has been refreshed! Take a tour.
Issue 1,608: December 15, 2021
Top Stories
Vaccine Information Statements Featured Resources Notable Publications Global News Upcoming Events
Top Stories
CDC expands Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster recommendations to 16- and 17-year-olds

On December 9, CDC expanded its recommendations for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster doses to adolescents ages 16 and 17 years. CDC clinical guidance on booster doses now states that adolescents age 16 through 17 years may receive a single 30 mcg booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at least 6 months after completion of the primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks. This is an expansion of CDC’s recent recommendation that all adults age 18 years and older who have completed primary vaccination should receive a booster dose of any authorized or licensed COVID-19 vaccine.

Updated clinical guidance is now available in CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents ages 16 and 17. 

Related Links

Back to top

IAC’s “Vaccines: COVID-19” main page fully updated with educational materials and information on booster doses and childhood vaccination

IAC’s Vaccines: COVID-19 main page has been completely updated to include the latest CDC materials on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and childhood vaccination. This page also provides links to key COVID-19 vaccine resource pages from IAC, CDC, and other partners.

As policies for booster doses of other COVID-19 vaccines are updated and new CDC materials are released, IAC’s COVID-19 main page and resources will continue to be updated. 

Back to top

IAC’s newest handout on coadministration announced during our December 9 webinar now posted along with on-demand video of “Fight the Flu and COVID-19 Too”

Many adults need more than one vaccination right now, and the best, most efficient way to catch them up is to give them all the vaccines they need at a single visit. Prepare yourself and your team to coadminister multiple vaccines with IAC’s newest print-ready educational tool, How to Administer Multiple Intramuscular Vaccines to Adults during One Visit. Learn how influenza vaccination rates are falling behind and how you can help your patients catch up now on both influenza and COVID-19 vaccination by viewing and sharing IAC’s December 9 webinar titled "Fight the Flu and COVID-19 Too: Influenza Vaccination in December and beyond and Practical Approaches to Coadministration of Vaccines in Adults." The webinar is now archived on the website for viewing on demand

The webinar covers the following topics:

  • CDC’s new influenza surveillance tool, the Weekly National Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Dashboard and this season’s vaccination coverage trends
  • The safety and effectiveness of co-administering vaccines, featuring basic immunology you should understand to answer recipients’ questions confidently
  • Practical techniques for administering multiple shots to an adult, including how to deliver two vaccines in one deltoid, which vaccines should be given in separate limbs if possible, and use of the anterolateral thigh as an injection site
The new print-ready educational piece on how to administer multiple IM injections to adults reinforces these practical lessons. Please share the webinar and handout links with your colleagues.

Related Links

Back to top

December 12 marked 1 year since ACIP voted to recommend the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States; IAC thanks vaccinators for their hard work and dedication 

December marks the 1-year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccinations being recommended and administered in the United States. On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the first Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a vaccine to help prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus in people age 16 years and older. Following this authorization, on December 12, 2020 the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for persons age 16 years and older in the United States. 

Since that time, more than 485 million doses have been administered across the United States to more than 239 million people (over 72% of the U.S. population). Currently, 202 million people are fully vaccinated, including 87% of people ages 65 years and older, 70% ages 12 years and older, and 64% ages 5 years and older. Additionally, more than 53 million adults have received a booster dose. These statistics were achieved through the hard work of tens of thousands of vaccination providers, support staff, and volunteers working every day across the country and in every community.

IAC extends our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all the vaccinators and support teams who made it possible to protect these millions of people in just 1 year. We especially recognize your dedication and innovative efforts to reach the vulnerable, hesitant, and hard-to-reach communities. Keep up the stellar work in 2022!

Back to top

Influenza vaccination coverage trending far lower than last year across all ages; vaccinate now

Influenza Surveillance
For week 48, ending on December 4, CDC's Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView summary: Seasonal influenza activity in the United States remains low, but continues to increase.

