Issue 1029: December 4, 2012





CDC announces December 2–8 is National Influenza Vaccination Week
CDC published Announcement: National Influenza Vaccination Week—December 2–8, 2012 in the November 30 issue of MMWR (page 977). The article is reprinted below.

To highlight the importance of annual influenza vaccination, and to foster greater use of influenza vaccine in the months of December, January, and beyond, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, and other agencies will be conducting educational and promotional activities during National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 2–8, 2012. As of mid-November, approximately 123 million doses of 2012–2013 seasonal influenza vaccine had been delivered to vaccination providers in the United States.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends influenza vaccination for persons aged ≥6 months. However, certain groups are at higher risk for influenza-related complications. These high-risk groups include children aged <5 years, but especially children aged <2 years; persons with certain chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes; pregnant women; and adults aged ≥65 years. Health-care personnel also are at risk for acquiring influenza and transmitting it to their patients.

Posters, educational materials, and Internet tools for National Influenza Vaccination Week are available. Additional influenza information for health-care personnel and patients is available.

Information regarding National Influenza Vaccination Week partnership opportunities is available by e-mail and online. Current influenza vaccination coverage estimates are available.

Newly posted NIVW materials
  • Transcript of a 12/3/12 telebriefing featuring Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, director, CDC, and Melinda Wharton, MD, acting director, NCIRD
  • Key points for 2012 NIVW
  • CDC update on 2012 NIVW
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New and important: CDC releases its Vaccine Storage & Handling Toolkit and related resources
On November 27, CDC posted its comprehensive guide Vaccine Storage & Handling Toolkit on its website. The tool kit is based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), equipment manufacturers' product information, and studies from the National Institute for Scientific Technology. Here's a direct link to the PDF document.

The tool kit outlines best practice strategies and recommendations on the following topics:
  • Points to consider in selecting, maintaining, and using vaccine storage units and thermometers
  • Consistent maintenance of the cold chain
  • Routine storage and handling practices
  • Inventory management
  • Emergency procedures for protecting vaccine inventories
On the tool kit web page, you'll also find related resources such as training materials, slide sets, and other helpful items.

Other Related Resources
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IAC Spotlight! Twelve more healthcare organizations join IAC's Honor Roll for Patient Safety
IAC urges qualifying healthcare organizations to apply for its Honor Roll for Patient Safety. The honor roll recognizes hospitals, medical practices, professional organizations, and government entities that have taken a stand for patient safety by implementing mandatory influenza vaccination policies for healthcare personnel. More than 200 organizations are now enrolled.

Since November 6, when IAC Express last reported on the Honor Roll for Patient Safety, the following 12 organizations have been enrolled.

Newly added professional societies, government entities, and healthcare organizations
Professional society: Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin issued a position statement.

Government entity: British Columbia Ministry of Health, Canada; a related press release is available.

Healthcare organizations: Citrus Valley Health Partners, West Covina, CA;  Allen Hospital, Waterloo, IA; Des Moines University Clinic, Des Moines, IA; Lawrence Pediatrics, Lawrence, KS; Mercy Hospital, Fort Scott, KS; Mercy Hospital, Independence, KS; Pediatric Partners, Olathe, KS; Stormont-Vail HealthCare, Topeka, KS; PediatricCare, Topeka, KS; and Osceola Medical Center, Osceola, WI.

Related links
  • Listing of all honorees by state
  • Position statements from professional societies and leading healthcare organizations in support of mandatory influenza vaccination
  • Honor roll web section, which includes access to the application form (see gold trophy cup in right column, and click on the words "Apply for the Honor Roll")
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CDC to present a December 13 NetConference on what's new in preventing measles, mumps, and rubella
CDC will present a Current Issues in Immunization NetConference on December 13 from noon to 1 p.m., ET. Gregory S. Wallace, MD, MS, MPH, will discuss what's new in preventing measles, rubella, congenital rubella syndrome, and mumps. Dr. Wallace is CDC's team lead on measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. CDC nurse educator Donna L. Weaver, RN, MN, will speak about screening for vaccine contraindications and precautions.

Registration, which is required, will close on December 13 or when the course is full.

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CDC releases digital press kit on the impact of unsafe injection practices
On November 28, CDC posted The Impact of Unsafe Injection Practices in U.S. Healthcare Settings, a digital press kit that includes a powerful statement about the human cost of unsafe injections, as well as links to more than 20 related resources and professional articles. CDC's summary of the digital press kit is reprinted below.

