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Issue 1,568: May 26, 2021
Top Stories

Featured Resources

Journal Articles and Newsletters

Education and Training

Conferences and Meetings

Immunization PSAs from the Archive

Top Stories

FDA authorizes up to 31 days refrigerator storage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine before dilution

On May 19, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has authorized undiluted, thawed Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vials to be stored in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C (35°F to 46°F) for up to 1 month (31 days). The first paragraph of the press release appears below.

Making COVID-19 vaccines widely available is key to getting people vaccinated and bringing the pandemic to an end. Pfizer Inc. submitted data to the FDA to support storage of undiluted, thawed vials of its COVID-19 vaccine for up to one month at refrigerator temperatures. This change should make this vaccine more widely available to the American public by facilitating the ability of vaccine providers, such as community doctors’ offices, to receive, store and administer the vaccine.

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CDC calls for VAERS reporting of cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination 

One of the elements of the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 vaccines is a requirement for clinicians to report serious adverse events after vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

In recent weeks, cases of myocarditis occurring after COVID-19 vaccination have been reported. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently requested data from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna on reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination. CDC and FDA are aware of these reports, which are rare given the number of vaccine doses administered. CDC, FDA, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) continue to monitor available data.
Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is the inflammation of the lining outside the heart. In both cases, the body experiences inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger. While myocarditis can be serious, it is frequently mild and self-limited. Symptoms can include abnormal heart rhythms, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
As part of COVID-19 vaccine safety efforts, CDC and FDA are closely monitoring myocarditis/pericarditis in multiple safety systems, including the VAERS and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD).
To date, there has not been any indication that these conditions are occurring more often than at background rates, neither in VAERS nor in VSD. CDC and FDA will continue to evaluate reports of myocarditis/pericarditis occurring after COVID-19 vaccination and will share more information as it becomes available. Healthcare providers should consider myocarditis in an evaluation of chest pain after vaccination and report all such cases to VAERS
CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 years and older.

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CDC releases Pediatric Healthcare Professionals COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit

CDC released materials to help healthcare providers give parents clear information about COVID-19 vaccines for adolescents. CDC’s Pediatric Healthcare Professionals COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit includes:

  • Posters to download, print, and hang in your health facility
  • Fact sheets in multiple languages
  • Web pages with answers to common questions
  • Printable stickers for patients to wear once they’ve gotten their vaccine

CDC has also recently updated these resources with information about COVID-19 vaccines for adolescents:

Check out the variety of resources in CDC’s Pediatric Healthcare Professionals COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit today!

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CDC publishes "Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage between Urban and Rural Counties—United States, December 14, 2020–April 10, 2021" in MMWR 

CDC published Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage between Urban and Rural Counties—United States, December 14, 2020–April 10, 2021 in the May 21 issue of MMWR. The summary appears below.

...Residents of rural communities are at increased risk for severe COVID-19–associated morbidity and mortality. In September 2020, COVID-19 incidence (cases per 100,000 population) in rural counties surpassed that in urban counties.

...COVID-19 vaccination coverage was lower in rural counties (38.9%) than in urban counties (45.7%); disparities persisted among age groups and by sex.

...Disparities in COVID-19 vaccination access and coverage between urban and rural communities can hinder progress toward ending the pandemic. Public health practitioners should collaborate with health care providers, pharmacies, employers, faith leaders, and other community partners to identify and address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in rural areas.

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

Related Link

  • MMWR's gateway page provides access to MMWR WeeklyMMWR Recommendations and ReportsMMWR Surveillance Summaries, and MMWR Supplements

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Center for Strategic and International Studies and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine publish “Why Vaccine Confidence Matters to National Security”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy Center and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Vaccine Confidence Project™ published Why Vaccine Confidence Matters to National Security on May 7. A portion of the news release appears below.

The panel argues that vaccine confidence is essential to mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring national security, and recommends bolstering confidence-building efforts in five critical areas:

  1. Innovations in reaching diverse and underserved populations with vaccines delivered in the context of health and social services;
  2. Pledges and actions by mainstream and digital media platforms to stop the spread of misinformation and to collaborate with health providers and the scientific community to increase the availability of accurate content;
  3. Increased engagement by key social and economic sectors to empower people to make informed choices about Covid-19 vaccines;
  4. Greater executive branch coordination and action beyond the emergency; and
  5. Increased U.S. support for global immunization partners.

Access Why Vaccine Confidence Matters to National Security in HTML format and PDF format.

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Vaccinate Your Family launches “Don’t Skip” campaign featuring Gabrielle Union-Wade

Vaccinate Your Family, in collaboration with Merck, launched a new public health campaign called Don’t Skip. Featuring actress, activist, and author Gabrielle Union-Wade, the campaign encourages families to schedule their well-child visits and stay up to date on all recommended vaccines. A portion of the press release announcing the campaign appears below.

As part of the campaign, a series of new public service announcements feature Union-Wade and her family during moments that reflect some of the realities of life during the pandemic, along with an important message: it’s okay to skip some things right now, but a visit to the doctor isn’t one of them. These visits are important for people of all ages to stay on schedule with their recommended vaccinations, especially for young children and preteens who may have missed some vaccines.

