Issue 1,616: February 16, 2022
(Formerly IAC Express)
Top Stories

Immunize.org Pages and Handouts
Vaccine Information Statements 
Featured Resources
Notable Publications
Global News
Upcoming Events

Top Stories
CDC updates clinical considerations for COVID-19 vaccines, including guidance on booster-dose intervals for immunocompromised people

CDC updated their Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States on February 11. This guidance provides important details on use of COVID-19 vaccines. All healthcare professionals administering or counseling patients on COVID-19 vaccination should review all changes on the web page.

CDC summarized the February 11 changes as follows:

  • Updated guidance for moderately or severely immunocompromised people
    • Clarification of existing recommendation to receive a 3-dose mRNA vaccine primary series followed by a booster dose for a total of 4 doses
    • New guidance to shorten the interval between completion of the mRNA vaccine primary series and the booster dose to at least 3 months (instead of 5 months)
    • New guidance for those who received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine primary vaccine dose to receive an additional mRNA vaccine dose and a booster dose, for a total of 3 doses to be up to date
  • Updated guidance that it is no longer necessary to delay COVID-19 vaccination after receipt of monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma
  • Updated guidance on receiving an mRNA booster dose if vaccinated outside the United States
  • Updated contraindication and precaution section to include history of myocarditis or pericarditis after an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine as a precaution
  • Multiple sections reorganized and condensed

View the CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States web page.
 
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Sporadic flu activity continues across the country; vaccinate as long as influenza is a threat in your community

Influenza Surveillance
For week 5, ending on February 5, CDC's Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView summary reports sporadic influenza activity continues across the country. The percentage of outpatient visits due to respiratory illness has decreased nationally and is below baseline, however, the number of hospital admissions due to flu has increased slightly this week. CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 2.2 million flu illnesses, 22,000 hospitalizations, and 1,300 deaths from flu.



Influenza Vaccination Dashboard
CDC's new Weekly Flu Vaccination Dashboard shares preliminary vaccination data. This week’s key fact: There is considerable state-to-state variability in flu vaccination coverage for the 2021–2022 season through January 8 for both adults and children. For adults age 18 and older, coverage by jurisdiction ranged from 14.3% to 54.8%, and for children age 6 months–17 years, from 16.5% to 72.1%


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 vaccine@healthmap.org.

Related Links

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Spotlight: Check out Immunize.org’s companion websites

In this week's Spotlight, we summarize Immunize.org companion websites.

Information about the National Network of Immunization Coalitions, a project of Immunize.org, can be found at www.immunizationcoalitions.org. This website compiles information on more than 100 immunization coalitions throughout the United States. It’s a place for coalitions to find out about each other—their location, leaders, and activities—as well as to learn about topics of shared interest.

The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) website at www.izsummitpartners.org is dedicated to addressing adult and influenza immunization issues and improving coverage. The NAIIS has over 700 members, representing more than 130 public and private organizations. Leadership of the NAIIS is provided through the members of the Summit Organizing Committee, including Immunize.org, CDC, and other federal representatives. 

Vaccine Information You Need at www.vaccineinformation.org was launched by Immunize.org in partnership with CDC to help inform the public. This website provides hundreds of valuable resources, including personal testimonies of suffering and loss due to vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccine-related videos and public service announcements, and educational materials from trusted organizations.

MenACWY: You’re Not Done If You Give Just One at www.give2menacwy.org supports a national campaign produced by Immunize.org and Sanofi Pasteur to improve protection from disease caused by meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, and Y. It offers information for families and resources for providers to boost on-time delivery of both doses of the MenACWY vaccine series.

65+ Flu Defense at www.influenza-defense.org is a public health service produced by Immunize.org and Seqirus. The website offers tools and resources to help protect patients 65 and older, all of whom are at greater risk of influenza complications. 

Related Link

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Vaccines in the News

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

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Immunize.org Pages and Handouts 
Immunize.org's “Vaccines: COVID-19” main page fully updated with educational materials and information on booster doses and childhood vaccination 

Be sure to bookmark Immunize.org's Vaccines: COVID-19 main page for quick access to links to key COVID-19 vaccine resource pages from Immunize.org, CDC, and other partners.



As policies for COVID-19 vaccines are updated and new CDC materials are released, Immunize.org's Vaccines: COVID-19 main page and resources will continue to be updated. 


Vaccine Information Statements 
CDC issues new pneumococcal conjugate Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) that covers PCV13, PCV15, and PCV20, and issues new recombinant zoster VIS that includes immunocompromised adults

On February 4, CDC issued two Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) for:

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine – The new interim VIS should be provided with any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13, PCV15, and PCV20) and outlines new recommendations for adults
  • Recombinant zoster (shingles) vaccine – The updated VIS incorporates the expanded indications for this vaccine for adults age 19 years or older who are immunocompromised because of disease or treatment for a disease

       

CDC encourages providers to begin using these VISs immediately, but printed stocks of the previous editions may be used until exhausted.

