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Issue 1039: February 12, 2013






IAC welcomes Dr. Litjen (L.J) Tan as chief strategy officer
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is pleased to announce that Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD, has come aboard as its chief strategy officer. In this capacity, Dr. Tan will expand the already considerable range of projects that make IAC a national leader in immunization education and policy. He will also lead IAC’s strategic planning, which is aimed at moving the nation’s immunization rates to the next level, across the age span.

In speaking about Dr. Tan, Dr. Deborah L. Wexler, executive director of IAC, said, “L.J is a world-class leader in public health and an absolutely unique talent. His accomplishments are already tremendous; for example, he cofounded two marvelous national summits that have brought hundreds of immunization leaders together as partners in unprecedented ways. We are thrilled to be working with L.J in expanding and improving the nation’s immunization services and policies.”

Prior to joining IAC, Dr. Tan was the director of medicine and public heath at the American Medical Association (AMA), a position he held since 2008. From 1997 to 2008, he was the AMA’s director of infectious disease, immunology, and molecular medicine.

Dr. Tan is a voting member of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee, where he served on the adult immunization, vaccine safety, and healthcare worker immunization working groups, and is currently chair of the immunization infrastructure working group. He also served for more than ten years as the AMA’s liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, where he currently serves on the influenza, pneumococcal, zoster, and adult immunization working groups.

He co-founded and currently co-chairs the National Adult Immunization Summit and the National Influenza Vaccine Summit. He serves or has served on the steering committees of the 317 Coalition, the National Network for Immunization Information, and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable and on the IAC scientific advisory board. In 2007, he founded the National Immunization Congress and organized its 2007 and 2010 meetings.

A skilled and sought-after speaker, Dr. Tan has been invited to address international, national, and state immunization audiences on issues ranging from vaccine financing to risk management in vaccine safety to emerging infectious diseases. He serves or has served on a host of expert and technical advisory panels, including panels for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Joint Commission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, he is the author or coauthor of many peer-reviewed articles and abstracts. During his tenure at the AMA, he wrote numerous scientific reports to guide the association’s policies on a diverse range of public health topics.

Dr. Tan has received several awards for his advocacy work and most recently was awarded the American Pharmacists Association’s national Friend of Pharmacy Award. As a part-time faculty member at the Institute for Science Education and Science Communication, Columbia College, Chicago, he received the 2000 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. Tan’s photograph has been added to IAC’s staff web page.

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New! Video Library offers a searchable collection of almost 100 videos about vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of immunization
The recent relaunch of – “Vaccine Information You Need” website – features an impressive Video Library. The collection of almost 100 videos (check back often as IAC will be repopulating the collection weekly) is searchable by keyword and by a preset "Popular Searches" drop-down menu, which offers more than 10 choices. The results of a video search can be sorted in date order or by title of the video.

Some popular search options include: Videos in this curated collection include personal testimonies from parents who have suffered the tragic loss of a child, public service announcements about the importance of immunization, videos about vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as animation to help illustrate the concepts of immunization. The featured videos are from many sources and include the following trusted organizations: CDC, PKIDs, California Immunization Coalition’s Shot-by-Shot project, state health departments, local immunization coalitions, and Families Fighting Flu.

We urge you to link to IAC’s relaunched website,, from your website, blog, and/or Facebook page.

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At least nine polio vaccine health workers killed in Nigeria
The February 8, 2013, issue of the New York Times reported that at least nine polio vaccine health workers were killed in Nigeria that day. The killings follow a similar attack on polio health workers in Pakistan in December 2012.

In a press release issued on February 8, the World Health Organization and UNICEF condemned the killings, saying that "Such attacks are a double tragedy; for the health workers and their families and for the children and vulnerable populations who are robbed of basic life-saving health interventions." WHO, UNICEF, and the GAVI Alliance extend their deepest sympathy to the families of the health workers and remain committed to supporting the government of Nigeria and the people of Nigeria in their efforts to better the health and lives of its people.

