Issue 1,580: July 28, 2021
Top Stories

Featured Resources

Notable Publications

Upcoming Events

Immunization PSAs from the Archive


Top Stories

IAC summarizes July 22 ACIP meeting on COVID-19 vaccine: recommendations re-affirmed after Guillain-Barré syndrome safety review, additional doses for the immunocompromised discussed

On July 22, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met to review data on reports of the rare occurrence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) following receipt of Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). The Committee also discussed a potential recommendation for an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people. Slides presented are available online. No votes were taken at the meeting.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
GBS is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes muscle weakness and paralysis. An estimated 3,000–6,000 cases are reported in the U.S. annually. GBS has been associated with certain vaccines, occurring within 6 weeks of vaccination; however, it is most commonly triggered by a gastrointestinal or respiratory infection. It has been reported following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Most people fully recover from GBS, though it can be fatal. The background rate of GBS in the U.S. is about 1 case per 100,000 people per year, with rates increasing with age and rates higher in males than females.
GBS following Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
The apparent risk of GBS following receipt of the Janssen vaccine is very low, but the frequency of reported cases to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) was substantially higher than either the frequency of reports following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines or the expected background rates of GBS in the population. On July 12, the FDA revised the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization Fact Sheets for providers and for recipients to include this information.
Through June 30, 2021, 12.6 million doses of the Janssen vaccine were administered in the U.S. The ACIP reviewed data on 98 cases of GBS reported to VAERS within 42 days of receipt of the Janssen vaccine. Of these 98 reports, 95 people were hospitalized and there was 1 death. The largest number of reports was in males 50–64 years of age. Data from VAERS are limited to spontaneous reports; further evaluation is underway to more fully characterize the risk of GBS.
In reviewing the risks and benefits of using the Janssen vaccine, several ACIP members noted that many patients have a strong preference for this single-dose vaccine, and that it is an important and effective option for protection against severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization, and death. After reviewing the data, ACIP concluded that the benefits of Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine used according to current recommendations far outweigh the rare potential risks of GBS or thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
CDC staff stated that CDC will update its Interim Clinical Considerations for the Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States to include information that people with a history of GBS may choose to receive any authorized COVID-19 vaccine after an explanation of risks and benefits. ACIP emphasized that the small risk of GBS should be transparently communicated to potential vaccine recipients. Providers should discuss options, including the availability of mRNA vaccines, which have not been associated with an increased risk of GBS. CDC will also update its clinical resources, including the Janssen vaccine standing orders and the prevaccination checklist, to assist in these communications.  

Considerations for immunocompromised people 
Approximately 2.7% of people in the U.S are immunocompromised due to a health condition or treatment with immunosuppressive medication. These individuals are more likely to become severely ill from infection with SARS-CoV-2 and to transmit the virus to others.

COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness is lower among immunocompromised individuals, making them more susceptible to breakthrough infection after vaccination. Several small studies have found that, among immunocompromised people who had no detectable antibody response after a 2-dose mRNA vaccine series, up to half had detectable antibodies after receiving an additional dose. Clinical data on breakthrough infections among recipients of a third dose were not available. No serious adverse events were reported after administration of the third dose. Internationally, France and Israel have recommended that immunocompromised people receive an additional dose, and the United Kingdom is considering a similar proposal.  
ACIP members discussed several items that would need to be considered before making a recommendation. An ACIP recommendation would follow FDA authorization of an additional dose. ACIP will continue to assess evidence for the safety, efficacy, and benefit of providing an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people. In the interim, fully vaccinated immunocompromised people should continue to follow the standard recommendations for mask wearing, social distancing, and avoiding large crowds that generally apply to unvaccinated people.
Future ACIP Meetings
The next regularly scheduled ACIP meeting will be held October 20–21, although additional ACIP meetings are anticipated before then. Information about past and future ACIP meetings may be found on the ACIP website. 
Related Links

Back to top

July 28: Today is World Hepatitis Day!

World Hepatitis Day takes place every year on July 28, bringing the world together to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. From the World Hepatitis Day website:

With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness—even in the current COVID-19 crisis—we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis.

