January 25, 2016

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Summit Call Recap – January 7, 2016
Summit Call Recap – January 17, 2016
Summit Call Recap – January 21, 2016
Special Announcements
Information from CDC
Announcements

SUMMIT CALL RECAP – JANUARY 7, 2016


Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)

Sophie provided a summary of the published reports for week 51, ending December 26, 2015. Influenza activity in the U.S. increased slightly during this week.

CDC is now reporting separately on influenza specimens received from U.S. clinical laboratories and U.S. public health laboratories. For week 51, 2.5% of specimens submitted to clinical laboratories were positive for influenza. Of these, 55.7% were influenza A and 44.3% were influenza B. For public health laboratories, 38/586 (6.5%) specimens were positive, with 32 (84.2%) influenza A and 6 (15.8%) influenza B.

One hundred seventy (170) influenza virus specimens have been characterized as of October 1. Of these, 34 were A(H1N1), 112 were A(H3N2),), and 24 were influenza B. All 34 A(H1N1) viruses and all 112 A(H3N2) viruses were similar to their respective components of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. A subset of 66 H3N2 viruses also were antigenically characterized, with 65/66 (98.5%) being A/Switzxerland/9715923/2013-like. Seventeen of the B viruses were of the B/Yamagata lineage, while seven were B/Victoria.

Since October 1, 206 influenza viruses have been tested for antiviral resistance, including 40 influenza A(H1N1), 138 influenza A(H3N2), and 38 influenza B. Of these, 1 influenza A(H1N1) was resistant to oseltamivir. All the remaining samples tested were sensitive to oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir.

Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data available on December 31, 6.0% of deaths occurring during the week ending December 12 (week 49) 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 7.2% for week 49. Similarly, data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System for week 51 indicate 5.8% of deaths were due to P&I. This is below the epidemic threshold of 6.9% for week 51.

No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 51. A total of 4 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2015–2016 season. Of these 4 deaths, 1 was not eligible for vaccination due to age, and 3 were unvaccinated.

During week 51, influenza-like Illness (ILI) activity levels, which are based on the percent of outpatient visits due to ILI, were at 2.6%, above the baseline of 2.1% for the week.

On a regional level, outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 0.7% to 5.0% during week 51. Six public health regions (Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7) 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 51:

  • Widespread – Guam and 1 state
  • Regional – 5 states
  • Local – 12 states
  • Sporadic – 29 states
  • No activity – 3 states and the District of Columbia
  • No report – Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

In response to a question, Sophie noted that this season is following a typical pattern. This is corroborated by a graph (included in this week’s FluView) which displays several season’s of ILI visits.


Announcements
  • Carolyn Bridges reminded partners that the updated Adult Immunization Schedule will be published during the first week of February.
  • Sarah Carroll announced that ACOG has just released its revised Influenza Information during Pregnancy Toolkit. The revised toolkit contains both previously existing and new materials. In addition to being posted online, hard copies have been shared with all ACOG fellows. Other persons wishing to obtain a hard copy may contact Sarah Carroll.


Other Items – Litjen Tan (IAC)

SUMMIT CALL RECAP – JANUARY 17, 2016


Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)

Sophie provided a summary of the published reports for week 52, ending January 2, 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 52, 1.8% of specimens submitted to clinical laboratories were positive for influenza. Of these, 63.6% were influenza A and 36.4% were influenza B. For public health laboratories, 91/759 (12.0%) specimens were positive, with 74 (81.3%) influenza A and 17 (18.7%) influenza B.

One hundred ninety-two (192) influenza virus specimens have been characterized as of October 1. Of these, 49 were A(H1N1), 119 were A(H3N2), and 24 were influenza B. All 49 A(H1N1) viruses and all 119 A(H3N2) viruses were similar to their respective components of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. A subset of 74 H3N2 viruses also were antigenically characterized, with 73/74 (98.7%) being A/Switzerland/9715923/2013-like. Seventeen of the B viruses were of the B/Yamagata lineage, while seven were B/Victoria.

Since October 1, 232 influenza viruses have been tested for antiviral resistance, including 46 influenza A(H1N1), 145 influenza A(H3N2), and 41 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 7, 6.1% of deaths occurring during the week ending December 19 (week 50) 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 7.3% for week 50. Similarly, data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System for week 52 indicate 5.7% of deaths were due to P&I. This is below the epidemic threshold of 7.0% for week 52.

Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 52. One death was attributed to influenza A(H3) which occurred during week 51, while the other was influenza A(H1N1) during week 52.  A total of 6 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2015–2016 season. Of these 6 deaths, 1 had no vaccination history available, 1 was not eligible for vaccination due to age, and 4 were unvaccinated.

During week 52, influenza-like Illness (ILI) activity levels, which are based on the percent of outpatient visits due to ILI, were at 2.8%, above the baseline of 2.1% for the week.

On a regional level, outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 0.8% to 5.3% during week 52. Seven public health regions (Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9) 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 52:

  • Widespread – Guam and 2 states
  • Regional – 6 states
  • Local – 13 states
  • Sporadic – 27 states and the Virgin Islands
  • No activity – 2 states and the District of Columbia
  • No report – Puerto Rico

In response to a question, Sophie noted that there is insufficient evidence to make any definitive predictions about what the influenza season will be like for the next few months.


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.

L.J noted that this is a policy development and action-oriented meeting which does not include abstracts, posters, or exhibits, other than a small poster session hosted by and for the state Adult Immunization Coordinators. Carolyn Bridges added that the draft agenda for the meeting was developed based upon feedback received from last year’s attendees.


SUMMIT CALL RECAP – JANUARY 21, 2016


Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)

(Note: Sophie was unable to attend the weekly call, but she provided a written report which was summarized by Carolyn Bridges.)

Today’s report provides a summary of published reports for week 1, ending January 9, 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 1, 3.0% of specimens submitted to clinical laboratories were positive for influenza. Of these, 68.2% were influenza A and 31.8% were influenza B. For public health laboratories, 112/929 (12.1%) specimens were positive, with 94 (83.9%) influenza A and 18 (16.1%) influenza B.

Two hundred nine (209) influenza virus specimens have been characterized as of October 1. Of these, 49 were A(H1N1), 128 were A(H3N2), and 32 were influenza B. All 49 A(H1N1) viruses and all 128 A(H3N2) viruses were similar to their respective components of the 2015–2016 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. A subset of 78 H3N2 viruses also were antigenically characterized, with 77/78 (97.5%) being A/Switzerland/9715923/2013-like. Twenty-five of the B viruses were of the B/Yamagata lineage, while seven were B/Victoria.

Since October 1, 305 influenza viruses have been tested for antiviral resistance, including 75 influenza A(H1N1), 166 influenza A(H3N2), and 64 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 14, 5.8% of deaths occurring during the week ending December 26 (week 51) 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 7.3% for week 51. Similarly, data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System for week 1 indicate 6.4% of deaths were due to P&I. This is below the epidemic threshold of 7.0% for week 1.

One influenza-associated pediatric death was reported to CDC during week 1. This death was associated with influenza B and occurred during week 49. 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 1, influenza-like Illness (ILI) activity levels, which are based on the percent of outpatient visits due to ILI, were at 2.0%, below 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 – no states
  • Regional – Guam, Puerto Rico, and 9 states
  • Local – 11 states
  • Sporadic – 28 states and the Virgin Islands

No activity – 2 states and the District of Columbia


2016 NAIIS Adult Vaccine Video Contest – Alex Shevach (CDC)

Alex, who is a co-chair of the Summit Patient Education and Outreach Workgroup, reported that the WG has just opened a new NAIIS 2016 Adult Vaccine Video Contest. The group is asking 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.

Alex asked for Summit partners to share information about the contest through their professional networks. She also provided an e-blast example that can be used to help spread the word. The deadline for the contest is March 26.

Partners with questions about the contest may email LaDora Woods, who will share these questions with Alex. Carolyn encouraged all Summit partners to share this information through their organizations, with schools, and through any other appropriate venues.


Announcements – Carolyn Bridges (CDC)

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS


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. Attached is an e-blast example that can be used to help spread the word!


IAC Texas Workshops to Improve Implementation of Standing Orders for Adult Vaccines Begins on February 16, 2016, with the First Stop in Dallas/Fort Worth

Please help IAC get the word out to Texas medical practices on the availability of a workshop to help them implement standing orders for adult vaccinations. This workshop is part of a national initiative to assist medical practices put standing orders into action. A Texas-specific flyer is attached for your use as you see fit.

As part of the initiative, IAC is offering a full year of free follow up support to medical practices that participate in the workshop and implement standing orders for adult vaccines.

