October 12, 2015


Summit Call Recap – October 1, 2015
Special Announcements
Information from CDC


Influenza Surveillance Update – Sophie Smith (CDC)

Sophie provided a summary of the published reports for week 37, ending September 19, 2015. Influenza activity in the U.S. continues to remain low.

The ILI-Net national data indicated 1.0% of total outpatient visits were for influenza-like illness (ILI), which is slightly higher than the previous week but still well below the national baseline. Approximately 2.5% of specimens submitted for testing were positive. Of the deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System during week 37, 5.3% were attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I), which is below the 5.8% epidemic threshold for the week.

One influenza-associated pediatric death was reported to CDC during week 37. This death, which occurred during week 23 (week ending June 13), was associated with an influenza B virus. A total of 146 pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2014–2015 season. Of the 123 for whom vaccination status was known, 14 were ineligible for vaccination, 15 were fully vaccinated, and 94 were unvaccinated.

CDC will begin providing weekly surveillance updates for the 2015–2016 influenza season on October 15.

2015 NFID Annual Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference – Marla Dalton (NFID)

Marla provided a summary of the 2015 news conference, which was held on September 17 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. This national media event brings together government, non-profit, and private sectors, as well as professional medical societies and advocacy groups, to mark the launch of the influenza season. The conference provided a strong call to action for everyone age 6 months and older to be vaccinated in order to protect themselves and those around them. NFID works closely with CDC and many other supporting organizations to generate interest and enthusiasm among both the media and the immunization community at large, and media partners have come to expect that this event will highlight what’s new for the upcoming season.

An outstanding panel of experts spoke at the conference, which was moderated by NFID Medical Director William Schaffner. Panelists included Tom Frieden, CDC Director; Kathy Neuzil, University of Maryland School of Medicine; and Wendy Sue Swanson (“Seattle MamaDoc”), Seattle Children’s Hospital and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The panelists delivered important messages including an overview of the 2014–15 season vaccination coverage estimates, information about influenza vaccines available this season, and the CDC “Take 3” approach to influenza prevention. Speakers also stressed the importance of pneumococcal vaccine for those indicated to receive it. Dr. Frieden led by example by receiving his influenza immunization in front of the cameras, sending a powerful message about the importance of vaccination.

The volume and quality of media coverage of this year’s conference was large and exceeded expectations, which perhaps was partially due to the discussion about vaccines during the GOP debate the evening before. Nearly 100 press members attended in person or via teleconference. Since the conference, more than 60 original articles have been generated, including two AP stories which included a photo of Dr. Freiden’s vaccination. Other outlets running stories included USA Today, Huffington Post, CNBC, Newsweek, The New Yorker, and weather.com.

Social media stories about the conference were significant. Attendees tweeted messages before, during, and after the conference. #FightFlu has had over 800 tweets, generating an estimated 12.7 million impressions. This includes the NFID-CDC co-supported Thunderclap campaign, which had 294 supporters with a potential audience reach of more than 6 million. Google News ran flu as the top health story for several days after the conference. More than 150 non-media persons also attended the conference via the webcast, including representatives from medical and advocacy organizations, as well as state and local health departments.

Marla thanked all the partners in the immunization community who contributed to the success of this year’s event. She also encouraged Summit partners to share information about the conference with colleagues and other stakeholders. A video recording of the conference and all supporting materials are available on the NFID website.

After the conference, NFID, CDC, and ABC News co-sponsored a Twitter Chat which had an estimated reach of over 3 million from over 100 tweets and more than 100 participants. Throughout the season, NFID also will be sponsoring a series of free CME webinars focused on influenza and adult immunization in general. Registration information is available on the NFID website.

L.J and Carolyn Bridges offered congratulations to NFID on the success of this event. Carolyn asked if NFID has any information on public perceptions about influenza vaccine both before and after the event.  Marla replied that, although that specific information is not available, the media covered the event in an extremely positive way, particularly in relation to debunking myths about vaccine and autism. She noted that anecdotal reports show increasing support for vaccines.

For the first time, NFID conducted a series of “man on the street” interviews after the conference, and these will be released via social media throughout the season to help continue the discussion.

In response to a question, Marla noted that influenza vaccine was provided to approximately 50 people at the conference. In future years, plans are to have a wider variety of vaccine formulations (such as high dose) available to meet special requests.