For more information and to view the videos, visit

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CDC updates "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People" 

CDC updated its Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People which apply to non-healthcare settings. A portion of the Key Points appear below.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self- quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

CDC has developed a printable infographic explaining the activities in which fully vaccinated individuals are now safe to engage.

Access CDC's Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

For related information for healthcare settings, access Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.

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Expanding your COVID-19 vaccination efforts to 12–15-year-olds? Purchase IAC's brightly colored COVID-19 vaccine stickers and buttons to give out in offices, schools, and vaccination sites

IAC now offers “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” buttons and stickers for purchase. Vaccinated adolescents will enjoy adding these stickers and buttons to their uniforms, jackets, lanyards, or backpacks!


Buttons: Wear them in the clinic to demonstrate your support for COVID-19 vaccination and to remind those around you to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Stickers: Give away to COVID-19 vaccine recipients or vaccinated clinic staff!

  • Description: Bright yellow stickers on a roll with an easy-peel-off back and perforations between stickers to make them easy to tear off and share
  • Packaging: Roll of 200 stickers
  • Dimension: 1.5" across
  • To order: See Shop IAC: COVID-19 Vaccine Buttons and Stickers for quantity and pricing options

Please note: Through a separate program supported by CDC, public health departments, and CDC’s nonprofit Vaccinate with Confidence campaign, partners are able to receive supplies of these buttons and stickers free of charge. For questions about this program, email or call 651-647-9009.
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IAC Spotlight! Looking for the most frequently visited web pages on IAC's "Favorites" tab atop each web page brings you to 18 of the most popular gateway pages on IAC's website

When you click on the “Favorites” tab at IAC’s, you’ll find links to 18 of the most highly visited gateway pages on IAC's content-rich website, including training materials and clinic tools. The “Favorites” tab is easy to find—it’s the first of the six blue tabs that run across the top of each web page. When you hover over this blue tab with your mouse or select it, the Favorites gateway page will appear.

The following sections are offered as choices on the Favorites gateway page

Let IAC help you during these challenging times. Tap into the wealth of materials available from IAC. Use the Favorites gateway page to jump to the most used content on

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MMWR Recap: CDC publishes ACIP recommendations for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in 12–15-year-olds and estimates on vaccine effectiveness on May 19; previously issued as MMWR Early Releases

CDC recently published two articles about COVID-19 recommendations and vaccine effectiveness estimates. Here is a recap: 

  • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in Adolescents Aged 12–15 years—United States, May 2021 (MMWR, May 21, HTML format or PDF format)
  • Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines among Health Care Personnel—33 U.S. Sites, January–March 2021 (MMWR, May 21, HTML format or PDF format)

Related Link

  • MMWR gateway page provides access to MMWR WeeklyMMWR Recommendations and ReportsMMWR Surveillance Summaries, and MMWR Supplement

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IAC’s Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll now includes 535 hospitals, including three new birthing institutions; three previously honored institutions qualify for additional years' honors 

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is pleased to announce that three new institutions have been accepted into its Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll, for a total of 535 honorees. The birthing institutions are listed below with their reported hepatitis B birth dose coverage rates in parentheses.
  • Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX (93%)
  • Day Kimball Healthcare, Putnam, CT (92%)
  • Shannon Medical Center South, San Angelo, TX (94%)

Two institutions are being recognized for a sixth year:

  • Griffin Hospital, Derby, CT (91%)
  • Shannon Medical Center, San Angelo, TX (96%)

Finally, one institution is being recognized for a seventh year:

  • Oswego Health, Oswego, NY (99%)

The Honor Roll now includes 535 birthing institutions from 44 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and an overseas U.S. military base. One hundred twenty-one institutions have qualified twice, 73 institutions have qualified three times, 42 institutions have qualified four times, 23 institutions have qualified five times, 22 institutions have qualified six times, eight institutions have qualified seven times, two institutions have qualified eight times and one institution has qualified nine times.

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 52,000 readers.

Please visit the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll web page that lists these institutions and their exceptional efforts to protect infants from perinatal hepatitis B transmission.

Related IAC Resources

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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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Featured Resources

After 12 years, IAC’s “Video of the Week” series is wrapping up. Watch IAC’s final pick, “Protect Tomorrow,” from AAP. Hear elders’ poignant remembrances about how vaccine-preventable diseases affected their lives

This week, IAC announces the series finale of its “Video of the Week” feature.

“Video of the Week” offerings spanned the years 2009 through 2021, including more than 600 videos selected by IAC staff, and will remain archived online. Clicking through them will provide many of our readers with a “walk down memory lane” of events during these years.

IAC’s final offering is this powerful video from the American Academy of Pediatrics' Protect Tomorrow program, where several grandparents tell what it was like before vaccines were available to protect against deadly diseases. They want to protect grandchildren by convincing their parents to get them vaccinated. Pediatric vaccinations have been delayed by the pandemic, and parents need to get their children caught up on vaccines so the diseases do not come back.