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


INFORMATION FROM CDC


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

The CDC weekly influenza surveillance report for week 2, 2016 (ending January 16, 2016) and region specific data are now available.

NCHS mortality surveillance data for week 52(ending January 2, 2016,, but available on January 21) indicate 6.5% of deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 7.4% for week 52. During week 2, 7.6% of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to P&I. This percentage was below the epidemic threshold of 7.1% for week 2.

CDC characterized 259 influenza viruses [74 A (H1N1)pdm09, 135 A (H3N2), and 50 influenza B viruses] collected by U.S. laboratories since October 1, 2015. All 135 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 80 H3N2 viruses also were antigenically characterized; 79 of 80 (98.8%) H3N2 viruses were A/Switzerland/9715293/2013-like by HI testing or neutralization testing.

All 74 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 25 (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 25 (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.

No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 2. A total of seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2015–2016 season. More detail is available on CDC’s Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality webpage.

The Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) conducts 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 16, 2016, 494 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported. The overall hospitalization rate was 1.8 per 100,000 population. The highest rate of hospitalization was among adults aged ≥65 years (6.1 per 100,000 population), followed by children aged 0–4 years (3.2 per 100,000 population). Among all hospitalizations, 323 (65.4%) were associated with influenza A, 142 (28.7%) with influenza B, 16 (3.2%) with influenza A and B co-infection, and 13 (2.6%) had no virus type information. Among those with influenza A subtype information, 56 (72.7%) were A(H1N1)pdm09 and 21 (27.3%) were A(H3N2) virus.

Clinical findings are preliminary and based on 165 (33.4%) cases with complete medical chart abstraction. The majority (87.1%) of hospitalized adults had at least one reported underlying medical condition; the most commonly reported were metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. There were 25 hospitalized children with complete medical chart abstraction, 16 (64.0%) had no identified underlying medical conditions. The most commonly reported underlying medical conditions among pediatric patients were asthma, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and neurologic disorders. Among the 9 hospitalized women of childbearing age (15-44 years), 3 were pregnant.

Nationwide during week 2, 1.9% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to influenza-like illness (ILI). This percentage is 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 Nationwide during week 47, 1.9% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to influenza-like illness (ILI). This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.1%. ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater), and cough and/or sore throat.

An Influenza Summary Update of the influenza activity reported by state and territorial epidemiologists, which indicates geographic spread of influenza viruses but does not measure the intensity of influenza activity, is available. This currently reflects data from January 16, 2016. Currently three states are reporting widespread activity, 11 states are reporting regional activity, and most other states are reporting local or sporadic activity.

CDC Influenza Division seasonal influenza key points for January 22, are now available, as is the FluView report for week 2, ending January 16. Archives of previous FluViews also may be found online.


More Information from CDC
  • This week, Influenza Division posted fresh video footage of work in CDC’s influenza laboratory. The Seasonal Flu Video is available for downloading.
  • On January 15, 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) virus in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana.
  • As announced before, CDC launched the #VaxWithMe selfie campaign as an innovative way to capture and share flu vaccination promotion activities posted with the #VaxWithMe hashtag across various digital platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.) Check out CDC’s interactive timeline of #VaxWithMe posts.


CDC Flu Resources


CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Information

CDC COCA features its partnership with the American Association of Physician Assistants
Partnerships with professional healthcare associations are vital to CDC’s ability to communicate with clinicians and share information on public health emergencies, CDC guidance, health alert messages, and training opportunities. In January, COCA is pleased to feature the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) in the COCA Partner Spotlight. AAPA represents a profession of more than 100,000 certified physician assistants across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the majority of the U.S. territories.

Enhanced Entry Airport Screening for Ebola Modified for Travelers from Guinea to the United States
As of December 29, 2015, CDC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) modified its enhanced Ebola port-of-entry screening for travelers from Guinea. Travelers will now answer questions about travel history and possible exposures to Ebola. Travelers will also provide their contact information so that the health department at their destination can connect with them, if needed.

Assessment of Persons Under Investigation Having Low (But Not Zero) Risk of Exposure to Ebola
This guidance is for state and local health department staff, infection prevention and control professionals, clinical healthcare providers, and healthcare workers who are coordinating the evaluation of persons under investigation. Use this guidance to evaluate ill patients with low (but not zero) risk of exposure to Ebola based on a complete travel, exposure, and health history.

