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Issue 1105: February 18, 2014

Leading medical organizations release "Dear Colleague" letter that urges healthcare professionals to promote HPV vaccination

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Physicians (ACP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) recently released a "Dear Colleague" letter that encourages providers to promote HPV vaccination.

Despite more than seven years of vaccine monitoring showing overwhelming evidence of HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness, HPV vaccination rates are not improving while rates for other adolescent vaccines are. Health provider recommendations are the key to increasing HPV vaccination rates. By improving the strength and consistency of HPV vaccination recommendations, more patients will be protected from HPV-associated cancers and disease.

The letter gives providers key facts about HPV-associated disease and HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness to help them discuss HPV vaccination confidently with patients and parents. Please share this important document with all healthcare professionals who provide vaccines to adolescents and young adults. Sample messages for traditional and social media releases are provided below.

Related Links Sample Messages for the Media

1. Sample drop-in text for newsletters and Facebook posts

Joint "Dear Colleague" Letter on HPV Vaccination Issued

Leading medical organizations—the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—joined the Immunization Action Coalition and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in issuing a call this week that urges physicians across the United States to educate their patients about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and to strongly recommend HPV vaccination.

The “Dear Colleague” letter [] includes important data about HPV-related cancers and the latest information about the use, safety, and efficacy of HPV vaccines.

2. Sample tweets

Joint "Dear Colleague" letter urges healthcare professionals to give a strong recommendation for #HPV vaccine:

Medical societies join CDC and IAC in urging their members to strongly recommend #HPV vaccination for preteens: 

AAP, AAFP, ACOG, ACP, CDC, and IAC issue letter urging #doctors to strongly recommend #HPV vaccine:

Related Resources

HPV resources from IAC HPV resources from CDC HPV resources from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
HPV resource from Voices for Vaccines
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President's Cancer Panel releases report on HPV vaccination

The President's Cancer Panel recently released a report titled Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer. The following is a summary from the Panel's website:

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) cause most cases of cervical cancer and large proportions of vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. HPV also causes genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. HPV vaccines could dramatically reduce the incidence of HPV-associated cancers and other conditions among both females and males, but uptake of the vaccines has fallen short of target levels. The President's Cancer Panel finds underuse of HPV vaccines a serious but correctable threat to progress against cancer. In this report, the Panel presents four goals to increase HPV vaccine uptake: three of these focus on the United States and the fourth addresses ways the United States can help to increase global uptake of the vaccines. Several high-priority research questions related to HPV and HPV vaccines also are identified. Related Link Back to top
ACOG issues "Dear Colleague" letter and algorithm to assess and treat pregnant women with influenza-like illness

On January 13, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a letter to colleagues that included an algorithm to help healthcare professionals to access and treat pregnant women with influenza-like illness (ILI). This algorithm, titled Influenza Season Assessment and Treatment for Pregnant Women with Influenza-Like Illness, applies to pregnant women with ILI even if they have been vaccinated.

The "Dear Colleague" letter concludes:

It is not too late to vaccinate. The College recommends that all pregnant women be immunized for seasonal influenza (flu) regardless of trimester due to their increased morbidity and mortality from the flu. Additionally, it is important to provide anti-viral treatment immediately to pregnant women with flu-like symptoms to help prevent more severe illness. Do not wait for test results to initiate treatment.

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IAC's Diane Peterson coauthors new JAMA article on legislative challenges to immunization

On February 12, JAMA published an article titled Legislative Challenges to School Immunization Mandates, 2009–2012. IAC's associate director for immunization projects, Diane Peterson, is one of five authors. Ms. Peterson has worked for years to help states educate legislators when anti-vaccine legislation is proposed.

The entire article is available to subscribers only. You can access the first page here. Interested parties can pay for temporary online access or request the issue at their local medical library.

JAMA has released the following related summary to the press: Study Examines Legislative Challenges to School Immunization Mandates.

