Archived article by Deborah Wexler, MD, Executive Director Emerita
For 11 years, Dr. Deborah Wexler wrote a monthly column called Technically Speaking that was featured in each issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Professionals, the e-newsletter from the Vaccine Education Center (VEC) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Technically Speaking covered practical topics in immunization delivery, such as vaccine administration, contraindications and precautions, dosing, and minimum intervals.
Farewell, readers. After 30 years as executive director of the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), I will be retiring at the end of June. I leave IAC in the best of hands. Our deputy director, Dr. Kelly Moore, will be assuming the leadership of IAC on July 1.
On this occasion of my final column of Technically Speaking, it seems the perfect time to give you a parting gift. With my deepest appreciation for your dedication to immunization, here is my “Top Ten” list of favorite locations on IAC’s website, www.immunize.org. These locations just might become your favorites as well!
Background on Immunize.org
IAC’s website for healthcare professionals, Immunize.org, was launched in 1995 as a pioneer immunization site on the World Wide Web. When you entered the term “immunization” into “AltaVista,” the internet search engine of the day, you would get 10 results. The Immunization Action Coalition was one of them. My, how things have changed! Twenty-six years later, Immunize.org remains in the top 10 Google “immunization” search results – but has been joined by more than 400 million other listings. Today, immunize.org is the nation’s premier nonprofit immunization website for healthcare professionals, averaging 30,000 visits each day with visitors from nearly 200 countries each month. The IAC educational materials available on Immunize.org have 3.5 million downloads per year.
My “Top Ten” List on Immunize.org
Over the past 26 years, I have guided the content of Immunize.org based on my experiences working in clinics and community-based immunization sites following the measles epidemic of 1989-1990. IAC has also received invaluable content suggestions from public health and private sector providers. Based on this experience, here are my “Top Ten” favorite places to know about and bookmark on Immunize.org.
- Home Page—This is your gateway to the wealth of information found on IAC’s website. Not finding what you need? Just enter your search term in the search box. In short, this page is your key to unlocking IAC’s treasure trove of practical and up-to-date immunization information.
- IAC Express [now IZ Express]—Every week, IAC Express keeps 53,000 healthcare professionals informed about new and updated CDC recommendations, vaccine licensures, VISs and their translations, and educational materials from IAC, CDC, and others. If you’re not yet on our email list, be sure to subscribe today.
- Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)—Find all of CDC’s VISs in English, as well as translations of these important documents in up to 40 languages.
- Handouts (ready-to-print) [now Clinical Resources]—View and download more than 300 of IAC’s immunization education materials for clinic staff and patients. Search by topic, vaccine, or language.
- Ask the Experts—A hands-down favorite of our visitors! Read IAC experts’ practical answers to more than 1,000 technical questions about vaccines, their administration, storage and handling, and more.
- ACIP Recommendations—Access links to all of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations dating back to 1991. These may be viewed in either PDF or HTML format.
- Package Inserts—Access links to package inserts for all U.S.-licensed vaccines, as well as prescribing information for vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization status.
- Clinic Tools—Find key resources from IAC, CDC, and other immunization organizations to help with vaccine administration, storage and handling, contraindication screening, and much more.
- Standing Orders Templates—Use these templates to help expedite vaccination for children, teens, or adults. You may use them “as is” or modify them to suit the needs of your work setting. The page also includes links to CDC’s standing orders for COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 Vaccines—This web page facilitates access to key COVID-19 vaccine resources from CDC and other partners.
So, there it is. I hope you find my “Top Ten” list helpful in your work. Thank you for letting me be part of your world via the Vaccine Update for Healthcare Professionals since 2010. And know that IAC will remain your committed partner in immunization education and delivery for many years to come.