Related Links


Featured Resources
Johns Hopkins launches free virtual course to train “ambassadors” to talk with parents about COVID-19 vaccines for children

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health Solutions, has launched a free 2-hour online course called COVID Vaccine Ambassador Training: How to Talk to Parents. The course prepares parents of school-age children, PTAs, community members, and school staff to be vaccine ambassadors for children. After completing the course, vaccine ambassadors will be able to share knowledge about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine, engage in conversations about vaccine hesitancy in a respectful and empathetic way, and direct people to credible sources for further information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

View the online training course

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University of Washington releases toolkit One Vax, Two Lives with multi-language communication materials and FAQs about COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy

The University of Washington released One Vax, Two Lives Partner Communication Toolkit (accessible via Google Drive). It provides communication materials, including social media content, and a comprehensive list of medically vetted answers to FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy. Currently, they have content in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, and Bulgarian and the translation list will grow.



Access the One Vax, Two Lives Partner Communication Toolkit in Google Docs. 

For additions, revisions, or comments on the toolkit, please email onevaxtwolives@gmail.com

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Meningitis B Action Project launches Meningitis B Student Hub, an online curriculum for college peer health educators and students

Meningitis B Action Project launched Meningitis B Student Hub, an online curriculum for college peer health educators. College students are five times more likely to contract meningitis B than non-college students, making it particularly important for students to be informed about prevention. The Hub includes simple key messages to help explain the disease, educational materials for download, sample presentations, and inspirational podcasts from peer health educators. The Hub also includes education campaign ideas and suggestions for engaging student health centers and college administrators to advocate for better meningitis B prevention measures on campus. 



View the Meningitis B Student Hub and forward to any partners, colleges, universities, and others that may be interested.

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

Confident recommendations for influenza vaccine from healthcare providers are powerfully persuasive. To assist you in maximizing protection for your patients, Immunize.org, in collaboration with Seqirus, has updated the 65+ Flu Defense website at www.influenza-defense.org.

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:

Check out the updated 65+ Flu Defense website at www.influenza-defense.org to assist your efforts in protecting this vulnerable population.

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FREE! Immunize.org offers COVID-19 and flu buttons and stickers. Place your order now!

Kids love buttons and stickers! As COVID-19 vaccination programs vaccinate children age 5 and older and offer booster doses to more people, now is the time to stock up on Immunize.org’s FREE “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” buttons and stickers, provided at no cost for product or shipping thanks to support from CDC. Stickers are available in English and Spanish. Buttons are available in Spanish. These buttons and stickers are perfect for people of all ages who want to show their confidence in COVID-19 vaccination. 

Click the picture to place your order now:

Immunize.org also has a limited supply of our popular “Vacuna Contra LA GRIPE” buttons and stickers, available at no charge for product or shipping, thanks to funding from Seqirus. Now more than ever, it is important to step up our efforts to eliminate disparities in influenza vaccination rates. This bright red Spanish button can help. 

Click the picture to place your order now:

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Notable Publications

“Waning 2-Dose and 3-Dose Effectiveness of mRNA Vaccines against COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations among Adults during Periods of Delta and Omicron Variant Predominance—VISION Network, 10 States, August 2021–January 2022” published as an MMWR Early Release

CDC published Waning 2-Dose and 3-Dose Effectiveness of mRNA Vaccines against COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations among Adults during Periods of Delta and Omicron Variant Predominance—VISION Network, 10 States, August 2021–January 2022 on February 11 as an MMWR Early Release. A portion of the summary appears below. 

Protection against COVID-19 after 2 doses of mRNA vaccine wanes, but little is known about durability of protection after 3 doses....

Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19–associated emergency department/urgent care (ED/UC) visits and hospitalizations was higher after the third dose than after the second dose but waned with time since vaccination. During the Omicron-predominant period, VE against COVID-19–associated ED/UC visits and hospitalizations was 87% and 91%, respectively, during the 2 months after a third dose and decreased to 66% and 78% by the fourth month after a third dose....
 
All eligible persons should remain up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations to best protect against COVID-19–associated hospitalizations and ED/UC visits.


Access the MMWR Early Release article in HTML or PDF.

Related Link

  • MMWR's main page provides access to MMWR Weekly and its companion publications

“Safety Monitoring of COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses among Adults—United States, September 22, 2021–February 6, 2022” published as an MMWR Early Release

CDC published Safety Monitoring of COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses among Adults—United States, September 22, 2021–February 6, 2022 on February 11 as an MMWR Early Release. A portion of the summary appears below. 

