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Issue 1491: April 22, 2020








World Meningitis Day is Friday, April 24. Spread the word, stop the germs!

World Meningitis Day is observed every year on April 24, organized by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO). CoMO is an international member organization that works to reduce the incidence and impact of meningitis worldwide. CoMO brings together health professionals, patient groups, and meningitis survivors and families from more than 25 countries to help prevent meningitis.

The theme of the 2020 campaign is "Defeat Meningitis." The key messages of the 2020 campaign are: 

  • Meningitis and septicemia are medical emergencies; prevention and early recognition are key
  • Meningitis can affect anyone at any time and can kill in hours
  • We can all do our part to help #DefeatMeningitis

Visit the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations website for more information on World Meningitis Day 2020, including resources to help spread awareness of meningococcal disease.

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National Infant Immunization Week runs Saturday, April 25–May 2; CDC website provides tools you can use

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 25–May 2, is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization partners. The 2020 observance will be challenging for many due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider using this week to restate the importance of immunization for your community.

Since 1994, hundreds of U.S. communities have joined together during NIIW to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health. Giving babies and toddlers the recommended vaccinations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases.

Save time by using CDC's 2020 NIIW Digital Media Toolkit to plan and implement your organization's NIIW activities. The toolkit includes updated logos, sample social media content, social graphics, and key messages. Please share them as you are able using the hashtag #ivax2protect. 

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Make the switch! CDC released updated VISs for DTaP, Td, Tdap, multi-vaccine, and yellow fever

On April 1, CDC released interim versions of the Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) for DTaP, Td, Tdap, and multi-vaccine, and a final version of the yellow fever VIS. 

Access these VISs on their respective IAC web pages by clicking on the links below.

For both interim and final VISs, CDC encourages providers to begin using them immediately, but stocks of the previous editions may be used until exhausted.

CDC states that translations of interim VISs that are out of date may continue to be used, because there have not been significant content changes. However, the corresponding up-to-date English-language VIS must also be provided when providing an out-of-date translation.

IAC expects to offer translations in fall 2020.

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CDC releases guidance to prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B during COVID-19 pandemic 

The following information was posted to CDC's Schedule Changes & Guidance gateway page:

Interim guidance to prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus during COVID-19-related disruptions in routine preventive services

This guidance is being provided to ensure that certain safety nets are in place to prevent mother-to-child hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission in the event of significant COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions in routine preventive services before, during, and after labor and delivery. The guidance is intended to be used by obstetric and pediatric care staff for consideration while prioritizing the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HBV infection.

Prenatal care of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive women

Ensure that HBsAg-positive pregnant women are able to advocate for the proper care of their HBV-exposed infants in case labor and delivery occurs at an unplanned facility or is attended by staff that are not knowledgeable about managing HBV-exposed infants:

  • Educate HBsAg-positive women on their HBsAg status and the importance of proper preventive care for their infant, including hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and single antigen hepatitis B vaccine at birth, hepatitis B vaccine series completion at six months of age, and post-vaccination serologic testing.
  • Supply HBsAg-positive women with documentation of HBsAg laboratory results and ask them to provide this documentation to labor and delivery staff at the time of delivery.

Labor and Delivery Care

  • Identify HBsAg status of all women presenting for delivery.
  • If a woman’s HBsAg status is positive, HBIG and single antigen hepatitis B vaccine should be administered to her infant within 12 hours of birth.
  • If a woman’s HBsAg status is unknown, single antigen hepatitis B vaccine should be administered to her infant within 12 hours of birth. Administration of HBIG should be determined per ACIP recommendations infants weighing <2,000 grams should receive HBIG if the mother’s HBsAg status cannot be determined within 12 hours of birth.
  • Provide the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine to all other newborns within 24 hours of birth to prevent horizontal hepatitis B virus transmission from household or other close contacts.

Pediatric care of HBV-exposed infants

  • Every effort should be made to ensure HBV-exposed infants complete the hepatitis B vaccine series following the ACIP recommendations. Providers using single-component vaccine who are experiencing immunization service disruption should administer hepatitis B vaccine as close to the recommended intervals as possible, including series completion at 6 months, and follow ACIP recommendations for post- vaccination serologic testing.
  • If post-vaccination serologic testing is delayed beyond 6 months after the hepatitis B series is completed, the provider should consider administering a “booster” dose of single antigen hepatitis B vaccine and then ordering post-vaccination serologic testing (HBsAg & antibody to HBsAg [anti-HBs]) 1-2 months after the “booster” dose.

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IAC Spotlight! Explore IAC’s “Ask the Experts” gateway page for more than 1,000 Q&As about vaccine recommendations, administration, storage and handling, scheduling, and more

IAC’s Ask the Experts gateway page can be found at Here you will find more than 1,000 Q&As on all vaccines routinely recommended in the United States, as well as information on administering vaccines, documenting vaccination, scheduling vaccines, vaccine recommendations, precautions and contraindications, storage and handling, and vaccine safety. IAC wishes to recognize its team of experts: Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH (lead); Carolyn Bridges, MD, FACP; William Atkinson, MD, MPH; and Deborah Wexler, MD.  