L.J stated that future Summit calls will include a report on the number of vaccine doses shipped. Carolyn reported that 76 million doses of vaccine have been shipped to date, but a breakdown of the formulations included in these shipments is not available. Manufacturers have estimated a total of 171 million doses will be distributed this year. Marla noted that vaccine availability is highly variable in different regions and may not be consistent with what is being reported on Vaccine Finder.

The next Summit call is planned for October 15. Calls will return to a weekly schedule as the season progresses and surveillance indicates increasing influenza activity.


HOLD THE DATE! 47th National Immunization Conference

CDC is pleased to announce that the 47th National Immunization Conference (NIC) will be held on September 13–15, 2016, at the Hilton Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. More details to follow!

In Chicagoland October 23, 2015? Check out IAC’s Take A Stand™ Standing Orders Workshop!

Be sure to check out the information on attending this free workshop which provides tools and resources to improve the implementation of standing orders for adult vaccines in medical practices and facilities.

In addition to Chicago, workshops are planned for 20 other cities. Additional information is available on the project website.

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.


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

Summer reporting

CDC will begin weekly surveillance updates on October 15, 2015.

The CDC weekly influenza surveillance report for week 39, 2015 (ending October 3, 2015) and region specific data are now available. During week 30, 5.6% of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage was below the epidemic threshold of 5.9% for week 39.

No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 39. A total of 146 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2014–2015 season. Additional data may be found on CDC’s Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality webpage.

Nationwide during week 39, 1.1% 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 2.0%.  ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and cough and/or sore throat.

CDC Influenza Division seasonal influenza key points for are now available, and archives of previous FluViews are available online.

CDC Publishes Update on Influenza Activity from May 24–September 5, 2015

As reported in the MMWR on September 18, during May 24–September 5, 2015, the United States experienced typical low levels of seasonal influenza activity. Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 (pH1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and influenza B viruses were detected worldwide and were identified sporadically in the United States. All of the influenza viruses collected from U.S. states and other countries during that time have been characterized antigenically and/or genetically as being similar to the influenza vaccine viruses recommended for inclusion in the 2015–16 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. During May 24–September 5, 2015, three influenza variant virus infections were reported; one influenza A (H3N2) variant virus (H3N2v) from Minnesota in July, one influenza A (H1N1) variant (H1N1v) from Iowa in August, and one H3N2v from Michigan in August.

CDC Publishes Guidance on What to Expect for the 2015–2016 Influenza Season

CDC has developed a new web page titled What You Should Know for the 2015-2016 Influenza Season. This web page features sections on what to expect for the upcoming flu season, information on what viruses may circulate, and other general information for the upcoming flu season.

Rapid Diagnostic Testing for Influenza: Information for Health Care Professionals

Rapid diagnostic tests for influenza can help in the diagnosis and management of patients who present with signs and symptoms compatible with influenza. They also are useful for helping to determine whether outbreaks of respiratory disease, such as in nursing homes and other settings, might be due to influenza. CDC has published an informational guide on the use of these tests. Clinician-directed guidance also is available.

CDC Issues Results and Thanks from Its Recent Influenza Digital Media Campaigns

CDC appreciates the participation of all partners and other supporters who participated in the #FightFlu Thunderclap social media campaign! The Thunderclap was released during NFID’s influenza press conference on September 1. CDC is pleased to share the success partners helped generate for the Thunderclap campaign, as well as partner contributions toward NFID and CDC flu hashtags on Twitter!


  • We nearly tripled our goal with 294 supporters!
  • Social reach of 6,140,064

#FightFlu hashtag:

  • 11.4 million estimated impressions
  • 614 mentions on Twitter

#GetAFluVax hashtag:

  • 5 million estimated impressions
  • 270 mentions on Twitter

Final 2014–2015 Influenza Vaccination Coverage Estimates Published

Final influenza vaccine coverage estimates among pregnant women and health care personnel for the 2014–2015 influenza season were published in the MMWR and online on September 17, 2015. Additional influenza vaccine coverage data may be found on FluVaxView.


Patients with Influenza-Associated Pneumonia Less Likely to Have Received Flu Vaccine

Among children and adults hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia, those with influenza-associated pneumonia, compared with those with pneumonia not associated with influenza, had lower odds of having received an influenza vaccination, according to a study published online by JAMA. A press release on the study also is available.

Influenza Vaccine Doses Distributed

As of September 25, 2015, approximately 92.3 million doses of influenza vaccine have been distributed. This is out of an approximately 171–173 million doses that are estimated to be made by manufacturers this season. Updated vaccine distribution data may be found on the CDC website.