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IAC Spotlight! Five more healthcare organizations join IAC's Influenza Vaccination Honor Roll for mandatory healthcare worker vaccination

IAC urges qualifying healthcare organizations to apply for its Influenza Vaccination Honor Roll. The honor roll recognizes hospitals, medical practices, professional organizations, health departments, and government entities that have taken a stand for patient safety by implementing mandatory influenza vaccination policies for healthcare personnel. More than 400 organizations are now enrolled.

Since February 4, when IAC Express last reported on the Influenza Vaccination Honor Roll, 5 organizations have been enrolled.

Newly added healthcare organizations, medical practices, and health agencies
  • WellStar Health Systems, Marietta, GA
  • Paris Regional Medical Center, Paris, TX                  
  • Van Diest Medical Center, Webster, IA              
  • Cherokee Nation W. W. Hastings Hospital, Tahlequah, OK  
  • Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center, Chanute, KS
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IAC updates its two screening checklists for contraindications to vaccines

IAC recently revised the following screening checklists for contraindication to vaccines.
  1. Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Vaccines for Children and Teens received edits to the answer to question 7 on page 2
  2. Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Vaccines for Adults had the abbreviation "ZOS" (for "zoster") added multiple places on page 2
IAC's Handouts: Clinic Resources web section has several additional immunization screening questionnaires that you may find useful in your practice setting.

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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IAC updates provider resource "Emergency Response Worksheet"

IAC recently updated its Emergency Response Worksheet with current phone numbers for vaccine manufacturers. This resource is a step-by-step guide for what to do after a power failure or other event that results in vaccine storage outside of the recommended temperature range.

Related Link Back to top
IAC revises standing orders templates for administering zoster and varicella vaccines to adults

IAC revised the following standing orders templates for providers: Both were changed to include receipt of specific antivirals as a precaution to vaccination and to provide additional information about storage and handling.

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IAC updates its staff education materials "Current Dates of Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)" and "It's Federal Law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)"

IAC recently revised Current Dates of Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) and It's Federal Law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statements (VISs). Both now include the issue date of the most recent version of the VISs for Hib and Td vaccines. CDC posted these updated VISs to its website on February 4. For information on these VISs, see the IAC Express article titled CDC releases updated VISs for Hib and Td vaccines, which was published on February 11.
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U.S. joins 26 countries to accelerate progress against infectious disease threats

On February 13, the United States joined 26 countries, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Organization for Animal Health to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from the threat of infectious disease. This initiative includes increasing routine immunization and strengthening national infectious disease surveillance and laboratory systems.

For more information, please access the related U.S. Department of Health & Human Services press release.

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CDC updates its interactive quiz for adolescent and adult immunization

CDC recently updated its online Adolescent and Adult Immunization Quiz with the latest ACIP vaccine recommendations. The quiz asks about health and lifestyle issues that may impact vaccine needs and can provide a print list of the suggested recommended vaccines.

Many adults and adolescents are not aware of their need for vaccines, and vaccination rates among adults are especially low. Encourage teens and adults to try this user-friendly resource to discover which vaccines they might need!

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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 six 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 pneumococcal vaccine are available—free—from the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit and IAC

Although IAC has distributed all available Influenza Vaccine Pocket Guides, healthcare providers can still order bulk quantities of the Pneumococcal Vaccine Pocket Guide. This guide was developed with IAC in collaboration with the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS).

The laminated, 3.75" x 6.75", two-color card serves as a convenient reference for front-line healthcare professionals who vaccinate patients against pneumococcal disease. Place a bulk order now, and hand them out to healthcare professionals at your workplace or at conferences.

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

Related Link

Preview an image of the pneumococcal pocket guide

How to Order

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

If you have questions, email

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Archived video broadcast of the October 2013 ACIP meeting now available

ACIP recently posted the archived video broadcast footage from the ACIP meeting held on October 23–24.

Presentation slides from this meeting are also available.

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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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