2/26/15 at 2:00pm ET/1:00pm CT
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is hosting a CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) webinar, Protecting Children: Influenza Updates for Clinicians, on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 2:00pm ET/1:00pm CT. During this COCA Webinar, clinicians will learn about the current state of flu activity related to children, the importance of continued vaccination despite the mismatch and low vaccine effectiveness, and strategies for using antiviral therapy early to prevent and treat influenza.
Phone: 888-810-4792 (U.S. Callers)
Phone: 630-395-0368 (International Callers)
Advanced registration is not required to attend the webinar.
Grant Opportunity from the National Vaccine Program Office
NVPO is sponsoring a pilot vaccine safety grant (cooperative agreement) Research, Monitoring and Outcomes Definitions for Vaccine Safety. Here is some information about the FOA:
Funding Opportunity for Vaccine Safety Research
NVPO announces a unique opportunity to partner on research that will strengthen the current U.S. vaccine safety enterprise. With the potential for two awardees to receive up to $250,000 in funds ($500,000 total available funds), NVPO encourages your participation—and looks forward to reviewing applications following the April 15, 2015 closing date.
Types of Vaccine Safety-Related Research
NVPO’s objective is to conduct research in vaccine safety that
- determines the safety profile of new vaccines during the early development stage,
- develops or modifies existing vaccines to improve their safety,
- directly impacts the current vaccine safety monitoring system, and/or
- produces consensus definitions of vaccine safety outcomes that could be utilized to collect consensus data in clinical research conducted globally.
Projects Related to Pregnant Women and Newborns
Of particular interest are projects related to researching, establishing or testing the vaccine safety profile of vaccines that are either currently recommended for, or are expected to be, routinely administered to pregnant women and/or newborns. Topics of research may cover establishing the safety of a vaccine in either the pregnant woman, her newborn or both, at any stage of the vaccine development, testing and/or pre-clinical or clinical research and monitoring of vaccine safety.
VICNetwork Webinar on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – 11am PT / 2pm ET
While primarily related to infants, this VICNetwork webinar has relevance to vaccination of pregnant women. This webinar will provide an overview of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) and available planning resources, as well as introduce a new campaign, Born With Protection, aimed at protecting babies from pertussis, or whooping cough. Pertussis can cause serious illness in young infants; however, babies cannot start their own DTaP vaccination series until they are two months old. Tdap vaccination of women during the third trimester of pregnancy can help protect infants when they are most vulnerable, yet coverage with this vaccine during pregnancy remains low.
- Provide background on National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)
- Highlight CDC resources available to help plan NIIW events
- Review the recommendation for Tdap vaccination during the 3rd trimester of every pregnancy
- Share findings from CDC research about Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, including how those research findings have informed our communication efforts
- Discuss how to access and share educational materials available from CDC
Jenny Mullen is the Lead for the Childhood Immunizations Communication Team in NCIRD’s Health Communication Science Office. In this role, Jenny leads efforts to develop research-based messages and materials and conduct communications activities to raise awareness among parents and healthcare professionals about the value and benefits of vaccinating children according to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule. More recently, she collaborated with NCIRD’s Division of Bacterial Diseases to lead the development of the Born with Protection Against Whooping Cough campaign.
Allison Kennedy Fisher is a health communications specialist with CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She has been at CDC since 2002, first in the Immunization Safety Office before joining the Immunization Services Division in 2006 and the Health Communication Science Office in 2013. Her areas of research interest include: adolescent vaccines, health and risk communication, health care decision-making behavior, and vaccine acceptance and hesitancy. Allison’s experience includes conducting communication and epidemiologic research; writing scientific manuscripts; and writing health education and health communication materials. She has authored or co-authored articles on parent and health care provider immunization attitudes and behaviors, and has presented at national conferences and meetings on various aspects of childhood and pre-teen immunization and communication research.
Recap of Senate HELP Committee Immunization Hearing – February 10, 2015
Thanks to APCO Worldwide for this recap!
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing this morning on the reemergence of vaccine-preventable diseases. The goal of the hearing was to examine public health successes and challenges related to recent outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as measles.
