February 20, 2018

Upcoming Events
Information from CDC
Information Of Interest


Congressional Briefing on Healthy Aging and Immunizations

Friday, February 23, 2018
10:00 – 11:30 am
Russell Senate Office Building, Room 385
Washington, DC

Overview: Immunizations are a lifesaving and cost-effective intervention that can radically reduce the transmission of potentially debilitating diseases such as flu, shingles, pneumonia, and measles. Despite high rates of childhood vaccination, adult vaccination rates in the U.S. remain low. However, the immune system deteriorates with age, leaving older adults more susceptible to many vaccine-preventable diseases that could result in hospitalizations and other costly medical interventions. This briefing will review the value of immunizations for aging adults, highlight factors that impact access to immunizations, and provide a review of coverage for adult vaccines under public and private insurance. Given the severity of this year’s flu season, the panelists will also discuss the efficacy of the flu vaccine for aging adults and the implications of low vaccination rates.


William H. Chen, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA
Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief, Adult Clinical Studies Section, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Charley John, PharmD
Director, U.S. Public Policy, Walgreens Co.

Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer, Immunization Action Coalition
Co-Chair of National Adult Immunization Summit and National Infuenza Vaccine Summit
Board Member, Adult Vaccine Access Coalition

Robert H. Hopkins, Jr., MD
Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

To ensure seating and event material, please remember to register before 4 pm EST on February 22, 2018.

This event is sponsored by the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition.

State Medicaid Agencies: Apply to Participate in a Community of Practice Focused on Immunization and Medicaid – AcademyHealth and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) Announce New Community of Practice Focused on Immunization

Despite the availability of vaccines through Medicaid and the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program in the United States, immunization rates for children and pregnant women in Medicaid remain lower than those above the poverty line or with private insurance. In particular, disparities in vaccine coverage exist for black children and those living below the poverty level.

Pregnant women covered by Medicaid have some vaccination rates that are lower than rates among pregnant women with private insurance. AcademyHealth and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), with support from the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, invite you to apply for participation in a Community of Practice (CoP) for state Medicaid agencies interested in collaborating with their state public health and immunization information system partners to improve Medicaid policies and immunization outreach procedures that increase immunization rates among low-income children and pregnant women.

Funded through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cooperative agreement, Immunization Barriers in the United States: Targeting Medicaid Partnerships, AcademyHealth and NASHP seek four to six states, each comprised of multidisciplinary teams (i.e., Medicaid Medical or Policy Director, an Immunization State Program Manager, and a State Immunization Information System Coordinator), to form a Community of Practice (CoP). Through virtual and in-person engagement over the course of the project, AcademyHealth and NASHP will work with the CoP states to identify barriers to and share promising practices for increasing immunization rates for children and pregnant women with Medicaid.

Over the course of this two-to-three-year project, the Community of Practice will provide:

  • One-on-one consultation (e.g., calls every other month) to support state-identified needs.
  • Regular opportunities to interact with other CoP members to address challenges as well as share experiences and lessons learned.
  • Yearly in-person meetings of CoP teams to support state goals and provide in-person technical assistance.

Areas of focus for moderated calls, webinars, and light-touch technical assistance could include:

  • State Cross-Agency Collaboration
  • Population-Based Interventions
  • Healthcare Provider and Delivery Site Issues
  • Access
  • Data Sharing and Health Informatics
  • Financing and Sustainability

Join us: If your Medicaid agency is interested in joining this Community of Practice (CoP), please send an email to Samantha Smith by Friday, February 23, 2018 and attach your completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form (see pages 3–4). Four to six states will be chosen to participate in the CoP.

Feedback Wanted: NCQA Public Comment on HEDIS® Measures (including NVPO/Summit Adult Composite and Prenatal Immunization Measure) – Public Comment Open February 13 – March 13

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) invites the public to comment on proposed changes to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). There are new measures, changes to existing measures and guidelines and strategies for addressing issues that apply across various HEDIS measures.

This is an opportunity for health plans, purchasers, consumers and other stakeholders to weigh in on the relevance, scientific soundness and feasibility of new and revised measures.

Proposed New Measures

  • Risk of Chronic Opioid Use
  • Hospitalization Following Discharge From a Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Health Assessments for People With Multiple High-Risk Chronic Conditions
  • Adult Immunization Status
  • Prenatal Immunization Status
  • Long-Term Services and Supports Comprehensive Assessment and Update
  • Long-Term Services and Supports Comprehensive Care Plan and Update
  • Long-Term Services and Supports Shared Care Plan With Primary Care Physician
  • Long-Term Services and Supports Reassessment/Care Plan Update After Inpatient Discharge

Proposed Changes to Existing Measures

  • Controlling High Blood Pressure
  • Follow-Up After Emergency Department Visit for Mental Illness
  • Plan All-Cause Readmissions
  • CAHPS® Health Plan Survey 5.0H

Cross-Cutting Topics

  • Exclusions for Advanced Illness
  • Telehealth

Guideline Update

  • General Guideline 2: Product-Specific Reporting
  • General Guideline 19: Self-Insured Members

NCQA reviews all feedback submitted during the public comment period.

Reviewers are asked to submit comments by 11:59 pm (ET) Tuesday, March 13.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Webinar on March 1 at 5 pm ET

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), in partnership with American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is presenting a webinar, Maternal Immunization: Understanding Safety and Efficacy and Making a Strong Recommendation, on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 5 pm ET (2 pm PT). This free, 1 CME credit webinar will provide information on the safety and efficacy of maternal information and will give example of how to address these topics with patients by making a strong recommendation. The webinar will also identify resources for providers and patients regarding maternal immunizations. Continuing Medical Education credit is provided through joint providership with The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Eliminating HPV Related Diseases as a Public Health Problem: Let’s Start with Cervical Cancer – A Special Webinar with Dr. Anna Giuliano

Please join the National HPV Roundtable on March 7 from 2 – 3 pm ET for a special webinar with Dr. Anna Giuliano, Professor and Director, Center for Infection Research in Cancer, Moffit Cancer Center.