Influenza Vaccination Dashboard
CDC's new Weekly Flu Vaccination Dashboard shares preliminary vaccination data, including key facts, such as:
  • Coverage among states and DC as of November 27, 2021, ranges from 20.3% to 63.9%; national coverage is 39.8%
CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same visit, if needed. COVID-19 vaccination alone provides no protection from influenza or any other respiratory virus. 

Vaccine Finder
If you don’t provide influenza vaccine at your site, please strongly recommend vaccination and refer people to sites that do vaccinate. Use VaccineFinder, a user-friendly website to help people of all ages find influenza, COVID-19, and other vaccines. Participating providers can update their vaccine inventory estimates on VaccineFinder. For questions or more information, contact

Related Links

Back to top

American College of Physicians launches new video series to combat vaccine misinformation

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has launched two new video series created in partnership with YouTube. These works are part of a broader effort to develop educational content to counter misinformation around COVID-19 and routine adult vaccines.

For patients: ACP's new Ask Your Internist series is a patient-facing series where physicians answer the public's top questions about vaccines. The first Ask Your Internist episode, "Why Trust COVID-19 Vaccines?" features Dr. Frances Ferguson, an internal medicine physician based in Georgia, who shares her journey from being skeptical about the coronavirus vaccines to trusting them enough to get vaccinated and recommending the COVID-19 vaccines to her patients. Additional Ask Your Internist episodes include: For cliniciansPhysician to Physician Conversations is ACP's new clinician-facing series that shares practical strategies to address vaccine misinformation. The first episode, "Uncover the Root of COVID-19 Vaccine Concerns" features Dr. Kimberly Manning, an internist based in Atlanta who discusses strategies to get to the root of patient concerns about COVID-19 vaccines by engaging in meaningful conversation.

More videos will be posted to ACP's YouTube channel in coming weeks.

Back to top

"Booster and Additional Primary Dose COVID-19 Vaccinations among Adults Aged ≥65 Years—United States, August 13, 2021–November 19, 2021" published in MMWR Early Release

CDC published Booster and Additional Primary Dose COVID-19 Vaccinations among Adults Aged ≥65 Years—United States, August 13, 2021–November 19, 2021 in the December 10 issue of MMWR Early Release. A portion of the summary appears below.

During August 13–November 19, 2021, 18.7 million persons aged ≥65 years received a booster or additional primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine, constituting 44.1% of eligible persons aged ≥65 years. Coverage differed by primary series vaccine product and race/ethnicity.....

Strategic efforts are needed to encourage eligible persons aged ≥18 years, especially those aged ≥65 years and those who are immunocompromised, to receive a booster and/or additional primary dose to ensure maximal protection against COVID-19.

Access the MMWR article in HTML or PDF.

Back to top

“Comparative Effectiveness and Antibody Responses to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines among Hospitalized Veterans—Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1–September 30, 2021” published in MMWR

CDC published Comparative Effectiveness and Antibody Responses to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines among Hospitalized Veterans—Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1–September 30, 2021 in the December 10 issue of MMWR. A portion of the summary appears below.

During February 1–September 30, 2021, mRNA vaccine effectiveness in preventing COVID-19–associated hospitalizations among U.S. veterans ≥120 days after receipt of the second dose was 86% for Moderna and 75% for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Antibody responses to both vaccines decreased over time. Moderna vaccine recipients had higher antibody levels than did Pfizer-BioNTech recipients....

These findings from a cohort of older, hospitalized veterans with high prevalences of underlying conditions suggest the importance of booster doses to help maintain long-term protection against severe COVID-19.

Access the MMWR article in HTML or PDF.

Back to top

IAC Spotlight! Review of resources at focused on adult vaccination

In this week's IAC Spotlight, we summarize resources at that focus on adult vaccination. 

Our Resources for Adult Vaccination main page offers all the adult educational materials from IAC and partner organizations.