From ID Week: Influenza Vaccine More Effective Than Anticipated Last Year

The overall effectiveness of the influenza vaccine during the 2014 to 2015 influenza season was higher than expected, according to Joshua Petrie, MPH, of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, during a presentation at IDWeek 2015.

Boston Hospital uses Taylor Swift to “Shake it Off!” The Flu, That Is

Calling themselves the Flu Fighters, staffers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston are hoping listening to Taylor-inspired music can swiftly take the flu away. Namely, they want you to wash your hands and keep others from getting sick.

Here are a few lyrics.

There’s a rule you must obey, bey, bey, bey, bey
To keep the flu away, way, way, way, way
Gotta wash ‘em like you’re cra-cra, cra-cra, cra
Then shake ‘em off, shake ‘em off

Why Don’t All Insurance Policies Cover Pharmacy Flu Vaccinations?

In Slate.com, science journalist Jon Cohen documents his trials and tribulations trying to get his influenza vaccination paid for by his insurance.

Severe Influenza Patient Treated with Investigational Drug

Ansun BioPharma recently announced that it used its DAS181 to successfully treat a patient who had severe influenza and parainfluenza. The announcement was part of a presentation that the company made at the IDWeek 2015 meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA).

Circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus – Lao People’s Democratic Republic

On 8 October 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) notified WHO of one confirmed type 1 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) case.

In Lao PDR, one case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) was confirmed, with onset of paralysis on 7 September. The patient was 8 years old when he died on 11 September.

Genetic sequencing of the virus confirmed on 6 October that it is vaccine-derived and suggests that it has been circulating in the area for more than two years. The child was in the district of Bolikhan, in Bolikhamxay Province. The district has chronically low immunization rates: reported coverage with 3 doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) was of 40% to 66% between 2009 and 2014; and 44% in 2015 to date.

Lao’s last case of indigenous wild poliovirus was reported in 1993.

Governor Brown Signs Day Care Center Worker Vaccination Bill Protects Children in Day Care

Governor Brown today signed California Senate Bill SB 792 authored by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) into law. The bill will protect California children in day care from contracting serious, potentially fatal diseases by requiring family day care home and day care center workers and volunteers to be vaccinated against measles, pertussis, and influenza. SB 792 will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

HealthMap Vaccine Finder Needs Your Help

Given the impact of influenza during the 2014–2015 season, healthcare providers all over the country are already preparing for next year’s influx of patients seeking vaccines. It is important that the public be able to quickly find vaccines in their area when they need them.

HealthMap Vaccine Finder is a free, online service that provides users with the most reliable and current information on vaccine availability in their area. Providers must opt-in to participate, and listing your location is free. Over 50,000 pharmacies, clinics, and health departments are already registered in the system.

Vaccine Finder has recently added formulation information for meningococcal, pneumococcal, and HPV vaccines, in addition to the 7 influenza vaccine formulations and 10 routine adult immunizations previously featured. These improvements, along with a growing network of participating providers, have allowed over 1 million users to access life-saving vaccine information from over 50,000 locations!

And there’s more to come. HealthMap is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to develop Flu Med Finder, a new capability for use during an influenza pandemic. This tool will allow users to find antiviral medications in their area in near real-time.

Make sure your community knows about the vaccines that you offer. Register for HealthMap Vaccine Finder and put yourself on the map!

NFID Fall 2015 Clinical Vaccinology Course Scheduled for November 13–15, 2015

Register now for the NFID Fall 2015 Clinical Vaccinology Course scheduled for November 13–15, 2015 in Bethesda, MD.

Learn the latest immunization recommendations for all ages, as well as recommendations for special populations including international travelers and pregnant women. Speakers will also address effective strategies to ensure timely and appropriate vaccination among all patients.

View the preliminary course agenda.

  • Learn from expert speakers who will provide the latest information on current vaccines including ACIP immunization recommendations
  • Network with speakers and other healthcare professionals involved in vaccine administration across the US

Earn up to 20.0 hours of continuing education credit (CME, CNE*, CPE)

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.

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

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

Summit Website Offers Wonderful Resources on Influenza Vaccination

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


Summit calls are now scheduled every other Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time, unless cancelled. We will resume the regular weekly call schedule as influenza activity increases. The next call is scheduled for October 15.


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