Issue 1109: March 18, 2014

Nineteen confirmed cases in New York City measles outbreak; two cases in Connecticut

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has identified 19 cases of measles in northern Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, including ten adults and nine infants and children. New York City residents are urged to make sure all household members, including young children, are vaccinated. To date, there have been five hospitalizations as a result of this outbreak.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health reported two cases of measles in Fairfield County on March 11.

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ISMP publishes recommendations to address system-based causes of vaccine errors

On March 13, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) published an article titled Recommendations For Practitioners And Manufacturers To Address System-Based Causes Of Vaccine Errors in its Medication Safety Alert newsletter. A summary paragraph is reprinted below.

In this newsletter, we provide recommendations to reduce the risk of vaccine errors. These suggestions are categorized into practice-related or manufacturer-related recommendations. We also call upon the healthcare industry to address our growing concern with vaccine errors, particularly in light of an ongoing influx of new and novel vaccines, an ever-increasing array of combination vaccines, special precautions associated with certain vaccines, and frequently changing immunization recommendations.

Access the complete article for many practical suggestions on ways to avoid vaccine errors.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices is the nation’s only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to medication error prevention and safe medication use.

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

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is pleased to announce that seven new institutions have been accepted into its Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll. The birthing institutions are listed below with their reported hepatitis B birth dose coverage rates in parentheses.
  • Barrett Hospital & Healthcare, Dillon, MT (96%)
  • Central Carolina Hospital, Sanford, NC (94%)
  • DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit, MI (97%)
  • Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, OH (93%)
  • Platte Valley Medical Center, Brighton, CO (91%)
  • St. Mary's Hospital, Passaic, NJ (98%)
  • Stanly Regional Medical Center, Albemarle, NC (98%)
The Honor Roll now includes 74 birthing institutions from 23 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 and AAP to provide a March 20 webinar-based peer education training on HPV

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and CDC are partnering to sponsor a webinar to train healthcare professionals to effectively educate peers on how to give a strong recommendation for HPV vaccination. AAP members, chapter leaders, and anyone who works in a health clinic setting and wants to learn how to champion the HPV vaccine by providing presentations to peers are encouraged to attend. The agenda includes:
  • We Must Do Better! presented by Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH, director, Immunization Services, CDC 
  • Significance of HPV Vaccination Recommendations for AAP Members presented by Thomas McInerny, MD, FAAP, immediate past president, AAP 
  • Impact of HPV Related Cancer: Don’t Let YOUR Patients Become MY Patients! presented by Rebecca Perkins, MD, MSc, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Boston University Medical Center 
  • Strong Provider Recommendation for the HPV Vaccine: Tips From the Front Line presented by Nathan Boonstra, MD, FAAP, practicing pediatrician, Blank Children’s Hospital Pediatric Clinic, Des Moines, IA
The webinar will take place on March 20, 12:00 noon–1:30 p.m. (CT). Register now to ensure a spot.

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VICNetwork March 20 webinar to focus on adult vaccination

The VICNetwork has scheduled a webinar on March 20 that will focus on strategies to increase adult immunization rates.

The Virtual Immunization Communication (VIC) Network is a project of the National Public Health Information Coalition and the California Immunization Coalition. 

Adult vaccination rates in the U.S. are very low and thousands of adults needlessly suffer illness, hospitalization, and even death as a result of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. A recommendation from their healthcare professional is the strongest predictor of whether adults get vaccinated. This webinar presents evidence-based strategies and communication resources to support healthcare and public health professionals in educating and encouraging adults to get vaccinated.

Speakers for this webinar are Carolyn Bridges, MD, associate director of adult immunizations, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), CDC; Aparna Ramakrishnan, MA, MSW, senior health communication specialist, NCIRD, CDC; and Michelle Basket, lead health communication specialist, CDC.

The one-hour webinar begins at 2:00 p.m. (ET)/1:00 P.M. (CT)..

Registrations are being accepted.

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IAC Spotlight! Ask the Experts web section on measles, mumps, and rubella recently updated

Based on content review by vaccine experts at CDC, IAC recently updated the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) web section of Ask the Experts.

IAC’s Ask the Experts web section is a compilation of common yet challenging questions and answers (Q&As) about vaccines and their administration. The experts are Andrew T. Kroger, MD, MPH, medical officer; Iyabode Akinsanya-Beysolow, MD, MPH, medical officer; and Donna L. Weaver, RN, MN, nurse educator. All are at CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The Q&As have been featured in previous issues of IAC ExpressNeedle Tips, and Vaccinate Adults.

