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Issue 1094: December 17, 2013

Three infectious diseases societies issue joint statement on mandatory immunization of healthcare personnel

In December, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) issued a joint policy statement on mandatory immunization of healthcare personnel according to the ACIP-recommended vaccine schedule. The first four paragraphs are reprinted below.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) (“Societies”) support universal immunization of health care personnel (HCP) by health care employers (HCEs) as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for HCP.

Although some voluntary HCP vaccination programs have been effective when combined with strong institutional leadership and robust educational campaigns, mandatory immunization programs are the most effective way to increase HCP vaccination rates. As such, when voluntary programs fail to achieve immunization of at least 90% of HCP, the Societies support HCE policies that require HCP documentation of immunity or receipt of ACIP-recommended vaccinations as a condition of employment, unpaid service, or receipt of professional privileges.

For HCP who cannot be vaccinated due to medical contraindications or because of vaccine supply shortages, HCEs should consider, on a case-by-case basis, the need for administrative and/or infection control measures to minimize risk of disease transmission (e.g., wearing masks during influenza season or reassignment away from direct patient care).

The Societies also support requiring comprehensive educational efforts to inform HCP about the benefits of immunization and risks of not maintaining immunization.

Access the complete joint policy statement

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CDC publishes report estimating the number of influenza illnesses and hospitalizations averted by influenza vaccination during 2012–13 season

CDC published Estimated Influenza Illnesses and Hospitalizations Averted by Influenza Vaccination—United States, 2012–13 Influenza Season in the December 13 issue of MMWR (pages 997–1000). Part of the first paragraph is reprinted below.

In 2013, CDC published a model to quantify the annual number of influenza-associated illnesses and hospitalizations averted by influenza vaccination during the 2006–11 influenza seasons. Using that model with 2012–13 influenza season vaccination coverage rates, influenza vaccine effectiveness, and influenza hospitalization rates, CDC estimated that vaccination resulted in 79,000 (17%) fewer hospitalizations during the 2012–13 influenza season than otherwise might have occurred. Based on estimates of the percentage of influenza illnesses that involve hospitalization or medical attention, vaccination also prevented approximately 6.6 million influenza illnesses and 3.2 million medically attended illnesses. Influenza vaccination during the 2012–13 season produced a substantial reduction in influenza-associated illness. However, fewer than half of persons aged ≥6 months were vaccinated. Higher vaccination rates would have resulted in prevention of a substantial number of additional cases and hospitalizations.

Related Link

On December 12, CDC held a telephone conference with the media titled "New Report Highlights Benefits of Flu Vaccine." The presenters were CDC director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, and Ann Schuchat, MD, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

A transcript of the press briefing is available, as is an audio recording.

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IAC enrolls eleven more birthing institutions into its Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is delighted to announce that eleven new institutions have been accepted into its Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll. The institutions are listed below with their reported hepatitis B birth dose coverage rates in parentheses.
  • Alice Hyde Medical Center, Malone, NY (93%)
  • Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, La Junta, CO (91%)
  • Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY (97%)
  • Catskill Regional Medical Center, Harris, NY (94%)
  • Habersham Medical Center, Demorest, GA (91%)
  • Halifax Regional, Roanoke Rapids, NC (100%)
  • Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Jamaica, NY (96%)
  • Myrtue Medical Center, Harlan, IA (94%)
  • Newark Wayne Community Hospital, Newark, NY (95%)
  • St. Mary's Healthcare, Amsterdam, NY (95%)
  • The Family Birth Place of HealthAlliance Hospital, Kingston, NY (94%)
The Honor Roll now includes 46 birthing institutions from 19 states.

The Honor Roll is a key part of IAC’s major initiative urging the nation’s hospitals to Give birth to the end of Hep B. Hospitals and birthing centers are recognized for attaining high coverage rates for administering hepatitis B vaccine at birth and meeting specific additional criteria. The initiative urges qualifying healthcare organizations to apply for the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll online.

