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Issue 1,545: January 20, 2021
Top Stories

IAC Handouts

Featured Resources

Education and Training

On the Lighter Side


Top Stories

CDC now offers eight translations of “Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines” on their “What to Expect at Your Appointment...” web page

CDC's What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19 web page offers information for the public before, during, and after vaccination with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

At the bottom of the web page, you will find links to the Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines patient handout in nine languages. The handout explains vaccines as prevention tools, and it summarizes vaccine safety and efficacy. 

In addition to English, the languages include:


Visit CDC's
What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19 web page.

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IAC offers a collection of its new COVID-19 vaccine resources for healthcare personnel

IAC has developed many new resources to help healthcare personnel stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination information including:

Check back periodically as IAC's COVID-19 vaccine resources expand. 

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“Learning from Errors with the New COVID-19 Vaccines” published by Institute for Safe Medication Practices      

On January 14, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) published Learning from Errors with the New COVID-19 Vaccines. This report highlights missteps reported to ISMP, including:

  • Dilution errors reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine include administering too much or too little vaccine, an inadequate volume of diluent, and the absence of the diluent (the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine does not require dilution)
  • A mix-up error occurred when, instead of receiving vaccine, 44 adults were given Regeneron monoclonal antibodies intended to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 disease; the error resulted from multiple factors, including not recognizing expected product labeling
  • Syringe malfunctions and use of syringes not adequate to extract a vial’s full contents caused wastage
  • Leftover vaccine due to cancellations and no-shows led to wastage, as did leftover doses at the end of the day; the vaccines must be discarded if not used within 6 hours after dilution (Pfizer-BioNTech) or vial puncture (Moderna)
  • Inadequate recipient screening led to vaccination of youths for whom the vaccine was not authorized
  • Second dose errors occurred due to misspelling of patient names or email addresses and, consequently, failure to inform or remind patients of second dose appointments 
  • Allergic reactions occurred in 29 individuals, most with documentation of previous allergic reaction to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 

COVID-19 vaccine errors and adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Additionally, ISMP asks providers to report vaccine errors to the ISMP National Vaccine Errors Reporting Program (VERP).

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COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant or lactating individuals who meet criteria for vaccination, recommends ACOG

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a Practice Advisory on Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients against COVID-19. ACOG noted that symptomatic pregnant patients with COVID-19 are at increased risk of more severe illness compared with nonpregnant peers, including an increased risk of ICU admission, need for mechanical ventilation and ventilatory support, and death. Further, pregnant Black and Hispanic individuals have disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death, and the risk of ICU admission is higher for pregnant Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander individuals. 

ACOG recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant or lactating individuals who meet criteria for vaccination. ACOG states that a conversation between the patient and their clinical team may assist with decisions regarding the use of FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines by pregnant patients. While a conversation with a clinician may be helpful, it should not be required prior to vaccination, as this may cause unnecessary barriers.

Pregnant individuals who decline vaccination should be supported in their decision. Regardless of their vaccination decision, these conversations provide an opportunity to remind people about the importance of prevention measures such as hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

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“Allergic Reactions including Anaphylaxis after Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine—United States, December 14–23, 2020” published in MMWR

Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening and requires preparedness to start immediate treatment. CDC published Allergic Reactions including Anaphylaxis after Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine—United States, December 14–23, 2020 in MMWR on January 15, originally published in Early Release MMWR on January 6. Key findings in the report appear below.

  • Rare: Early safety monitoring detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of 1,893,360 first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (11.1 cases per million doses)
  • Timing: 86% of anaphylaxis cases had symptom onset within 30 minutes of vaccination
  • Past Medical History: 81% of these cases had a history of allergies or allergic reactions, including some with previous anaphylaxis events
  • By sex: 90% of these anaphylaxis cases occurred in women (a higher frequency than the 64% of vaccine recipients who are women)

Based on these findings, CDC updated the allergy screening portion of the COVID-19 vaccination clinical considerations to state that contraindications to vaccination with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines include:

  • A history of severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components
  • Immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components (including polyethylene glycol [PEG] or polysorbate)

Additional details appear in CDC clinical considerations and in guidance on managing anaphylaxis.

Access the MMWR article in HTML format or in PDF format.

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HHS releases new HPV vaccination campaign for young adults ages 18–26 years

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), and Office on Women's Health have launched the HPV VAX NOW campaign. This campaign's goal is to increase HPV vaccination rates and increase HPV-related cancer awareness among young adults ages 18–26, specifically targeting young adults and healthcare providers in Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas––states with the lowest rates of HPV vaccination.

Help encourage young adults to get the HPV vaccine by sharing the HPV VAX NOW campaign messages and graphics. See HPV Vaccination among Young Adults: Information for Healthcare Providers. To find an HPV vaccine provider near you, go to Vaccine Finder on  

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Two additional universities require flu vaccination for staff and students. Do you know of more?

Many colleges and universities across the nation are mandating flu vaccine to protect staff and students. IAC has recently become aware of two additional schools that require influenza vaccine this year: Michigan State University and University of Cincinnati.