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Clinicians: The Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System (IVATS) can help you find influenza vaccine
The National Influenza Vaccine Summit regularly posts updated information to the Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System (IVATS). A resource for healthcare settings looking to purchase influenza vaccine, IVATS contains information from approved, enrolled, and participating wholesale vaccine distributors or manufacturers of U.S. licensed influenza vaccine. Ongoing updates are being made and will continue to be made throughout the 2012–13 influenza vaccination season. Keep checking back.

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CDC launches new video, infographic, and PSAs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched new English-language materials to educate parents of children younger than age two years about vaccine-preventable diseases and childhood vaccines. These include:
  • A 4-minute video about the importance of following the recommended vaccine schedule. The video uses a multimedia baby book to follow a child through his first two years of life, as his parents keep him up-to-date on vaccines and track his important milestones.  
  • Two new animated public service announcements (PSAs) about vaccine-preventable diseases and the important role that vaccination plays in children’s health and wellness. The PSAs are available in two lengths, 30-seconds and 60-seconds.
Health departments, coalitions, healthcare providers and other organizations are encouraged to link to these materials from their websites and promote them to constituents and parents.  The animated PSAs can also be offered to local media outlets. For more information, please email CDC.

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Influenza continues to spread and is serious; vaccination is recommended for nearly everyone, so please keep vaccinating your patients
Vaccination remains the single most effective means of preventing 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 workplaces or homes that offer influenza vaccination services.

If you are seeking influenza vaccine for your clinic, check the Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System (IVATS), which is a resource for healthcare settings looking to purchase influenza vaccine. The IVATS chart contains information from approved, enrolled, and participating wholesale vaccine distributors or manufacturers of U.S. licensed influenza vaccine. Information is updated on an ongoing basis.

Following is a list of resources related to influenza disease and vaccination for healthcare professionals and the public.
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California VFC program's flyer encourages late-season influenza vaccination
Influenza is still widespread and it's not too late to vaccinate your patients. Download this colorful flyer from the California Vaccines for Children (VFC) program to help with late-season influenza vaccination promotion.

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CDC requests nominations for Childhood Immunization Champion Awards
The CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award is an annual award that recognizes individuals who make a significant contribution toward improving public health through their work in childhood immunization.

Each year, up to one CDC Immunization Champion from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia will be honored.

The suggested due date is March 1, 2013, but states may have selected a unique deadline. Please contact your state immunization program to confirm your state’s deadline.

Awardees will be announced during National Infant Immunization Week, April 20-27, 2013.

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National Influenza Vaccine Summit is accepting nominations for its 2013 Immunization Excellence Awards by March 15
The National Influenza Vaccine Summit (NIVS) is soliciting candidates for the 2013 NIVS Immunization Excellence Awards.  The 2013 awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions towards improved adult, and/or childhood influenza vaccination rates within their communities during the 2012-2013 influenza season. This year NIVS added an award recognizing immunization activites focused on the adult population, beyond influenza.

A national winner and honorable mention recipient will be selected for each award category. The winners will be presented with their awards at the National Influenza Vaccine Summit meeting, to be held May 14-16, in Atlanta. The national winner in each category will be invited to present their programs at the National Influenza Vaccine Summit meeting.

There are five categories of recognition:
  • Overall Season Activities
  • Healthcare Personnel Campaign
  • Immunization Coalitions/Public Health/Community Campaign
  • Corporate Campaign
  • Overall Adult Immunization Activities - Beyond Flu
Related Link
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Iowa Immunization Conference scheduled for June 12-13 in Des Moines
The 2013 Iowa Immunization Conference will be held in Des Moines on June 12-13. Speakers include Paul Offit, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Bill Foege, MD, MPH, Global Health Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Anne Schuchat, MD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC; Thomas Evans, MD, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative; Gregory Poland, MD, Mayo Clinic and Foundation; Cynthia Poland, MA, BA, Taylor University; and Steven Rinderknecht, DO, Iowa Health Physicians.

Questions about registration should be directed to Training Resources.

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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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ISSN 2771-8085

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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