To be included in the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll, a birthing institution must have: (1) reported a coverage rate of 90% or greater, over a 12-month period, for administering hepatitis B vaccine before hospital discharge to all newborns, including those whose parents refuse vaccination, and (2) implemented specific written policies, procedures, and protocols to protect all newborns from hepatitis B virus infection prior to hospital discharge.

Honorees are also awarded an 8.5" x 11" color certificate suitable for framing and their acceptance is announced to IAC Express’s approximately 50,000 readers.

Please visit the new Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll web page that lists these institutions and their exceptional efforts to protect infants from perinatal hepatitis B transmission.

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CDC reports on progress in immunization information systems 

CDC published Progress in Immunization Information Systems—United States, 2012 in the December 13 issue of MMWR (pages 1005–1008). The beginning of the first paragraph is reprinted below.

Immunization information systems (IIS) are confidential, computerized, population-based systems that collect and consolidate vaccination data from vaccination providers that can be used in designing and sustaining effective immunization strategies. To monitor progress toward achieving IIS program goals, CDC annually surveys immunization program grantees using the IIS Annual Report (IISAR). Results from the 2012 IISAR, completed by 54 of 56 grantees, indicate that 86% (19.5 million) of U.S. children aged <6 years, and 25% (57.8 million) of U.S. adults participated in IIS. Eight of 12 minimum functional standards for IIS published by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) have been met by ≥90% of grantees.

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IAC Spotlight! Hundreds of images/photos related to vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases

Looking for new ways to educate your patients about the importance of vaccination? Look no further. When it comes to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the serious health effects of vaccine-preventable diseases, nothing else packs the punch of a visual image. The IAC Image Library web section provides access to hundreds of disease and vaccination-related images.

IAC has brought together images of people suffering from VPDs; pictures of healthcare professionals vaccinating children, teens, and adults; and photos taken during various global immunization campaigns, as well as pathology specimens and micrographs of viruses and bacteria. Almost all of the images are free to download and can be used in lectures, articles, and presentations.

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Reminder: December 19 is the date of the HHS-sponsored webinar on preventing perinatal hepatitis B infection

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hep B United will be sponsoring a webinar about reducing perinatal hepatitis B virus infection on December 19, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. ET. This webinar was originally scheduled for October 10, but had to be rescheduled due to the federal government shutdown.

Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission: An Overview and Discussion of New Tools will discuss new tools and best practices toward reducing hepatitis B health disparities in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, including potential interventions in prenatal care, information about gaps in reporting, and a new resource from the Immunization Action Coalition titled Give birth to the end of Hep B.

Moderator: Chari Cohen, MPH, DrPH(c), director of public health, Hepatitis B Foundation

  • A. Seiji Hayashi, MD, MPH, chief medical officer, Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS
  • Trudy Murphy, MD, Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC
  • Su Wang, MD, MPH, assistant director of medical affairs, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
  • Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director, Immunization Action Coalition
For more information, including the registration form

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IAC posts Portuguese translation of the VIS for rotavirus vaccines

IAC recently posted the rotavirus VIS in Portuguese. IAC thanks the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the translation. Back to top

The Know Hepatitis B campaign promotes testing for hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Know Hepatitis B is CDC’s first multi-lingual campaign promoting testing for hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), who are disproportionately affected by hepatitis B. The campaign launched in June 2013 with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the HHS Office of Minority Health, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Developed in partnership with Hep B United, a national coalition addressing the public health challenge of hepatitis B, the campaign seeks to increase awareness and encourage people who may be chronically infected with hepatitis B to get tested.
Though AAPIs make up less than 5% of the U.S. population, they account for more than 50% of the 1.2 million Americans estimated to be living with hepatitis B. An estimated 1 in 12 AAPIs is living with hepatitis B, yet as many as 2 out of 3 people do not know they are infected. Testing identifies people living with hepatitis B and helps them take steps to protect their health, including starting treatment that can delay or reverse the effects of liver damage.
Know Hepatitis B messages feature materials in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian languages, designed to be delivered through a variety of multi-media channels. Partners joining the movement are encouraged to download and use available educational digital tools.
Help spread the word
  • Order posters from CDC to distribute at community events and local clinics
  • Download digital buttons and add them to your websites
  • Download Know Hepatitis B PSAs in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese to play at community events, send to PSA directors at local cable stations, feature on websites, and promote on Twitter and Facebook
  • Share this information with your partners and relevant channels
If you have any questions about this campaign, please contact