The following schools also require influenza vaccine this year: Indiana University—nine campuses, Los Angeles County––all colleges and universities, University of California system—ten campuses, University of Tennessee system—four campuses, Albion College, Assumption UniversityBoston CollegeBoston UniversityButler University, Carleton College, Claremont Colleges, Colby College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Creighton University, Dordt University, Duke University, Elon University, Emory University, Harvard UniversityJohns Hopkins UniversityLa Salle University, Marist College, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMcDaniel College, Montclair State University, Northeastern UniversityNotre Dame, Pepperdine University, Purdue UniversityRochester Institute of Technology, Rosalind Franklin University, Syracuse UniversityTufts UniversityUniversity of Dayton, University of Denver, University of Kentucky, University of Miami, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Pennsylvania, The University of the South (Sewanee), University of Southern California, Wabash College, Wake Forest University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Wayne State University.

If you know of additional colleges or universities that require influenza vaccination, please send the name of the institution, as well as a link to the relevant policy (if available) on

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Flu activity remains unusually low, but don’t take chances; make sure all of your patients get vaccinated against influenza

While seasonal influenza activity in the U.S. remains lower than usual for this time of year, it is still important to make sure all of your patients age 6 months and older are vaccinated. Flu vaccination can help save medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients by reducing the burden of flu illness on healthcare systems. If you don’t provide influenza vaccine at your site, please strongly recommend vaccination and refer to a site that does vaccinate.

Boston Children’s Hospital, in partnership with CDC, has developed VaccineFinder, a user-friendly website to help adult and pediatric patients find flu and other vaccines. Participating providers can now update supply estimates on VaccineFinder for a more accurate reporting. For questions or more information, contact

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IAC experts called on by news media

With vaccines in the news so much lately, journalists have sought out IAC experts to communicate the intricacies of running a quality vaccination program. Our insights have helped explain vaccines to the public and policy makers. We want to help them understand the complex work vaccinators do. We've reached mass markets and local stations, across the U.S. and overseas, via print, radio, television, blogs, and more. Here is a selection of our recent citations:

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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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IAC Handouts

Reminder: IAC publishes “COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines – What Clinic Personnel Need to Know,” a side-by-side comparison of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines 

IAC has released its newest resource for healthcare professionals, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines – What Clinic Personnel Need to Know, a 5-page summary offering a side-by-side comparison of the two FDA-authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

The table lists key characteristics of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines. The resource presents information on each vaccine, including summary guidance and links to key resources available from CDC, FDA, and the vaccine manufacturers. Topics covered for each vaccine include:

  • Age indication
  • Presentation and packaging
  • Storage and handling
  • Vaccine preparation and administration
  • Vaccine safety
  • Vaccine product and administration codes

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines – What Clinic Personnel Need to Know will be updated as new key resources become available. 
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Featured Resources

Updated 65+ Flu Defense website offers resources for healthcare professionals serving older adults

Confident recommendations for flu vaccine from healthcare providers are powerfully persuasive and make a significant difference in decisions your patients make about vaccination. To assist you in maximizing protection for your patients, IAC, in collaboration with Seqirus, has updated the 65+ Flu Defense website at

A new fact sheet on the site, The Importance of Preventing Influenza during a Pandemic, offers responses to help guide discussions with patients on the increased importance of flu vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Age increases risks associated with COVID-19 infection including hospitalization and death. Preliminary studies suggest coinfection with influenza B and SARS-CoV-2 may elevate the risk of poor outcomes.

This helpful site includes information, tools, and tips for communicating with these adults about the scope and severity of influenza, for example:

Be sure to check out the updated 65+ Flu Defense website at to assist your efforts in protecting this vulnerable population.

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In IAC’s “Video of the Week,” Dr. Anthony Fauci and leaders of healthcare organizations answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine logistics

In this video for healthcare providers, Dr. Anthony Fauci and leaders of healthcare organizations answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine logistics. Topics include vaccine allocation, cost, requirements for eligibility to administer the vaccines, storage and handling, documentation, reporting, and precautions after vaccination. Dr. Fauci also explains why it is urgent that healthcare providers get vaccinated themselves.

This video was developed in partnership with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.

Visit the whole collection at the VOTW archive.

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It’s still flu season! Order bright red “FLU VACCINE” buttons and stickers today!

It's still flu season, and IAC's “FLU VACCINE” buttons and stickers make a great addition to your office for both staff and patients! Their bright red color helps broadcast your important message about the need for flu vaccination. And the cost is nominal.


The button measures 1.25" across and carries a bold message! Pin on lab coats, uniforms, other clothing, tote bags, or backpacks to show support for flu vaccine.
Buttons are delivered in bags of 10 buttons per bag.

Click here for pricing and ordering information for "FLU VACCINE" buttons.

Measuring 1.5" across, these stickers adhere well to clothing and have an easy-peel-off backing.
Stickers are delivered to you cut individually (not on rolls)—available in bundles of 100. 

Click here for pricing and ordering information for “FLU VACCINE” stickers.