Our free downloadable book, Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide, is a "how to" guide that provides easy-to-use, practical information covering essential adult vaccination activities.

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

Our CDC Schedules main page provides print PDFs of the recommended immunization schedules for adults, as well as for children and adolescents. 

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

Back to top

We have a quick question for you. In just 3 minutes, your feedback can shape the future of our website.

We have just a few questions for you to help us improve your experience on the website. Please take 3 minutes to complete this website user experience survey.

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 recent citation.

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

Vaccine Information Statements
New VIS translations to download now: IAC posts 4 Turkish translations of August 6 Vaccine Information Statements

IAC has posted Turkish translations of Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) issued by CDC on August 6. These translations were generously donated by Betül Polatdemir, MD, Ankara, Turkey, and Nur Polatdemir Çevik, Near East University, Nicosia, Cyprus.

All translations are available in print-ready PDF format. 

VIS translations in Turkish:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP) PDF (view in English)
  • Polio vaccine PDF (view in English)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria (Td) PDF (view in English)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) PDF (view in English)
These join the other languages previously announced in IAC Express: Arabic, Burmese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dari, French, Pashto, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Translations of previous VIS versions may be used until new translations become available. CDC states that the corresponding up-to-date English-language VIS must also be supplied when providing an out-of-date translation.

Related Links

Back to top

Featured Resources

CDC launches “Interactive COVID-19 Vaccine Conversations Module for Healthcare Professionals”

CDC has launched a new resource to equip healthcare professionals with the tools they need to have effective COVID-19 vaccine conversations with patients. The Interactive COVID-19 Vaccine Conversations Module for Healthcare Professionals includes: 
  • Tips for Having Effective Vaccine Conversations with Patients  
  • Vaccine Conversations in Practice: Case Scenarios 

Access and equip healthcare professionals in your networks with this free CDC resource today.

Back to top

Get them while you can! IAC offers FREE “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” buttons and stickers in English and Spanish.

Anyone promoting COVID-19 vaccination can order IAC’s FREE “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” buttons and stickers, provided with support from CDC. Stickers and buttons in both Spanish and English remain available. Share them with patients, colleagues, and friends to show confidence in COVID-19 vaccination.   

Click the picture below to go directly to the order form.

Related Links

Back to top

Organizing a new vaccination program? Use IAC’s Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide—free to download by chapter or in its entirety.

Download IAC's free 142-page book on adult vaccination, to help build your program and train your team: Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide (Guide).


This thorough "how to" guide on adult vaccination provides easy-to-use, practical information covering all essential activities. It helps vaccine providers enhance their existing adult vaccination services or introduce them into any clinical setting.

The Guide is available to download/print either by chapter or in its entirety free at The National Vaccine Program Office and CDC both supported the development of the Guide and provided early technical review.

The Guide is a valuable resource to assist providers in increasing adult vaccination rates. Be sure to get a copy today!

Please note: this guide was produced in 2017, before the COVID-19 era, and reflects the recommendations of that time.

Related Links

Back to top

Notable Publications
“Vaccination in Pregnancy against Pertussis and Seasonal Influenza: Key Learnings and Components from High-Performing Vaccine Programmes in Three Countries: The United Kingdom, the United States and Spain” published in BMC Public Health

In the November 29 issue, BMC Public Health published Vaccination in Pregnancy against Pertussis and Seasonal Influenza: Key Learnings and Components from High-Performing Vaccine Programmes in Three Countries: The United Kingdom, the United States and Spain. Authors include IAC's L.J Tan. The conclusions section appears below. 

Although there is no simple, universal solution to improving sub-optimal VCRs [vaccine coverage rates], the list of components identified in this study from three countries with high-performing Tdap and seasonal influenza vaccination programmes provides a basis for public health and medical stakeholders in other countries to define strategies to successfully implement national vaccination programmes for pregnant women.