Access the World Hepatitis Day website for more information and campaign materials in multiple languages.

Related Links

Back to top

August is National Immunization Awareness Month; promote vaccination with helpful resources

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of healthcare professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.

It is critical to maintain routine vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect both individuals and communities. Routine vaccination prevents illnesses that lead to additional medical visits, hospitalizations, and further strain on the healthcare system. This year, CDC calls on its partners to amplify these important messages when communicating with parents, pregnant women, healthcare professionals, and other adults.

CDC’s NIAM web page includes two toolkits, one for reaching healthcare professionals and the other for reaching parents and patients. Each includes key messages, sample social media content, and educational resources. CDC encourages its partners to share these messages and resources throughout August using the hashtag #ivax2protect. Stay tuned for more resources to be released throughout the coming weeks.

Related Links

Back to top

Many children are behind on their vaccinations due to the pandemic; communicate the importance of getting back on track with these toolkits and resources

The pandemic disrupted routine well-child visits, leading to a decline in routine childhood vaccines. Fall is right around the corner and many children returning to schools, camps, playdates, and daycares are behind on their vaccines. You can help catch children up on their vaccines in your clinic with these valuable resources from IAC, CDC, and others:


  • Repository of Resources gateway page includes links to international, national, and state-level policies and advocacy materials, including talking points, webinars, press releases, media articles, and social media posts, as well as telehealth resources 



  • Keep Up the Rates national campaign to encourage vaccinations delayed during the pandemic

Unity Consortium

  • Don't Wait. Vaccinate. campaign to catch up adolescents and young adults. Includes customizable email, letter, text message templates, infographics, posters, flyers, and social media graphics and sample messages

American Academy of Pediatrics

Back to top

American Hospital Association releases policy statement supporting mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare personnel

On July 21, the American Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Trustees released a policy statement on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare personnel. A portion of the statement appears below. 

...To protect all patients, communities and personnel from the known and substantial risks of COVID-19, the American Hospital Association (AHA) strongly urges the vaccination of all health care personnel. COVID-19 vaccines protect health care personnel when working both in health care facilities and in the community. They provide strong protection against workers unintentionally carrying the disease to work and spreading it to patients and peers.

The AHA also supports hospitals and health systems that adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for health care personnel, with local factors and circumstances shaping whether and how these policies are implemented.... 

Related Links

Back to top

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Foundation updates its “Vaccine Education from Training to Practice” program

The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) Foundation updated their Vaccine Education from Training to Practice program that includes the 7-module Collaboration for Vaccine Education and Research (CoVER) curriculum. The curriculum was developed to increase healthcare professionals' knowledge and competency for communicating with patients and families about vaccination. IAC’s Sharon Humiston, MD, MPH, is one of the primary authors of the CoVER curriculum.

The Vaccine Education from Training to Practice program also includes the newest edition of The Vaccine Handbook App. The free app is formatted for iOS devices (including Apple iPhones and iPads) and, for the first time, Android devices. The Vaccine Handbook App is fully searchable; allows for bookmarking, highlighting, and annotation; and contains hyperlinks to valuable online content.

The free app may be found by searching the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for The Vaccine Handbook App or by using the following QR code.

Related Links

Back to top

IAC Spotlight! Review of resources at grouped by age cohorts

In this week's IAC Spotlight, we summarize resources at grouped by age cohorts. 

Our CDC Schedules gateway page provides print PDFs of the recommended immunization schedules for children and adolescents and for adults. 

Our Schedules for Patients gateway page contains vaccine schedule informational sheets for different age groups as well as for people with underlying medical conditions. 

Our Give Birth to End of Hep B gateway page contains IAC’s resources enabling hospitals and birthing centers to meet the national standard of care by providing a universal birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine to protect newborns.

Our Adolescent Vaccination gateway page contains all of the handouts that pertain to child and adolescent recommended vaccinations. 

Our Adult Vaccination gateway page contains all of the handouts that pertain to adult vaccinations.

Our Handouts: Parents gateway page leads to dozens of handouts explaining vaccines to parents.

Our Administering Vaccines gateway page contains resources for vaccines recommended for children, teens, and adults.