IAC’s heartfelt thanks for their contributions to “Video of the Week” go to production team members Pat Vranesich, Jane Myers, Sheila Franey, and Dr. Deborah Wexler. The full VOTW archive will remain available at Fear not, IAC’s resourceful staff will continue to write articles about noteworthy videos within the Featured Resources section of IAC Express.

Visit the whole collection at the VOTW archive.

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CDC offers COVID-19 Science Update weekly report series to help staff stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 research

To help inform CDC’s COVID-19 Response Team, as well as to help CDC staff stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 research, the Response Team’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer has collaborated with the CDC Office of Library Science to create a series of PDF reports called COVID-19 Science Update.

This week’s update includes information on detection, burden, and impact; natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection; prevention, mitigation, and intervention strategies; and social, behavioral, and communication science. 

Access the entire series online at and sign up to receive weekly email updates.

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Going Fast! Order IAC's laminated version of CDC's 2021 U.S. child/adolescent immunization schedule today! Adult schedules sold out.

IAC's laminated version of the 2021 U.S. child/adolescent immunization schedule is available for order. The 2021 U.S. adult immunization schedule has sold out, but you can print paper versions from the CDC website.

These schedules are ideal for use in any busy healthcare setting where vaccinations are given. Their tough coating can be wiped down, and they’re durable enough to stand up to a year's worth of use. 
The child/adolescent schedule is eight pages (i.e., four double-sided pages), but folds down to a convenient 8.5" x 11" size.


With color coding for easy reading, our laminated schedules replicate the original CDC formatting, including the essential tables and notes.

1–4 copies: $7.50 each
5–19 copies: $5.50 each
20–99 copies: $4.50 each
100–499 copies: $4.00 each
500–999 copies: $3.50 each

For quotes on customizing or placing orders of 1,000 copies or more, call 651-647-9009 or email

Visit the Shop IAC: Laminated Schedules web page for more information on the schedules, to view images of all the pages, and to download the order form today!

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IAC's "I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine" Facebook profile photo frame is available in English and Spanish

Share your excitement about COVID-19 vaccination and inspire your friends! When you have received your COVID-19 vaccine, add IAC's new "I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine" Facebook photo frame to liven up your profile picture!

You can obtain the frame in three ways:

Together we can end the COVID-19 pandemic!

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Journal Articles and Newsletters

Article in JAMA Internal Medicine reports no association detected for facial paralysis and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

In the April 27 issue, JAMA Internal Medicine published Association of Facial Paralysis With mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines. A portion of the discussion section appears below. 

...When compared with other viral vaccines, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines did not display a signal of facial paralysis. As of March 9, 2021, more than 320 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered worldwide. Therefore, despite selective reporting and a potential delay in reporting and transferring cases among pharmacovigilance databases, the reporting rate of facial paralysis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination found in the present study is not higher than that observed with other viral vaccines. Although we adjusted for sex and age, residual confounding and reporting bias may influence the results. To conclude, if an association between facial paralysis and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines exists, the risk is likely very low, as with other viral vaccines.

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Education and Training

CDC posts on-demand webinar recording for clinicians titled "What Clinicians Need to Know About Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccination of Adolescents"
CDC is offering a 1-hour recording of its Clinical Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) webinar which originally aired on May 14, 2021. Titled What Clinicians Need to Know About Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccination of Adolescents, CDC has provided the following description of this session:

This COCA Call will give clinicians an overview of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination in adolescents who are 12-to-15 years of age. Clinicians will learn about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, vaccine recommendations, and clinical guidance for using the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID- 19 vaccine in adolescents in this age group.
Access more information about this webinar: What Clinicians Need to Know About Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccination of Adolescents.

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Conferences and Meetings

National HPV Vaccination Roundtable hosts virtual 2021 National Meeting on June 9–10; register today!

The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable will host its 2021 National Meeting: Reaching New Heights, virtually, from 1:00 to 3:20 p.m. (ET) on June 9 and from 12:00 to 2:50 p.m. (ET) on June 10.

The goals of the event are to:

  • Explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on HPV vaccination and implications for progress towards Healthy People 2030
  • Chart a path towards equity in HPV vaccination among diverse communities and understand the effect of socio-economic determinants on adolescent vaccination rates
  • Learn valuable lessons from experts in overcoming challenges to increase adolescent vaccination

You must pre-register separately for each public session.

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Immunization PSAs from the Archive

In this 2001 PSA from the Chicago Department of Public Health, parents are urged to “Check the Facts” to address misconceptions about vaccination  

In this 2001 public service announcement (PSA) from the Chicago Department of Public Health, parents are urged to "Check the Facts" to address common misconceptions about childhood vaccination. This PSA is part of a collection curated by vaccine expert William L. Atkinson, MD, MPH, that spans a period of more than 50 years.

Previous PSAs featured in “From the Archives” 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

Our mailing address:
Immunization Action Coalition
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Saint Paul, MN 55114

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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