Injection safety is part of the minimum expectation for safe care anywhere healthcare is delivered; yet, CDC has had to investigate numerous outbreaks of life-threatening infections caused by injection errors. Since 2001, at least 150,000 U.S. patients have been negatively impacted by unsafe medical injections. When healthcare providers fail to follow basic infection control practices during injection preparation and administration, patients can be exposed to life-threatening illnesses such as hepatitis and/or bacterial infections. To assist you in covering this important topic, CDC is releasing a digital press kit about the impact of unsafe injection practices in U.S. healthcare settings. The digital press kit includes fact sheets, an infographic, videos and podcasts, and quotes from CDC experts.

In addition, to further educate healthcare providers about safe injection practices, CDC is releasing several new educational pieces today. 

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IAC updates "It's Federal Law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statement (VISs)" and "Current Dates of Vaccine Information Statements"
IAC recently updated It's Federal Law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statement (VISs) and Current Dates of Vaccine Information Statements. Both now include the issue date of the most recent version of the pediatric multi-vaccine VIS, which CDC posted on November 16.

IAC's Handouts for Patients & Staff web section offers healthcare professionals and the public more than 250 FREE English-language handouts (many also available in translation), which we encourage website users to print out, copy, and distribute widely.

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December 21 is the deadline to submit funding proposals for evidence-based HPV and adult immunization projects
The Department of Health and Human Services' National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) recently released a Request for Proposal to fund evidence-based HPV and adult immunization projects (influenza, pneumococcal, zoster, Tdap), including funding for community interventions (up to $10,000) and systems interventions (up to $50,000).

NVPO has contracted with JBS International, Inc., to lead this effort and to subcontract with the organizations that are awarded funding to complete HPV and adult immunization projects.

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Looking for a good laugh? Canadian comedian Rick Mercer makes a fast-paced, accurate pitch for getting a flu shot
As IAC Express readers will see in IAC's Video of the Week, it takes Canadian political satirist Rick Mercer less than 2 minutes to make an entertaining, convincing, and no-nonsense argument for getting vaccinated against influenza.

The November 27 clip is one of Rick's Rants, a regular 2-minute feature of the Rick Mercer Report. A weekly television comedy series now in its ninth season, the 30-minute program is aired by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Mercer has been a fixture on the Canadian comedy scene since the 1990s.

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Influenza vaccination is recommended for nearly everyone, so please vaccinate your patients
Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older, so please continue to vaccinate your patients.

If you don't provide influenza vaccination in your clinic, please recommend vaccination to your patients and refer them to the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate sites near their workplace or home that offer influenza vaccination services.

Following is a list of resources related to influenza disease and vaccination for healthcare professionals and the public.

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The Joint Commission issues "Improving Patient and Worker Safety" monograph
On November 20, The Joint Commission published a free, downloadable monograph, Improving Patient and Worker Safety: Opportunities for Synergy, Collaboration and Innovation, to draw attention to the need to create a culture that focuses on the safety of patients and the healthcare workers who care for them. Portions of a news release describing the monograph are reprinted below.

The monograph contends that high rates of injuries and illnesses among health care workers serve as a warning that the health care environment as a whole must be transformed in order to improve safety. The monograph highlights examples of health care organization practices that address patient and worker safety simultaneously and the benefits and potential cost savings attained through collaboration between employee and patient safety departments. The monograph also identifies functional management systems and processes, strategies and tools that have been used to successfully integrate health and safety activities.

“In health care, the primary ethical imperative is ‘First, do no harm.’ Although we have traditionally applied this obligation to our patients, this monograph helps to establish it also as our obligation to those with whom we work—and to all within the health care setting,“ writes Paul M. Schyve, M.D., senior advisor, Healthcare Improvement, The Joint Commission, in a foreword to the book.

The monograph explores high reliability in health care organizations and the benefits to improving safety for both patients and workers. It describes barriers to recognizing and addressing patient and worker safety issues and suggests strategies to overcome them and make safety a priority.

Related Link

Established in 1951, the Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 19,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States.

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About IZ Express

IZ Express is supported in part by Grant No. 1NH23IP922654 from CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Its contents are solely the responsibility of and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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Editorial Information

  • Editor-in-Chief
    Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
  • Managing Editor
    John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD
  • Associate Editor
    Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH
  • Writer/Publication Coordinator
    Taryn Chapman, MS
    Courtnay Londo, MA
  • Style and Copy Editor
    Marian Deegan, JD
  • Web Edition Managers
    Arkady Shakhnovich
    Jermaine Royes
  • Contributing Writer
    Laurel H. Wood, MPA
  • Technical Reviewer
    Kayla Ohlde

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