CDC Science Clips: Volume 7, Issue: 49 – (CDC)
Each week select science clips are shared with the public health community to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge. The focus is applied public health research and prevention science that has the capacity to improve health now.

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

Recent COCA Webinars/Calls
Zika Virus — What Clinicians Need to Know

January 26, 2016
Time:  2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time)
Registration is not required.

Join by Phone:
888-455-0056 (U.S. Callers)
517-308-9237 (International Callers)
Passcode: 7024369

Join by Webinar:
Link one
Overflow link two

Access on Demand:
Call materials (slides, audio and transcript) will be posted to the webpage a few days after the live call.

How to Prevent and Control Pediatric Influenza
Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015


ANNOUNCEMENTS


ACIP February 2016 Meeting is Reduced to One Day (February 24)

Please note this change in the ACIP calendar for the February 2016 meeting.


CDC Issues Health Alert on the Zika Virus

CDC has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory message about Zika virus on January 15, 2016. Please feel free to share this information with your members/constituents.


CDC Adds Countries to Interim Travel Guidance Related to Zika Virus

CDC is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing Zika virus‎ transmission. Today, CDC added the following destinations to the Zika virus travel alerts:  Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Guyana, Cape Verde, and Samoa. On January 15, CDC issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory; Brazil; Colombia; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Martinique; Mexico; Panama; Paraguay; Suriname; and Venezuela. Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time.

As more information becomes available, CDC travel alerts will be updated.


Walgreens, CVS Want Doctors’ Medicare Pay to Vaccinate

As the nation’s retail pharmacies move deeper into the business of providing healthcare services, they now want pharmacists to be paid by Medicare to immunize the nation’s seniors. Under legislation that is gaining rare bipartisan support and momentum in the U.S. House and Senate, particularly for a Congressional health bill, pharmacists would be paid to administer vaccines under Medicare part B, which is the part of the health insurance program for elderly Americans designed to cover physician services and certain outpatient procedures.


GAVI Launches ‘INFUSE’ Initiative to Overcome Barriers to Immunization

GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance today called for proven-concept innovations from entrepreneurs and companies that could drive improvements in immunization in developing countries. The Geneva-based public-private partnership will identify the most promising concepts and technologies and connect them with influential public and private sector leaders.

At the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, GAVI hosted global business leaders, government officials and high-tech innovators to introduce Innovation for Uptake, Scale, and Equity in Immunization (INFUSE) – an initiative focused on overcoming the obstacles that lead to almost 19 million children per year not receiving a full course of the most basic vaccines. GAVI CEO Dr. Seth Berkley highlighted the importance of harnessing new thinking, potentially from innovators outside the immunization and global health fields, to reach more children with vaccines.


Reminder: ACOG has a Monthly Influenza Newsletter

ACOG’s immunization team is excited to announce the creation of a monthly influenza newsletter that will run from October-early Spring 2016. The influenza newsletter will contain up to date information on this year’s flu season as well as links to pertinent flu resources from ACOG and immunization partners. The newsletter will be emailed to all ACOG members and archived on ACOG’s Immunization for Women website. We welcome suggestions for topics and resources to include in future newsletters.


Preparing for the Next Pandemic: Fear Cannot Be Our Motivation

The recent Ebola epidemic challenged leaders of all nations and sectors and brought to light the need for resiliency and infrastructure to prevent and mitigate risks of future outbreaks.

“Dealing with epidemics presents growth, economic and stability issues,” said Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva. “The world is ill prepared. We need national and local capacity,” she added.

Strengthening surveillance and primary care are critical to building resiliency, said William H. Gates III, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA. He pointed to the insights that technology can provide: “If we are serious about dealing with future epidemics, we must do simulations. Primary healthcare will be digitized in the next 10 years. This will be a huge benefit.”


California Vaccine Law Shows Signs That It’s Working

California’s new child vaccination law doesn’t go into effect until July, but new data released Tuesday by the state Department of Health indicate it’s already working. It’s great news for Californians and public health officials who were alarmed that the decline in state vaccination rates threatened to make it easier for communicable diseases to take hold and spread.

California’s vaccination rate for kindergartners at public and private schools increased 2.5 percentage points from last year to 92.9 percent. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a 90 percent vaccination rate is needed to keep diseases such as measles and whooping cough from spreading.


Do You Need a Vaccination for Your Next Trip?