Our Screening Checklists about Vaccine Contraindications and Precautions gateway page links you to forms that patients fill out to expedite assessment of vaccination needs and contraindications.

Back to top

Journalists interview IAC experts
Journalists seek out IAC experts to help explain vaccines to the public and policy makers. We help the media understand and communicate the complex work vaccinators do. Here is a selection of our recent citations.

Related Link

Back to top

Vaccines in the news

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

Back to top

Featured Resources

FDA offers COVID-19 informational web page in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese
The FDA has created Learn More About COVID-19 Vaccines from the FDA, a web page for the public to see—in video and text—the evidence for each COVID-19 vaccine and the reasoning behind FDA's emergency use authorizations. At the web page, you will find Fact Sheets on each of the three COVID-19 vaccines, along with frequently asked questions. 

The website is offered in six languages: English, Chinese, Korean, SpanishTagalog, and Vietnamese

Related Links

Back to top

AIM and NPHIC develop "Immunization Communication Resource Portal" featuring talking points, messages, and materials to support your communication efforts

The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) has developed an Immunization Communications Resource Portal and the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) has developed an Immunization Communications Resource Portal. Both resource portals share talking points, messages, and other materials to support your jurisdiction's vaccine-related communications efforts. The portals aim to increase information sharing and collaboration between public information officers and immunization program managers related to COVID-19, influenza, and routine vaccination.

Back to top

AAP offers free web course, “HPV Vaccine: When, Why, and How,” to motivate healthcare personnel to protect patients against HPV diseases; CME available

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is offering a free online course titled HPV Vaccine: When, Why, and How addressing the HPV vaccine and cancer prevention, recommending the HPV vaccine, and increasing HPV vaccination rates. Learning objectives include:

  • Application of communication strategies to aid parents in deciding to vaccinate their adolescents against HPV
  • Formulation of accurate, succinct, and compelling responses to frequently asked questions about HPV vaccination
  • Use of practical methods to update your staff on HPV vaccination’s importance, safety, timing, and contraindications/precautions

Continuing education (CE) credit will be offered upon completion of the course. 

Register for the free course. 

Back to top

IAC's elegantly designed "Vaccines Save Lives" black enamel pins show how much you value vaccinations

IAC’s elegantly designed “Vaccines Save Lives” pins are meaningful gifts for people who care about vaccination. The pin makes a refined statement in hard black enamel with gold lettering and edges, measuring 1.125" x 0.75".

The pin is a stick-through-post variety with the back end covered by a round rubber cap that holds the pin securely. A gold metal spring-lock clasp is also provided.

Wear these pins on clothing, uniforms, and white coats to show that you value vaccines!


Click here for "Vaccines Save Lives" pin pricing and ordering information.

Back to top

Spread the word! IAC offers FREE “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” buttons and stickers to those promoting vaccination in hesitant communities! Available in English and Spanish.

All organizations promoting or offering COVID-19 vaccinations are now invited to order IAC’s FREE “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” buttons and stickers, provided with support from CDC. Available in English and Spanish, the buttons and stickers can be placed on lab coats, uniforms, jackets, lanyards, ID badges, or backpacks to show confidence in COVID-19 vaccination. Access this order form to request the FREE buttons and stickers for your outreach efforts.

Buttons and stickers remain available for sale to those not eligible for the CDC-funded supplies. 


Related Links

Back to top

Encourage friends to get vaccinated by adding IAC’s “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” Facebook profile photo frame! Available in English and Spanish.

Share your excitement about COVID-19 vaccination and inspire your friends! After you are vaccinated against COVID-19, 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:

Back to top

Notable Publications

"SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Public School District Employees following a District-Wide Vaccination Program—Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, March 21, 2021–April 23, 2021" published in MMWR Early Release

CDC published SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Public School District Employees following a District-Wide Vaccination Program—Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, March 21, 2021–April 23, 2021 in the July 23 MMWR Early Release. A portion of the discussion appears below. 