Access the Know Hepatitis B website

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Influenza is serious; vaccination is recommended for nearly everyone, so please keep vaccinating your patients

Vaccination remains the single most effective means of preventing influenza, and is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. If you don't provide influenza vaccination in your clinic, please recommend vaccination to your patients and refer them to a clinic or pharmacy that provides vaccines or to the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate sites near their workplaces or homes that offer influenza vaccination services.

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

Bulk quantities of laminated pocket guides for influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are available—free—from the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit and IAC

To aid in efforts to vaccinate against two diseases, influenza and pneumococcal, the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) and IAC invite you to place orders for bulk quantities of the following pocket guides:
  • 2013–14 Influenza Vaccine Pocket Guide (created by IAC in collaboration with NAIIS)
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine Pocket Guide (also created by IAC in collaboration with NAIIS)
Both are free—you can order them in the hundreds or thousands!

These laminated, 3.75" x 6.75", two-color cards serve as a convenient reference for front-line healthcare professionals who vaccinate patients. Place a bulk order now, and hand them out to healthcare professionals at your workplace or at conferences. Each staff person who administers influenza and pneumococcal vaccines needs these handy resources.

These pocket guides are designed to be used by healthcare professionals only; they are NOT patient handouts.

Related Links How to Order

Place your order today using IAC's online order form. There is no cost for the pocket guides, shipping, or handling within the U.S.

If you have questions, email

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CDC publishes report on influenza vaccination coverage among women who gave birth during the 2009–10 and 2010–11 influenza seasons

In the December 13 issue of MMWR (pages 1001–1004), CDC published Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Women Who Delivered a Live-Born Infant—21 States and New York City, 2009–10 and 2010–11 Influenza Seasons. A summary made available to the press is reprinted below.

Because pregnant women are at increased risk for complications from influenza, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Obstetric Practice recommend that women get vaccinated anytime during pregnancy. Data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System shows an increase in seasonal influenza vaccination coverage for women with recent births rising from a median of 50 percent in 2009–10 to a median of 55 percent for 2010–11 season. Common reasons for not [vaccinating] include not worried about getting sick from the flu and worry about the safety of the vaccine for self and baby. For those vaccinated during pregnancy, higher proportions were vaccinated during the second or third trimester of pregnancy and close to half were vaccinated in their Ob/GYN’s office. Coverage was higher for women whose provider recommended or offered vaccination than among those who did not.

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CDC publishes update on progress toward polio eradication in Nigeria

CDC published Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication—Nigeria, January 2012–September 2013 in the December 13 issue of MMWR (pages 1009–1013). A summary made available to the press is reprinted below.

Nigeria is the only country in Africa where wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission has never been interrupted. During the last decade, the country has been a reservoir for polio outbreaks in over two dozen countries. However, in 2013, polio cases are on the decline in Nigeria. WPV type 3 has not been reported since November 2012. WPV type 1 is still circulating in the country but is more geographically localized. With 49 polio cases reported in 2013 through September, this is a decrease of >50 percent compared to last year. Security and poorly implemented polio campaigns in selected areas are impeding efforts to interrupt transmission. To address ongoing WPV transmission, Nigeria restructured the national polio response resources and intensified efforts to reach missed children through routine immunization and improved campaigns.

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Registration now open for the National Conference on Immunization and Health Coalitions

Registration is now open for "Partnering for Prevention from Sea to Summit," the 11th National Conference on Immunization and Health Coalitions (NCIHC). This conference will take place in Seattle from May 21–23, 2014. NCIHC is the only national conference solely dedicated to collaboration and partnership as a way to improve the health status of communities.

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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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