Senators in attendance included:
- Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
- Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
- Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
- Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
- Pat Roberts (R-KS)
- Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
- Al Franken (D-MN)
- Robert P. Casey (D-PA)
- Christopher Murphy (D-CT)
- Michael F. Bennet (D-CO)
- Anne Schuchat, MD, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC
- Mark Sawyer, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, CA
- Tim Jacks, DO, FAAP, Parent, Pediatrician, Every Child by TWO Immunization Champion
- Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH, Director, Immunization Program, Tennessee Department of Health
Senator Alexander opened the hearing by stating that vaccines are crucial to public health and asking what is causing current outbreaks and why people are choosing not to vaccinate their children. He started the conversation with the first panel by asking Dr. Schuchat what she would say if a vaccine-hesitant parent asked her about Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s MMR vaccine study. Dr. Schuchat responded that the study has been totally discredited and there is no correlation between vaccines and autism. Senator Warren asked Dr. Schuchat if there is any evidence that vaccines cause autism, mental disorders or allergies and Dr. Schuchat responded no.
The senators asked multiple questions about how the CDC ensures all children have access to vaccines. Dr. Schuchat stated that the CDC’s Vaccines for Children program has prevented over 300 million illnesses and saved $1.4 trillion since its implementation twenty years ago. Senator Cassidy questioned whether Section 317 funds are currently being spent appropriately, to which Dr. Moore responded that, under Dr. Schuchat’s leadership, they are and that they are crucial to public health. Multiple senators also questioned whether immigrant children have access to vaccines, to which Dr. Schuchat responded Vaccines for Children ensures access for immigrant children and that most measles importations occur from U.S.-born people who travel abroad.
In his testimony, Dr. Sawyer stated that parents are choosing not to immunize because of misinformation they receive through the Internet. Many of the senators expressed concern about wealthy communities in the U.S. where parents choose not to vaccinate. They asked what public health authorities can do to prevent the spread of misinformation about vaccines on the Internet. Dr. Schuchat noted that improving access to correct information can improve vaccination rates. Dr. Sawyer recommended eliminating philosophical belief exemptions and Senator Cassidy suggested posting all school and clinic vaccination rates prominently in those locations. Dr. Jacks, whose immunocompromised daughter is currently in quarantine after being exposed to measles, noted that pediatricians need to build relationships with parents in order to have effective conversations with them about the importance of vaccination.
Senator Murphy stated that his office is looking at legislation that would incentivize vaccination on a state level. All of the senators were committed to improving access to accurate information about vaccines.
Flu Vaccine Prevented Millions of Flu Cases During the 2013–2014 Flu Season
As part of the CDC Expert Video Commentary Series on Medscape, expert testimony is available from Dr. Sandra Chaves, a physician in the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She discusses the benefits and importance of flu vaccination.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Get the Flu Vaccine? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast
What if there were a small step you could take that would prevent you from getting sick, stop you from missing work, and help ensure you won’t play a part in killing babies, the sick, and the elderly?
That actually exists: it’s called the flu shot. But a lot of people don’t get it. Why? That’s the question we try to answer in this episode of Freakonomics Radio. (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)
House Resolution on the Benefits of Vaccines Announced
A bipartisan resolution titled “Vaccines Save Lives” was introduced in the House of Representatives today by Representatives Adam Schiff, Charlie Dent, Tom Marino, and Peter Welch. The resolution, the text of which is included below, currently has more than 90 cosponsors.
Here is the resolution:
A resolution to recognize the importance of vaccinations and immunizations in the United States.