Dr. Giuliano strongly believes that we can eliminate HPV cancers – starting with cervical cancer – with the tools we have right now. During this hour, Dr. Giuliano will make her case and engage in a Q/A with attendees. This webinar will be recorded.

Registration for this event is required. For additional information about this event, please contact Jennifer Sienko.

Please visit the National HPV Roundtable’s website to learn more about the organization and its efforts to improve HPV immunizations in the United States. Their annual meeting will be held February 27 and 28, 2018 in Atlanta.

NFID-sponsored Interview with Penny Heaton, MD: A Vision for Accelerating Translational Science to Combat Disease

Join William Schaffner, MD, NFID Medical Director, and Penny M. Heaton, MD, Chief Executive Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, for a lively discussion featuring a preview of the closing keynote presentation at the 2018 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research (ACVR) scheduled for April 25, 2018.

Registration information for this webinar is available online. To learn more about ACVR, visit the ACVR website.

APhA Releases What You Should Know…Zoster Vaccines

To help pharmacists and other immunization providers understand key points to be aware of regarding differences between currently available zoster vaccines (Shingrix, GSK), (Zostavax, Merck), APhA developed a one-page reference for providers to post in their practices. The document provides information at a glance regarding areas such as storage, vaccine-type, route of administration, dosing intervals, age of patient recommended to receive the vaccine, contraindications, side effects and concomitant administration. One vaccine is stored in the freezer and one in the refrigerator; one is administered IM and one is administered SQ, etc.


Seasonal Influenza Surveillance

CDC has released Seasonal Flu Key Points for February 15, 2018 and the FluView report for Week 6 (ending February 10). In addition, key points for the latest Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates and the MMWR Flu Activity Update  have been published. Partners can sign up for the seasonal influenza key points. State/jurisdiction level ILI and virologic data are now available on FluView Interactive for areas that have given CDC approval to display their data.


Maternal Influenza, Tdap Vaccinations Not Tied to Infant Mortality

Influenza and acellular pertussis vaccinations during pregnancy were not associated with hospitalization or death of infants in the first 6 months of life, according to recently published study results in Pediatrics.

“In our study of maternal influenza and [acellular pertussis (Tdap)] vaccines, we found no increased risk of infant all-cause hospitalizations, hospitalization from respiratory causes, or all-cause mortality in the first 6 months of life,” Lakshmi Sukumaran, MD, MPH, of the Immunization Safety Office, CDC, and colleagues wrote. “… Our findings are similar to other studies that have evaluated infant mortality and morbidity after maternal vaccination in pregnancy, most of which have evaluated the safety of adjuvanted H1N1 influenza-containing vaccines.”

Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths in the United States, 2010–2016

Deaths in children aged <18 years with laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2010–2011 to 2015–2016 influenza seasons were analyzed.

Each year, influenza-associated pediatric deaths are reported. Young children have the highest death rates, especially infants aged <6 months. Increasing vaccination among children, pregnant women, and caregivers of infants may reduce influenza-associated pediatric deaths.

APhA Celebrates Pharmacists’ Contributions to Increasing U.S. Immunization Rates and Improving Health

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today announced the selection of recipients of its 2018 Immunization Champions Awards recognizing individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions toward improved vaccination rates within their communities.

“The APhA Immunization Champion Awards program helps us tell the story regarding pharmacists’ contributions to and impact on the health of communities and as valued members of the immunization neighborhood, according to Mitchel Rothholz, RPh, MBA, APhA Chief Strategy Officer.  This year is the 10th anniversary for presentation of the awards.  We applaud the more than 320,000 pharmacists trained to administer vaccines and who are making a difference in their communities.”

2018 ACIP Immunization Schedules: Key Changes

In February, CDC and partner organizations released the 2018 child/adolescent and adult immunization schedules.

This year, there are updates to the child/adolescent and adult immunization schedules for the following vaccines:

  • Poliovirus vaccines
  • Influenza vaccine
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • Shingles vaccine

In addition, there is clarification of the recommendations for rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines.

A full article on the schedule changes is available in Medscape.

Senate Bill Would Jump-start Universal Flu Vaccine Efforts

As the nation grapples with a long and unrelenting flu season rivaling by some measures the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, a group of US senators last week unveiled a proposal to invest $1 billion in research over the next 5 years to create a universal flu vaccine that would provide lifetime protection against a range of influenza strains.

Flu Vaccine: Will It Work Better Next Season?

Flu season isn’t over yet, but the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that in less than two weeks they will be putting together a panel of experts to help select strains for next season’s flu vaccine.

The influenza virus changes or mutates every year, which makes it very difficult to create a vaccine. It also takes several months to produce the influenza vaccine, which is why health officials are getting started even before this season end.

Measles Cases Soar Across Europe, WHO Urges Greater Immunization

Europe saw a 400-percent increase in measles cases in 2017 compared to the previous year, affecting more than 21,000 people and causing 35 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s regional office for Europe said in a press release Monday.

The spike included large outbreaks, meaning 100 or more cases, in 15 of the 53 countries in the region. It came as a blow, following a record low 5,273 cases in 2016.

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 scheduled every Thursday at 3 PM ET, unless cancelled. (The call scheduled for February 22 is cancelled due to the ACIP meeting.) Call summaries are posted to the Summit website shortly after each call. Please email L.J Tan or LaDora Woods if you have any updates on activities to provide the Summit.

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