The components include recommendation within a national immunization program; vaccine reimbursement; mobilization of health authorities, prenatal professionals, and scientific societies; inclusion of vaccination in antenatal medical guidance; provision of educational material to healthcare professionals; and strong disease awareness driven by recent pertussis outbreaks in each country.

Back to top

“COVID-19 Vaccines for Adolescents: Leveraging the ABCs of Communication” published in the Journal of Adolescent Health

The December issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health featured multiple peer-reviewed articles on COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents.

Notable was the article entitled COVID-19 Vaccines for Adolescents: Leveraging the ABCs of Communication. The authors define ABCs as [A]ctive on social media, [B]uild trustworthiness, and [C]apitalize on the strengths of adolescents. The conclusions section appears below. 

An oft repeated public health mantra is that “vaccines do not save lives, vaccinations save lives.” Unfortunately, as highlighted by recent events in Tennessee, adolescent COVID-19 vaccination has become politicized, further hampering efforts by clinicians to promote COVID-19 vaccination among adolescents. The ABCs of vaccine communication offer a way for clinicians to promote adolescent vaccination during this critical juncture in the pandemic, with case numbers rising and schools re-opening. Lessons learned from these efforts can also inform ongoing adolescent vaccine distribution and health communication efforts.

Back to top

Global News
“Update on Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks—Worldwide, January 2020–June 2021” published in MMWR
CDC published Update on Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks—Worldwide, January 2020–June 2021 in the December 10 issue of MMWR

During January 2020–June 2021, 44 cVDPV [circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus] outbreaks were ongoing, resulting in 1,335 paralytic cases; 38 (86%) were cVDPV type 2 (cVDPV2). Initial use of novel type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), modified to be more genetically stable than Sabin strain poliovirus, began in March 2021 for cVDPV2 outbreak responses; current supplies are limited....

A goal of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s 2022–2026 Strategic Plan is to better address the challenges to early cVDPV2 outbreak detection and initiate prompt and high coverage outbreak responses with available type 2 OPV to interrupt transmission by the end of 2023.

Related Links

Back to top

“Optimizing the Supply of Vaccines for COVID-19” published in Bulletin of the World Health Organization

In the December 1 issue, the Bulletin of the World Health Organization published Optimizing the Supply of Vaccines for COVID-19. Authors include IAC's Angela Shen. A portion of the commentary appears below. 

...To optimize implementation efforts at country level, four sub-workstreams function under the country readiness and delivery structure in addition to the other technical workstreams on data, demand, supply chain and logistics, and innovation. These four sub-workstreams are: (i) the implementation monitoring review, which seeks to enhance country-level intelligence and progress monitoring; (ii) country support teams, who build on weekly insights on implementation activities to focus additional operational support for vulnerable countries; (iii) a bi-weekly funders forum where donors seek to address implementation bottlenecks through coordinated funding; and (iv) a newly created Implementers Action Network, a mechanism to increase operational coordination across key implementing partners in countries.

Back to top

Upcoming Events
Virtual: Pfizer-BioNTech offers daily COVID-19 vaccination provider webinars to explain new booster recommendations and products

Pfizer-BioNTech continues to offer daily medical update sessions for COVID-19 vaccination providers on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. (ET), and Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12:00 p.m. (ET). Training sessions such as these for all staff involved with vaccines are important to help prevent vaccination errors related to new COVID-19 vaccine formulations.

Session topics will include:

  • Introduction of the DO NOT DILUTE (gray cap) formulation for age 12 years and older
  • Storage, handling, preparation, and administration for the various presentations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (including orange cap, purple cap, and the new gray cap)
  • Recent medical updates regarding the vaccine
  • An overview of healthcare provider resources
  • Question and answer session

These sessions will be updated to reflect new information and changes that evolve. Recent updates will be identified at the start of each session. Subsequent trainings will continue into 2022 and will be posted on the Pfizer Medical Update web page.

Back to top

For more upcoming events, visit our Calendar of Events.

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. 1NH23IP922654 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 .