Here are links to some of our most popular pages within the Ask the Experts gateway page:

Explore all IAC's Ask the Experts Q&As by clicking on the graphic below and bookmarking this valuable resource.

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Reminder: CDC, AAP, AAFP post guidelines for routine childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization during COVID-19 response

In case you missed it, CDC, AAP, and AAFP have issued guidance for routine childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization during the COVID-19 response. Portions of their guidelines are reprinted below.

Childhood Immunizations

From CDC's Information for Pediatric Healthcare Providers: Maintaining Childhood Immunizations during COVID-19 Pandemic web page: 

Healthcare providers in communities affected by COVID-19 are using strategies [such as these from AAP] to separate well visits from sick visits. Examples include:

  • Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon
  • Separating patients spatially, such as by placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with well visits 
  • Collaborating with providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children 

Because of personal, practice, or community circumstances related to COVID-19, some providers may not be able to provide well-child visits, including provision of immunizations, for all patients in their practice. If a practice can provide only limited well-child visits, healthcare providers are encouraged to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible. CDC is monitoring the situation and will continue to provide guidance.

Childhood, Adolescent, and Adult Immunizations

AAFP posted the following guidance, titled COVID-19: Guidance for Family Physicians on Preventive and Non-urgent Care

The AAFP supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) mitigation strategy as a framework for family physicians to protect patients, families, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic....

Due to personal, practice, or community circumstances related to COVID-19, some family physicians may be unable to provide preventive health care visits, including the provision of immunizations. If only limited well-child visits can be provided, family physicians are encouraged to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age), when possible.

Adult Immunizations

The CDC guidance for adult preventive services, including immunizations, can be found on CDC's Resources for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Preparing for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID- 19 gateway page. Recognizing that clinicians need to provide clinical services in safe environments, CDC has issued new pandemic guidance for adult immunization in areas with community transmission of SARS-CoV-2. CDC recommends that needed immunizations be postponed, except when:

  • The adult is present for some other purpose and the immunization can be delivered during that visit with no additional risk, or
  • The adult and their clinician find a compelling need to receive the immunization after concluding that potential benefits outweigh risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

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Not-to-miss immunization articles in the news

These recent articles convey the potential risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of vaccination.

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Stay up to date on the latest coronavirus information 

CDC, NIH, WHO, and Johns Hopkins are closely monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Be sure to check the resources below for the latest information. Stay in touch with your local and state health departments. 

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For World Meningitis Day, check out IAC's website,, to enhance your efforts at increasing rates of the MenACWY booster and other adolescent vaccines

Last fall, IAC implemented a major upgrade to its collaborative website promoting the importance of receiving a booster dose of meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccine.


Aimed at healthcare professionals, the site was revised to incorporate newly updated materials and to highlight the importance of all recommended vaccines for 16-year-olds. A simplified navigation structure makes locating information a breeze.
The colorful website is divided into five easy-to-access sections: 

  • Vaccinate Teens – The tools included on this web page offer helpful information on teen vaccination schedules and tips for improving adolescent vaccination rates
  • Give 2 Doses – Fewer than half of teens have received the recommended second dose of MenACWY vaccine; this web page offers tools to help providers improve second dose coverage
  • 16-Year-Old Visit – These resources help both providers and their patients remember the important vaccines recommended for 16-year-olds
  • Tools for Providers – These tools from CDC, IAC, and other organizations explain meningococcal ACWY vaccine recommendations and assist in improving adolescent coverage for all recommended vaccines
  • Resources – This section assists provider efforts to improve adolescent vaccination rates; the materials are subdivided into subsections for print materials, links to organizations involved in adolescent immunization, personal stories about the importance of vaccination, and additional resources of interest

Additional time savings are provided by the site’s single location where all website materials are listed according to whether they are primarily of interest to providers or to patients/parents. Other sections relate to general adolescent immunization, as well as meningococcal disease and vaccine information.
Visit and enjoy browsing (and deploying) its bountiful resources, brought to you by our collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur.
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Think 16! “Dear Colleague” call-to-action letter from AAFP, AAP, ACHA, ACOG, APhA, SAHM, and IAC stresses implementation of immunization visit at 16 years of age 

On August 1, 2019, IAC and six professional societies published a "Dear Colleague" letter titled 16- Year-Old Patients: Make Sure They Receive Their Annual Well Visit and Vaccinations. Click on the image below to read the letter.

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“Shop IAC” on offers many resources for your practice. Order laminated 2020 U.S. immunization schedules for your exam rooms today!

On the Shop IAC web page you will find many resources such as laminated vaccination schedules, personal immunization record cards, pins for your lapel, and more! Your purchases will help IAC keep delivering free, educational materials to healthcare professionals and to the public. 