Chances are, after reading about high-profile health scares following a measles outbreak at Disneyland in California last January or the latest travel advisory for the Zika virus in Mexico, travel-related health concerns have crossed your mind. To help you better understand which places pose health risks before traveling abroad, and when immunizations are essential to avoid contracting a serious and preventable disease, here’s a primer on common vaccinations, with advice from medical experts for a happy and healthy trip.


Melinda Gates: Trump is ‘Ridiculous,’ Misinformed’ in Views on Vaccines

Philanthropist Melinda Gates blasted Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump this week for his assertions that childhood vaccinations can lead to autism, calling them “ridiculous” and “misinformed.” During the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Gates sat down with HuffPost Rise and discussed why Trump’s statements on vaccines are wrong.


Sticking Point: Temperature Control Vital to Vaccine Viability

Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but by the time the winter holidays roll around, many of us will have already waited in line at area clinics, grocery stores, and pharmacies to get our annual flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control reports that U.S. vaccination efforts since 1994 have prevented an estimated 16 million illnesses every year. Even so, some people choose to avoid vaccination, citing reasons like a lack of confidence in its usefulness, complication risks, or religious beliefs. Some news outlets thrive on the controversy, sensationalizing reports of disease outbreaks, possible vaccine failures, and anti-vaccination propaganda. Yet the public debates have missed a critical factor in vaccine effectiveness: temperature.

That’s right. To work correctly, all vaccines require strict temperature control from the point of manufacture up until they are injected into a patient’s arm. Our work at NIST is helping to ensure that providers know how to maintain vaccines at the right temperatures, so those who get the shot can be confident that every dose works as intended.


Washington Girl Dies from Flu-Induced Kidney Failure; Health Officials Remind People To Get Flu Vaccine

It’s a heartbreaking tale that can’t help but remind us of the real danger influenza brings to our doorstep every winter. As reported by KIRO 7, Piper Lowery was a healthy, albeit asthmatic, 12-year-old girl living in Port Orchard, Washington. On January 12, however, the sixth grader came down with a high fever alongside her mother Pegy Lowery. Although both mother and child were given Tamiflu that same Tuesday and revisited the doctor twice more, Piper’s symptoms only became worse. By Saturday morning, it left her vomiting up blood and she was rushed to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, WH. Soon after, despite the valiant efforts of hospital staff, she would die from complications of the flu, specifically the H1N1 strain. Piper was unvaccinated.


Flu Vaccine Supply Chain Changes Needed to Stop Shortages

An Elk Horn, Iowa, family is working to keep other people healthy after their 3-year-old girl died of the flu last year. “Very boisterous and always smiling. Liked to tease a lot,” McCarthy said.

Ayzlee fell deathly ill just a few days after Christmas. “She was just kind of lethargic and laying around, saying she didn’t really feel good,” McCarthy said. McCarthy took her daughter to the doctor, where the 3-year-old tested positive for influenza A and B despite not having any typical flu symptoms. “Guess my biggest fear at that point was, ‘Great, now we are all going to get it,” McCarthy said. “That’s just what I figured.

The next day, McCarthy noticed something was still wrong.  “She just seemed to be looking through me,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy rushed Ayzlee back to the hospital. Ayzlee was then transferred to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. “She started talking funny and reaching out for things,” McCarthy said. “You get those goose bumps and you know something (is) not right.”

Ayzlee died on Dec. 29, 2014, less than 48 hours since she was diagnosed with the flu.


Long-term Link Between Shingles and Stroke

A new study has drawn a connection between the virus that causes the skin rash shingles with an increased chance of suffering from a stroke in later life. The connection has been made by the American Academy of Neurology. Here researchers, from a review of medical data, connected the virus causing the diseases of chicken pox and shingles to problems with the disease arteritis. Medical data indicated the virus to be found in 74 percent of the biopsies relating to the condition giant cell arteritis; whereas it was associated with just 8 percent of normal skin biopsies. An additional story is available online.


Summit Starts New Influenza Working Group in Response to Partner Requests

A new study has drawn a connection between the virus that causes the skin rash shingles with an increased chance of suffering from a stroke in later life. The connection has been made by the American Academy of Neurology. Here researchers, from a review of medical data, connected the virus causing the diseases of chicken pox and shingles to problems with the disease arteritis. Medical data indicated the virus to be found in 74 percent of the biopsies relating to the condition giant cell arteritis; whereas it was associated with just 8 percent of normal skin biopsies. An additional story is available online.


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.


Reminder

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

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