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Issue 1217: December 2, 2015

Ask the Experts
Ask the Experts—Question of the Week: We see many patients with multiple co-morbidities…read more







National Influenza Vaccination Week begins on December 6. It’s time to vaccinate before the holidays arrive!

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) will be held December 6–12. This event highlights the importance of continuing influenza vaccination throughout the season.

CDC will kick off the week with a Thunderclap social media campaign message on December 7. Thunderclap is a platform that uses the power of crowds to amplify a single important message across supporter social media profiles, allowing supporters to sign up in advance to share a unified message at a specific time via their individual social media accounts. To participate, go to #GetAFluVax to Fight Flu! 

On Tuesday, December 8, CDC will host a Twitter chat from 1:00–2:00 p.m. (ET), featuring a CDC influenza subject matter expert. Participate and/or follow this event on Twitter by going to @CDCFlu, #NIVW2015.

Read about additional CDC NIVW activities here.

The CDC influenza website offers an array of resources, including print materials for various audiences, media toolkits, web and social media tools, audio and video public service announcements, and more.

If you are interested in learning more or collaborating on any of the planned activities taking place in your area, contact CDC via email at

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IAC Spotlight! Calendar of Events highlights conferences, workshops, and other immunization-related events around the nation

IAC maintains a Calendar of Events on its website for healthcare professionals: This is an easy way to find out about upcoming conferences and workshops in your area, or online webinars and other electronic continuing educational opportunities. The calendar also includes special weeks of observance, such as the upcoming National Influenza Vaccination Week.

If you have an immunization-related event that you would like your colleagues to know about via this Calendar of Events, email IAC

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Reminder: Abstract deadline for the 12th National Conference for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships is December 11

Just a reminder that the planners of the 12th National Conference for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships will be accepting abstract submissions until December 11. The conference, Ready. Set. Vaccinate!, will take place in Indianapolis, May 25–27, 2016. This is a great opportunity for coalition leaders to learn from expert speakers and network with members of immunization coalitions from around the nation.

Abstracts are welcome from representatives of all disciplines, including coalition staff and members, community-based providers, healthcare providers, social workers, researchers, government agencies, health communication specialists, and others. Go to the Call for Abstracts page to learn more.

Note: This conference was formerly known as the National Conference on Immunization and Health Coalitions. The goal of the National Conference for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships is to improve community health by enhancing the effectiveness of coalitions and partners through training in relevant coalition management and health promotion topics, as well as to provide networking and professional development opportunities.

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WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization releases recommendations on polio and measles vaccination

WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization just released a summary of its October 20–22 meeting. Sections of the summary are reprinted below.

Polio eradication
SAGE reviewed type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV2) epidemiology and all readiness criteria to reaffirm April 2016 as the date for the globally coordinated withdrawal of type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV2) by switching from use of trivalent OPV (tOPV) to bivalent OPV (bOPV).

SAGE confirmed that every country should stop using tOPV and introduce bOPV, on a single day of its choosing between 17 April to 1 May 2016, remove all stocks of tOPV within two weeks of that date, and confirm its removal to WHO.

Measles vaccine
Currently 13 percent of measles cases are occurring in children before they reach 9 months—the youngest age at which the first dose is typically given, so SAGE is recommending, in specific circumstances, that, in addition to the routinely recommended schedule, a dose may be given earlier to infants as young as 6 months when the risk of contracting measles is high.

The complete Summary of the October 2015 meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) includes more detail on these recommendations, as well as information about malaria and Ebola. The meeting documents, including presentations and background readings, can be found at

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WHO publishes review of the 2015 influenza season in the southern hemisphere

Review of the 2015 influenza season in the southern hemisphere was published in the November 27 issue of the WHO periodical Weekly Epidemiological Record. The report provides a summary of the chronology, epidemiology, and virology of the 2015 influenza season in the temperate regions of the southern hemisphere and the tropical regions of South and Central America, covering influenza activity data collected from January through early October 2015. 

Related Link

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Influenza is serious; many resources are available to help healthcare professionals in vaccinating

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:

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IAC makes available The Vaccine Handbook: A Practical Guide for Clinicians, a.k.a. "The Purple Book," by Dr. Gary Marshall

The Vaccine Handbook: A Practical Guide for Clinicians (“The Purple Book,” 2015, 560 pages) is a uniquely comprehensive source of practical, up-to-date information for vaccine providers and educators. Its author, Gary S. Marshall, MD, has drawn together the latest vaccine science and guidance into a concise, user-friendly, practical resource for the private office, public health clinic, academic medical center, and hospital.
Order your copy of The Vaccine Handbook today!
IAC Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD, is enthusiastic about helping get this book circulated as widely as possible. “During more than 20 years in the field of immunization education, I have not seen a book that is so brimming with state-of-the-science vaccine information,” she states. "This book belongs in the hands of every medical student, physician-in-training, doctor, nursing student, and nurse who provides vaccines to patients.”
The Vaccine Handbook provides:

  • Information on every licensed vaccine in the United States
  • Rationale behind authoritative vaccine recommendations
  • Contingencies encountered in everyday practice
  • A chapter dedicated to addressing vaccine concerns
  • Background on how vaccine policy is made
  • Standards and regulations
  • Office logistics, including billing procedures, and much more

About the Author
Gary Marshall, MD, is professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, where he serves as chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases and director of the Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit. In addition to being a busy clinician, he is nationally known for his work in the areas of vaccine research, advocacy, and education.

The newly released fifth edition of this invaluable guide is now available on IAC’s website at

The price of the handbook is $29.95 each, plus shipping charges. Discount pricing is available for more than 10 copies. Order copies for your staff or for distribution at an upcoming conference.

Quantity Discount Pricing

  • 1–10 books: no discount + shipping
  • 11–50 books: 5% + shipping
  • 51–100 books: 10% + shipping
  • 101–500 books: 15% + shipping
  • 501–1000 books: 20% + shipping

For quotes on larger quantities, email

Order your copy today!

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Medical Assistants Resources and Training on Immunization (MARTi) releases newsletter on influenza

Medical Assistants Resources and Training on Immunization (MARTi) is an organization that provides immunization-related information and links to training opportunities for medical assistants. MARTi just released a newsletter that focuses on the 2015–16 influenza season.

MARTi is funded through a cooperative agreement between CDC and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR).

Visit the MARTi website at and be sure to recommend it to the medical assistants with whom you work.

Related Links

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Study looks into the immunization knowledge, beliefs, intentions, and behaviors of women expecting their first child

In December, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published Childhood Immunizations: First-Time Expectant Mothers’ Knowledge, Beliefs, Intentions, and Behaviors. The "Introduction" and "Conclusions" sections of the abstract are reprinted below.

This study focused on how first-time mothers decide or intend to decide with respect to the recommended childhood immunization schedule.

Overall, respondents had relatively positive beliefs and perceptions regarding childhood vaccines, which were associated with intentions to get their newborn vaccinated as recommended. However, most who were planning to delay recommended vaccinations or were undecided relied primarily on socially available sources of vaccine information, rather than information provided by a healthcare professional. Improved access to vaccine information from healthcare professionals could foster better vaccine-related knowledge and favorably impact vaccination decisions.

Access the complete text of Childhood Immunizations: First-Time Expectant Mothers’ Knowledge, Beliefs, Intentions, and Behaviors.

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Study highlights missed opportunities for HPV vaccination

On November 24, Clinical Pediatrics published Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Coverage Among Girls Before 13 Years: A Birth Year Cohort Analysis of the National Immunization Survey–Teen, 2008–2013 online. The abstract is reprinted below.

Routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is recommended at 11 or 12 years by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. National Immunization Survey–Teen data were analyzed to evaluate, among girls, coverage with one or more doses of HPV vaccination, missed opportunities for HPV vaccination, and potential achievable coverage before 13 years. Results were stratified by birth year cohorts. HPV vaccination coverage before 13 years (≥1 HPV dose) increased from 28.4% for girls born in 1995 to 46.8% for girls born in 2000. Among girls born during 1999–2000 who had not received HPV vaccination before 13 years (57.2%), 80.1% had at least 1 missed opportunity to receive HPV vaccination before 13 years. Opportunities to vaccinate for HPV at age 11 to 12 years are missed. Strategies are needed to decrease these missed opportunities for HPV vaccination. This can be facilitated by the administration of all vaccines recommended for adolescents at the same visit.

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Question of the Week

We see many patients with multiple co-morbidities (COPD, heart disease, diabetes, dialysis, etc.). Which influenza vaccine should we give to this patient population?
A person with chronic medical conditions should receive only inactive influenza vaccine. The vaccine should be given only to persons of the approved age range for that vaccine. For persons for whom more than one type of vaccine is appropriate and available, ACIP does not express a preference for use of any particular product over another. 

About IAC's Question of the Week

Each week, IAC Express highlights a new, topical, or important-to-reiterate Q&A. This feature is a cooperative venture between IAC and CDC. William L. Atkinson, MD, MPH, IAC's associate director for immunization education, chooses a new Q&A to feature every week from a set of Q&As prepared by experts at CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

We hope you enjoy this new feature and find it helpful when dealing with difficult real-life scenarios in your vaccination practice. Please encourage your health care professional colleagues to sign up to receive IAC Express at

If you have a question for the CDC immunization experts, you can email them directly at There is no charge for this service.

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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.

IZ Express Disclaimer
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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