In preauthorization trials, adverse reactions were reported less frequently following a homologous COVID-19 mRNA vaccine booster dose than after receipt of the second primary dose....
 
Review of surveillance data
[Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and v-safe] found that local and systemic reactions were less frequent after a homologous COVID-19 mRNA vaccine booster dose than after the second primary vaccine dose. Myocarditis was rarely reported following an mRNA vaccine booster dose....
 
All persons aged ≥12 years should receive a COVID-19 booster dose. Vaccination providers should educate patients that local and systemic reactions are expected following a homologous COVID-19 mRNA vaccine booster; however, these reactions are less common than those following the second primary series dose.


Access the MMWR Early Release article in HTML or PDF.

Related Link

  • MMWR's main page provides access to MMWR Weekly and its companion publications
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“Durability of Anti-spike Antibodies in Infants after Maternal COVID-19 Vaccination or Natural Infection” published in JAMA

In the February 7 issue, JAMA published Durability of Anti-spike Antibodies in Infants after Maternal COVID-19 Vaccination or Natural Infection. A summary appears below. 

This study included 77 vaccinated pregnant mothers and 12 with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. The researchers looked at antibody levels in mothers in both groups and in their infants. They found that:

  • Vaccinated mothers had significantly higher antibody levels at delivery compared with mothers after infection
  • At 6 months of age, 57% (16 of 28) of infants born to vaccinated mothers had detectable antibodies compared with 8% (1 of 12) of infants born to infected mothers

The latter point is noteworthy because COVID-19 infections among young infants account for a disproportionate burden of pediatric SARS-CoV-2–associated illness and because COVID-19 vaccines are not currently planned for administration to infants younger than age 6 months. The authors conclude that “these findings provide further incentive for pregnant individuals to pursue COVID-19 vaccination.”

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“Axillary Adenopathy after COVID-19 Vaccine: No Reason to Delay Screening Mammogram” published in Radiology

In the February 8 issue, Radiology published Axillary Adenopathy after COVID-19 Vaccine: No Reason to Delay Screening Mammogram. A summary appears below.

In this study of patients who received the COVID-19 vaccine and had breast imaging between 12/30/2020 and 4/12/2021, adenopathy was common (44%), with persistent lymph node swelling seen up to 43 weeks after vaccination. The authors conclude that patients should not delay their screening mammogram because they were recently vaccinated. Lymph node swelling should be interpreted in the context of patient risk factors.

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Global News

“Progress toward Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Control and Elimination—Worldwide, 2012–2020” published in MMWR

CDC published Progress toward Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Control and Elimination—Worldwide, 2012–2020 on February 11 in MMWR. A portion of the summary appears below. 

Congenital rubella syndrome, a devastating constellation of birth defects, is caused by rubella infection during pregnancy. Since 2012, rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) introduction efforts have accelerated worldwide, and a 2020 global policy update recommended that introduction efforts use a strategy that leads to elimination....

By 2020, 173 (89%) of 194 countries had introduced RCVs, and 93 (48%) had been verified as having eliminated rubella transmission. Vaccination introduction equity improved substantially among lower income countries, but vaccination coverage remains a concern....

To further progress, it is important the 21 remaining countries introduce rubella vaccine and that all countries enhance vaccination coverage and surveillance to achieve and maintain elimination.


Access the MMWR article in HTML or PDF.

Related Link

  • MMWR's main page provides access to MMWR Weekly and its companion publications
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Upcoming Events
Virtual: Families Fighting Flu hosts webinar “The Important Fight against Flu: Prevention, Rapid Testing, and Timely Antiviral Use” on February 17

Families Fighting Flu will offer a webinar titled The Important Fight against Flu: Prevention, Rapid Testing and Timely Antiviral Use from 1:00–2:00 p.m. (ET), February 17. This educational program will provide important insights on best practices within health systems to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosis, enhance antimicrobial stewardship, and improve patient care. Measures and resources to prevent influenza will also be shared.

Register for the webinar.

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Watch February 23–24 ACIP meeting on tick-borne encephalitis, cholera, influenza, MMR, and pneumococcal vaccines

CDC will convene its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) February 23–24. The meeting will include discussion of tick-borne encephalitis, cholera, influenza, MMR, and pneumococcal vaccines.



No registration is required to watch webcasts of live ACIP meetings or listen via telephone. Opportunities for public comment are described at the website.

View the agenda.

Related Links


For more upcoming events, visit our Calendar of Events.  
About IZ Express
Immunize.org welcomes redistribution of this issue of IZ Express or selected articles. When you do so, please add a note that Immunize.org is the source of the material and provide a link to this issue.

IZ 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 Immunize.org and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

IZ Express Disclaimer
ISSN 2771-8085

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 Immunize.org and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.IZ Express DisclaimerISSN 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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