IAC's laminated versions of the 2020 U.S. child/adolescent immunization schedule and the 2020 U.S. adult immunization schedule are ideal for use in any busy healthcare setting where vaccinations are given.

The schedules' coating can be wiped down, and they’re durable enough to stand up to a year's worth of use. Visit the Shop IAC: Laminated Schedules web page for more information on the schedules.

IAC’s three personal immunization record cards—child & teen, adult, and lifetime—are printed on durable rip-, smudge-, and water-proof paper. Sized to fit in a wallet when folded, the cards are brightly colored to stand out. Give these nearly indestructible personal record cards to your patients. They're sold in boxes of 250.

You too can show your support for vaccination with IAC’s elegantly designed “Vaccines Save Lives” pin on your lapel. The pin makes a refined statement in hard black enamel with gold lettering and edges, measuring 1.125" x 0.75”. Order yours today to show how much you value immunizations!

Note: Due to the Minnesota Governor's order regarding essential services, the IAC office will not ship orders until the week of April 27. Our online shopping cart will continue to take orders and they will be fulfilled as soon as possible. If your need for the item is urgent, please email us at 

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“Disparities in Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Series Completion by Adolescent Males: A Retrospective Cohort Study” published in Academic Pediatrics

In the May 17, 2019, issue, Academic Pediatrics published Disparities in Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Series Completion by Adolescent Males: A Retrospective Cohort Study, by Atu Agawu, et al. A portion of the results and conclusions appear below.

RESULTS: In total, 42% of males in the cohort (16,691) completed the vaccine series. In the permissive vaccine era (2009–2011), non-black patients (53%) were more likely to complete than black patients (32%) and non-Medicaid patients (49%) were more likely to complete than Medicaid patients (33%). These differences persisted in the routine recommendation era (2012–2013). In both the permissive and routine eras, Medicaid insurance was associated with a larger reduction in the predicted probability of vaccine series completion for non- black patients....

CONCLUSIONS: We found significant disparities in HPV vaccine series completion rates among male patients based on race and insurance, unchanged based on era of initiation or visit frequency.

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“Centralized Reminder/Recall to Increase Influenza Vaccination Rates: A Two-State Pragmatic Randomized Trial” published in Academic Pediatrics

In the November 4, 2019, issue, Academic Pediatrics published Centralized Reminder/Recall [C-R/R] to Increase Influenza Vaccination Rates: A Two-State Pragmatic Randomized Trial, by Allison Kempe, et al. The conclusions appear below.

CONCLUSIONS: C-R/R for influenza vaccine using autodial had low-level effects on increasing influenza rates in 2 states. Given the feasibility and low cost of C-R/R in previous trials, its utility for influenza should be re-examined using different modalities.

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“Russian Twitter Accounts and the Partisan Polarization of Vaccine Discourse, 2015–2017” published in American Journal of Public Health

In the June 29, 2019, issue, American Journal of Public Health published Russian Twitter Accounts and the Partisan Polarization of Vaccine Discourse, 2015–2017, by Dror Walter, et al. Their public-health implications appear below.

IRA [Russian Internet Research Agency] accounts discussed vaccines online in ways that evoked political identities. This could exacerbate recently emerging partisan gaps relating to vaccine misinformation, as differently valenced messages were targeted at different segments of the U.S. public. These sophisticated targeting efforts, if repeated and increased in reach, could reduce vaccination rates and magnify health disparities. 

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Texas Perinatal Hepatitis B Virtual Summit to be held on June 25; CE available

The Texas Department of State Health Services will hold Texas Perinatal Hepatitis B Virtual Summit virtually on June 25 from 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (CT). Experts will share, discuss, and recommend strategies to prevent and decrease the incidence of hepatitis B transmission and improve the care of those at risk for perinatal hepatitis B. 

Registration is free and CE credit is offered for multiple disciplines. 

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Indiana Immunization Coalition will host HPV webinar on April 30; CE available

The Indiana Immunization Coalition will hold an HPV webinar on April 30 at 8:00 a.m. (ET), free of charge, requiring registration: HPV Infection and the Association with Head and Neck Cancers, presented by Jessica Yesensky, MD, Indiana University Health Physicians Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Free CME, CNE, social work, pharmacy, and dental credits are offered.

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Nostalgic look at vaccine advocacy for Immunization Action Month in 1974

Nostalgic look at vaccine advocacy 46 years ago: Low-budget animation promoting Immunization Action Month (1974) childhood vaccination. Produced by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1974.

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About IAC Express
The Immunization Action Coalition welcomes redistribution of this issue of IAC Express or selected articles. When you do so, please add a note that the Immunization Action Coalition is the source of the material and provide a link to this issue.

IAC Express is supported in part by Grant No. 6NH23IP922550 from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of IAC and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

IAC Express Disclaimer
ISSN: 1526-1786

Our mailing address is
Immunization Action Coalition
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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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