Whereas the contributions of Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner to the discovery of the principles of vaccination and immunology are among the most consequential health findings in human history;
Whereas vaccines have made it possible for the world to have eradicated smallpox, saving approximately 5 million lives annually, and for the international community to be on the brink of eradicating polio and to have saved an estimated 5 million people from this incurable disease over the past 2 decades;
Whereas vaccines have dramatically reduced the spread of many more crippling and potentially life-threatening diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella, and vaccines prevent the spread of commonly infectious and potentially fatal diseases such as chickenpox, shingles, influenza, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal, rotavirus, and whooping cough (pertussis);
Whereas the scientific and medical communities are in overwhelming consensus that vaccines are both effective and safe, and the dissemination of unfounded, and debunked, theories about the dangers of vaccinations pose a great risk to public health, and scientifically-sound education and outreach campaigns about vaccination and immunization are fundamental for a well-informed public;
Whereas an estimated 43,000 adults and 300 children die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases or their complications in the United States, and the health and livelihood of young children, seniors, individuals with immunodeficiency disorders, and those who cannot be vaccinated, is particularly compromised by communities with low vaccination rates;
Whereas substantial research has shown that vaccination is a highly cost-effective form of preventive medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that vaccinations will save nearly $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs in the United States;
Whereas it is estimated that vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years, and that more than 100 million children all over the world are immunized each year and vaccines have saved an estimated 2.5 million children annually;
Whereas one in five children worldwide still lack access to even the most basic vaccines and as a result, an estimated 1.5 million children a year die from vaccine-preventable conditions such as diarrhea and pneumonia or suffer from permanently debilitating illnesses;
Whereas a strong investment in medical research to improve existing vaccines and develop many more life-saving vaccines is beneficial to all, both at home and abroad, and a robust immunization infrastructure is essential to the public health and well-being of the people of the United States by preventing and isolating outbreaks of contagious diseases where they start;
Whereas encouraging high vaccination rates in the United States protects our citizens from contracting vaccine-preventable diseases that are pandemic in countries with low vaccination and immunization rates;
Whereas routine and up-to-date immunization is the most effective method available to prevent the infection and transmission of potentially fatal diseases;
Whereas the United States has been a leader in promoting vaccinations around the world through U.S. Agency for International Development, the Center for Disease Control, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and a host of other multilateral and non-governmental organizations;
Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
- Commends the international community, global and domestic health organizations, the private sector, school and community leaders, and faith-based organizations for their tireless work and immense contributions to bolstering our global and domestic health through vaccination;
- Affirms vaccines and immunizations save lives and are essential to maintain the public health, economic and national security of the people of the United States;
- Recognizes that the lack of vaccination can cause a true public health crisis, and that there is no credible evidence to show that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases in healthy children or adults;
- Encourages a continued commitment to research to improve vaccines and to develop new vaccines against other infectious and fatal diseases, and
Urges parents, in consultation with their health care provider, to follow the scientific evidence and consensus of medical experts in favor of timely vaccinations to protect their children and their community.
New Publication in Lancet ID on High Dose Influenza Vaccine
A new publication from the FDA and CMS looks at the effectiveness of high dose influenza vaccine. The study sought to establish whether high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine was more effective for prevention of influenza-related visits and hospital admissions in US Medicare beneficiaries than was standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccine.
The authors conclude that their retrospective cohort study in US Medicare beneficiaries shows that, in people 65 years of age and older, high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine was significantly more effective than standard-dose vaccine in prevention of influenza-related medical encounters.
Visit American Osteopathic Association’s new webpage “Know Your Classical Illnesses”
Authored by longtime Oklahoma pediatrician Stan Grogg, DO and AOA representative to the ACIP, this resource helps providers recognize and identify some classic diseases.
2nd Asia-Pacific Influenza Summit, June 11–12, 2015
The Asia-Pacific Alliance for the Control of Influenza (APACI) is pleased to announce the 2nd Asia-Pacific Influenza Summit, to take place June 11 & 12, in Hanoi, Vietnam. Please mark the dates on your calendar.
APACI continues to develop new initiatives to promote influenza awareness in the region, and will again be presenting a unique opportunity to meet with key influenza experts and stakeholders from within the region, and from around the world. The summit follows the success of the inaugural Asia-Pacific Influenza summit held in Bangkok in 2012.
The summit will take place immediately prior to the 2015 Asian Vaccine Conference.
European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) holds 3rd Conference on Vaccines
The conference is accredited with 15 CME points by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME), and provides an opportunity to meet with top-experts and participants to discuss the multiple aspects of direct and indirect protective effects of vaccination as well as novel approaches for vaccination in all ages.
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 scheduled every Thursday at 3 pm ET, unless cancelled. The Summit calls on February 19 and February 26 are cancelled due to an AHIP Adult Immunization Roundtable and the ACIP meeting. The next call will be on March 5, 2015. Please email L.J Tan or LaDora Woods if you have any updates on activities to provide to the Summit.