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IAC’s “History through Film” web page features public television documentary about 30 years of IAC titled “Protecting Health: Saving Lives.” Please share.

The award-winning public television documentary series, Visionaries, hosted by Sam Waterston, features IAC in the episode, Protecting Health: Saving Lives. This 30-minute film showcases IAC’s founder and executive director Dr. Deborah Wexler’s commitment to supporting the nation’s healthcare professionals with immunization education information and materials. Protecting Health: Saving Lives makes a powerful case for vaccination, addressing and defusing the fears that fuel the antivaccine movement, presenting stories of vaccine-preventable disease, and recognizing the science that has saved millions of lives through vaccination.

Protecting Health: Saving Lives is premiering on more than 100 PBS stations nationwide in the months ahead, but you can watch it right now on IAC’s website at We’d very much appreciate your circulating the film by sharing this link with your colleagues and friends through member newsletters, e-mail listservs, social media channels, conferences and web-based events, and web pages.

Sharing Protecting Health: Saving Lives is easy! Just go to or click on the film's image in the right column of IAC's main page. Click the “share” button and choose the social media site where you’d like your friends, family, and colleagues to view the film.
To learn more about the PBS Visionaries series, visit

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Education and Training

Ad Council and COVID Collaborative will host a briefing on their COVID-19 vaccine education campaign on January 21

The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative will discuss their education campaign to boost uptake of COVID-19 vaccines on January 21 from 2:00–3:00 p.m. (ET). During the briefing, they will unveil new research and messaging on vaccine hesitancy, particularly for the Black and Hispanic communities hardest hit by COVID-19.
Speakers include Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council; John Bridgeland, Co-Founder and CEO of COVID Collaborative; and Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director of American Public Health Association.

Registration information.

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NACCHO offers webinar titled “Understanding Diverse Communities to Support Equitable and Informed COVID-19 Vaccination Decision-Making” on January 21 

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) will offer a webinar titled Understanding Diverse Communities to Support Equitable and Informed COVID-19 Vaccination Decision-Making on January 21 from 3:00–3:45 p.m. (ET). The webinar will feature insights on public views of COVID-19 vaccination from two sources: a national panel survey conducted in November and December, plus 25 online community conversations conducted in December with African American, Latinx, and Tribal communities and with people undecided about vaccination. Webinar objectives include:

  • Provide a national snapshot of COVID-19 vaccination intent among the public
  • Share insights on COVID-19 vaccination decision-making from regional and local community conversations
  • Explore how health departments and tribal governments can support their communities in making decisions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19

Register for the webinar. 

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NACCHO will host webinar titled “Increasing Vaccination Coverage among Racial and Ethnic Groups: Lessons Learned from CDC’s REACH Program” on January 26   

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) invites all members of local health departments as well as other community partners to participate in the webinar titled Increasing Vaccination Coverage among Racial and Ethnic Groups: Lessons Learned from CDC’s REACH Program on January 26 at 3:00 p.m. (ET). 

The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program is administered by the CDC to reduce racial and ethnic disparities.
The webinar will feature three local health departments discussing their work to increase adult flu vaccination coverage among racial and ethnic groups experiencing disparities and sharing lessons learned and best practices, along with guest speaker Tara Jatlaoui, MD, MPH, of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). The objectives of this webinar are:

  • Gain insights on the CDC REACH program to implement priority actions focused on increasing flu vaccination coverage among racial and ethnic groups experiencing disparities in 2020–21 flu season
  • Learn how local health departments have implemented project activities and lessons learned through their efforts
  • Engage CDC and health departments on their approach for increasing vaccination coverage

Registration is capped at 1,000, so please register early for the webinar.

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NILE offers webinar titled “The Vaccine Mom Presents: Parents and Vaccines – The Roles Emotional Decision Making and Rejection of Science Play in Vaccine Hesitancy” on January 27

On January 27 at 12:00 p.m. (PST), Nevada Immunization Learning Exchange (NILE) will offer a webinar titled The Vaccine Mom Presents: Parents and Vaccines – The Roles Emotional Decision Making and Rejection of Science Play in Vaccine Hesitancy. The speaker will be Taryn Chapman, MS, of Immunization Action Coalition and Vaccinate Your Family. The objectives of the webinar are:

  • Understanding the science behind emotional decision making
  • Comprehension of why rational arguments and facts don’t sway a science denier
  • How to effectively communicate with a vaccine-hesitant parent

This program offers one free nursing, pharmacy, or CHW II CEU credit upon completion of the post-webinar survey.

Registration information

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On the Lighter Side

In this enlightening 1981 PSA from HHS, Miss Indian America explains that infectious diseases are dangers that have plagued Native Americans for centuries
In this enlightening 1981 public service announcement (PSA) from the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Melanie Tallmadge, Miss Indian America, explains that childhood disease is one particular danger that has plagued all Native Americans, but through immunization, childhood diseases no longer need to be a threat to children. This PSA is part of a collection curated by vaccine expert William L. Atkinson, MD, MPH.

Previous PSAs featured in “On the Lighter Side” are available when viewing this Vimeo video.

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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

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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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