Following school reopening in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, on March 21, 2021, weekly point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 testing identified a 95% lower percentage of positive test results among school staff members who had received both doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine compared with those among unvaccinated staff members. These results occurred when the city’s daily COVID-19 incidence was 29–33 cases per 100,000 population, and approximately 40% of strains sequenced from the region were the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) lineage. The lower percentage of positive SARS-CoV-2 test results among vaccinated staff members supports ongoing efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccination for all school employees in advance of the upcoming 2021–22 school year.

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

Back to top

"Harnessing Electronic Clinical Data to Report Adult and Prenatal Immunization Quality Measures" published in JAMIA

In the July 19 issue, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) published Harnessing Electronic Clinical Data to Report Adult and Prenatal Immunization Quality Measures. IAC’s Angela Shen, ScD, MPH, is its senior author. A portion of the discussion section appears below. 

Results from the first year of reporting 2 electronic clinical data measures [of vaccinations recommended for pregnant patients and for adults] suggest health plans can feasibly report these measures and are seeking electronic data to supplement claims. Comparison of rates to other national results showed lower than expected rates for the adult immunization measure. However, prenatal immunization rates were on par with those from a national survey, suggesting this measure is closer to use for quality improvement.

Back to top

“Carrying Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination Forward: Guidance Informed by Communities of Color” published by JHU Center for Health Security

In the July 14 issue, the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University published Carrying Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination Forward: Guidance Informed by Communities of Color (71 pages, PDF). A portion of the summary appears below. 

Seven months into the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the United States, nearly 50% of the American population has been vaccinated. While this is a monumental accomplishment, there is still much work to do....

One challenge that deserves closer attention and more refined solutions is the campaign’s limited success at delivering vaccines to low-income persons and communities of color. During the pandemic, these populations have experienced significant physical, financial, and psychological harms at a disproportionate rate. The continued emergence and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 virus variants and the resumption of routine social, commercial, and educational activities across the country amplify the risks that COVID-19 poses to these groups.

This report provides specific guidance on adapting COVID-19 vaccination efforts to achieve greater vaccine coverage in underserved populations and, through this, to develop sustainable, locally appropriate mechanisms to advance equity in health....

Back to top

“Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant” published in NEJM

In the July 21 issue, the New England Journal of Medicine published Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant. A portion of the conclusions section appears below. 

Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the delta variant as compared with the alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses. Absolute differences in vaccine effectiveness were more marked after the receipt of the first dose. This finding would support efforts to maximize vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable populations.

Back to top

Upcoming Events

Hybrid: AIRA 2021 National Meeting to be held in person and virtually on August 3–5 in Portland

The American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA) is holding its 2021 National Meeting on August 3–5 in Portland, Oregon. The meeting will be a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual components. The AIRA National Meeting provides an annual opportunity to bring partners together to discuss the latest immunization information system (IIS) best practices on a national stage.

Visit the meeting web page for information about conference and hotel registration, presentations, and more. 

Register to attend.

Related Links

Back to top

Virtual: Immunize Oregon hosts “Northwest Immunization Conference” on August 16–20

Immunize Oregon is hosting its annual Northwest Immunization Conference virtually on August 16–20. This event brings together regional and national specialists to learn the latest information on vaccine issues impacting healthcare practices. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in educational workshops and clinical skill-building training while networking with fellow stakeholders.

Register for the free virtual event.

Back to top

Virtual: AAP hosts “2021 AAP Pediatric Infectious Diseases Virtual Course: A Comprehensive Review for Primary and Subspecialty Practitioners,” September 11–12; CME available

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is offering 2021 AAP Pediatric Infectious Diseases Virtual Course on September 11–12. This course incorporates both pre-course general session lectures and real-time participation and interaction with expert faculty through seminars and Q&A sessions. There is a fee to register for the course. Pediatric CME will be offered upon completion of the course.

Register for the course

Back to top

Immunization PSAs from the Archive

In this boisterous 1999 PSA from Arkansas Department of Health, we are reminded young kids need routine vaccinations at regular intervals

In this boisterous 1999 public service announcement (PSA) from the Arkansas Department of Health, we are reminded that children need routine vaccinations at regular intervals. 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 “Immunization PSAs from the Archive” are available when viewing this Vimeo video

Back to top

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
2550 University Avenue West, Suite 415 North
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

This page was updated on .