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Final reminder: National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit requests nominations for its 2014 Immunization Excellence Awards; deadline is March 25

The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) is soliciting candidates for the 2014 NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations making extraordinary contributions toward improved vaccination rates within their communities during 2013. The deadline for nominations is March 25 (due by close of business, 5 p.m. [ET]).
A national winner and possibly an honorable mention recipient will be selected for each award category. The winners will be presented with their awards at the NAIIS meeting, to be held May 13–15, in Atlanta. The national winner in each category will be invited to present at the meeting.
There are five categories of recognition:
  • Overall Flu Season Activities
  • Healthcare Personnel Campaign
  • "Immunization Neighborhood" Champion
  • Adult Immunization Champion
  • Corporate Campaign
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Just released! New educational resource titled "How to Administer Intradermal, Intranasal, and Oral Vaccinations" now available

While most vaccines are administered by either intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, there are several vaccines that are administered through other means. IAC recently developed How to Administer Intradermal, Intranasal, and Oral Vaccinations to provide simple instructions and illustrations for these methods of administration.

Related Links 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 its popular guides to contraindications and precautions

IAC's Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines (covers adults and children) and Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Adults have been updated based on information included in the 2014 U.S. immunization schedules for children and adults.

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IAC updates its "Questions and Answers" handouts for measles, mumps, and rubella

IAC recently revised the following three handouts for patients and parents: Each of these educational pieces is four pages long and includes many questions and answers on the disease and MMR vaccination.

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IAC revises its staff-education document titled "Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations"

IAC recently updated Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations to incorporate new information about hepatitis B virus testing for healthcare personnel from the December 20, 2013, document titled CDC Guidance for Evaluating Health-Care Personnel for Hepatitis B Virus Protection and for Administering Postexposure Management.

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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) to remove the reference to the Multi-vaccine VIS. On March 5, CDC announced that the pediatric Multi-vaccine VIS was being temporarily removed from service so it could be updated to reflect current ACIP recommendations. A revised version should be available by mid-2014.

CDC requests that you do not use any copies of the 11/16/12 Multi-vaccine VIS that you may have stockpiled. Instead, use the individual current VISs as indicated for DTaP, Hib, hepatitis B, IPV, PCV13, and rotavirus vaccination.

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"Hepatitis A, B, and C: Learn the Differences" provides a quick overview of viral hepatitis

Reviewed in March, Hepatitis A, B, and C: Learn the Differences was found to be current and in need of no updates. Both healthcare professionals and members of the public find this long-time IAC handout useful in learning or recalling the similarities and differences between hepatitis A, B, and C prevention, screening, and treatment.

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CDC announces new look for its "Vaccines" website

On March 12, CDC announced that its "Vaccines" website had a new look. Many of the web pages had already been redesigned, but now the entire site displays the new look.

Although a web page on the site may look new, be aware that you will have to scroll to the bottom of the page and view the "last modified" and "last reviewed" dates to know when the content was last updated.

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CDC Worksite Health Scorecard updated and expanded; now includes questions about vaccine-preventable diseases

The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard (HSC) is a tool designed to help employers assess the extent to which they have implemented evidence-based health promotion interventions in their worksites. Employers, human resource managers, health benefit managers, health education staff, occupational nurses, medical directors, wellness directors, and others responsible for worksite health promotion can use the HSC to establish benchmarks and track improvements over time. CDC recently revised and updated the HSC to include four new health topic areas, one of which is "Vaccine-Preventable Diseases."

Visit CDC's Worksite Health ScoreCard web section for more information.

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Influenza season is not over—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. Since the onset, duration, and severity of influenza season is unpredictable, and different types and strains of influenza circulate throughout the season, ACIP recommends that providers continue to provide influenza vaccination into the spring months, as long as they have vaccine in the refrigerator and unvaccinated patients in their office.

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

CDC reports on influenza-like illness and influenza vaccination coverage among workers in the 2009–10 influenza season

CDC published Prevalence of Influenza-Like Illness and Seasonal and Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Workers—United States, 2009–10 Influenza Season in the March 14 issue of MMWR (pages 217–221). A summary made available to the press is reprinted below.

During the 2009–2010 influenza season, when a global pandemic of novel influenza A (H1N1) was underway, adults employed in certain industries and occupations were more likely to report experiencing influenza-like illness compared with other workers. These groups included Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, Accommodation and Food Services, and Community and Social Services. Among these same groups, relatively low proportions of workers received seasonal or H1N1 influenza vaccination.  Employers should evaluate risk levels in workplace settings and implement control measures that include influenza vaccination programs, education on hand hygiene and cough etiquette, policies that encourage workers to stay home from work when ill, and provision of personal protective equipment.

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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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