Immunize.org’s “Ask the Experts: COVID-19” web page updated on May 24
Immunize.org published an updated version of its popular Ask the Experts: COVID-19 web page on May 24. This extensive list of clinical questions and answers addresses COVID-19 recommendations and clinical considerations, including the new booster dose recommendations for children age 5–11 and the strengthened recommendation for a second booster dose for immunocompromised individuals age 12 and older and for all individuals age 50 and older.
Immunize.org's Ask the Experts main page leads you to 30 distinct web pages on a variety of topics with more than 1,100 common or challenging questions and answers about vaccines and their administration. Immunize.org's team of experts includes Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH (team lead), Carolyn B. Bridges, MD, FACP, and Iyabode Beysolow, MD, MPH.
The most recent changes to COVID-19 recommendations, in addition to questions and answers about universal adult hepatitis B vaccination, will be featured in a special edition of IZ Express on June 2.
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CDC revises COVID-19 vaccination status definition of “up to date” to include second booster for everyone age 50 or older and immunocompromised people age 12 or older
On April 20, CDC first recommended an optional second booster dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose for immunocompromised individuals age 12 and older and for all individuals age 50 and older. CDC also recommended an optional second booster dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for people age 18 through 49 who received Janssen vaccine as both their primary dose and first booster dose.
On May 19, CDC strengthened its recommendation for immunocompromised individuals age 12 and older as well as for all individuals age 50 and older to say that all who are eligible should (not “may”) get a second booster dose of mRNA vaccine. Because this dose is now routine, CDC’s definition of “up to date” for those populations now includes the administration of a second booster dose of mRNA vaccine at the appropriate interval. The second booster dose for individuals age 18 through 49 who received Janssen vaccine as their primary dose and first booster dose remains optional and is not required to meet the criteria for classifying these individuals as “up to date."
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CDC offers new resources to help encourage COVID-19 vaccination for children and teens
CDC has a variety of new resources available to help encourage COVID-19 vaccination for children and teens. The resources should be shared widely and include:
Resources for community partners and vaccine providers
Resources for parents and caregivers
CDC releases latest issue of "COVID-19 State of Vaccine Confidence Insights Report" on May 12
On May 12, CDC released the latest issue of COVID-19 State of Vaccine Confidence Insights Report, which describes major themes influencing hesitancy and uptake, to identify emerging issues of misinformation, disinformation, and places where intervention efforts can positively increase vaccine confidence across the United States.
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Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, disasters: it’s the season to exercise your emergency plan
Power outages can create emergency conditions that can damage your valuable vaccine inventory. For this reason, every site that stocks vaccines needs an emergency plan. Every clinic in the CDC’s Vaccines For Children program (VFC) is required to have one. Follow CDC’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit to create an emergency plan for your clinic and then practice your plan this month. Build redundancy, flexibility, and communication into your plan. Consider:
- Equipment backup options
- Alternate storage options
- Vaccine transport plans
Your plan should include at least one facility that is willing to receive and properly store your vaccine inventory in case it must be relocated. CDC’s guide provides detailed instructions on monitoring temperatures during a power outage and what to do once proper storage is restored.
Prevent avoidable vaccine waste by training your staff on emergency procedures, including after-hours roles and responsibilities. Then run an exercise to check understanding.
Influenza viruses continue to circulate, with increasing activity in some parts of the country
For week 20, ending on May 21, CDC's Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView summary reports that seasonal influenza viruses are continuing to circulate and activity is still rising in some parts of the country. The number of hospital admissions with laboratory-confirmed influenza has remained stable over the past four weeks.
CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination as long as influenza viruses are circulating. Vaccination may still prevent serious outcomes in people who are vaccinated but get sick.
In other influenza news, CDC continues to monitor the expanding avian influenza outbreak now confirmed among wild birds in 40 U.S. states and among domestic poultry in 35 states. There has been no change to CDC’s assessment that the risk to human health remains low. CDC has published avian influenza communication resources (view in Spanish).
VaccineFinder at “Vaccines.gov”
If you don’t provide influenza vaccine at your site, please strongly recommend vaccination and refer people to sites that do vaccinate. “Vaccines.gov” is powered by VaccineFinder, a service of Boston Children’s Hospital, to help people find influenza, COVID-19, and other vaccines for any age group.
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Invite your colleagues to subscribe to IZ Express
so they don’t miss out on immunization news!
IZ Express, the free weekly e-newsletter produced by Immunize.org, succinctly summarizes each week’s important vaccine developments, including new and updated recommendations from CDC and the latest vaccine decisions by FDA. IZ Express also features:
- Newly posted Vaccine Information Statements and their translations
- Educational materials from Immunize.org, CDC, AAP, and others
- Notices about online and in-person educational opportunities, many offering free continuing education credit
We appreciate you as a subscriber! Encourage your co-workers to subscribe to IZ Express themselves so they get everything that matters to vaccinators in their own inbox each Wednesday.
Spotlight: Review of Immunize.org resources focused on vaccination during pregnancy
In this week's Spotlight, we summarize Immunize.org resources that focus on vaccination during pregnancy.
Handouts: Pregnancy and Vaccines main page offers free access to pregnancy and vaccination-related handouts and fact sheets for healthcare professionals and the public. All items are ready to print, copy, and distribute widely.
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. These include the labor and delivery HBsAg admission checklist.
Adult Vaccination main page contains all the Immunize.org handouts that pertain to adult vaccinations. These include the Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization that contains many call outs of vaccination during pregnancy.
CDC Schedules main page provides print PDFs of the recommended immunization schedules for adults. The first column in Table 2 of the adult schedule describes the vaccines to give or defer during pregnancy.
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These recent articles convey the potential risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of vaccination.
Immunize.org Pages and Handouts
Recap: These updated Immunize.org educational materials and web pages for clinicians were released during April and May
IZ Express regularly provides readers with information about Immunize.org’s new and updated educational materials and web pages for healthcare professionals. All Immunize.org materials are free to distribute.
Immunize.org Updated Web Pages
Immunize.org Updated PDF Materials for Patients
In case you missed them during recent weeks, updates were made to these helpful materials:
Immunize.org Updated PDF Materials for Clinicians
- Immunize.org: Handouts main page to see educational materials sorted by category
- Immunize.org: Ask the Experts main page to access more than 1,100 questions answered by Immunize.org experts
- Immunize.org: Clinic Tools main page and its nine subtopics
- Immunize.org: Educational Materials for Patients and Staff—an alphabetical list of more than 230 ready-to-print staff educational materials and patient handouts
Vaccine Information Statements
Recap: These new VIS translations were released during April and May
IZ Express regularly provides readers with information about Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) and translations of VISs.
In April, six Turkish VIS translations were updated.
Vaccinate Your Family posts video from its virtual summit held May 11 on the worrisome decline in routine vaccination rates during the pandemic
Vaccinate Your Family (VYF) posted Addressing the Decline in Routine Immunizations
, the archived video from its virtual summit on May 11. This summit's intent was to learn from the pandemic and raise immunization rates. The video shows data on the recent dips in immunization rates, followed by panels from community groups and front-line vaccinators discussing how to improve vaccine access.
Watch VYF's virtual summit video: Addressing the Decline in Routine Immunizations
Voices for Vaccines releases podcast on helping the hesitant to become more confident in vaccinations
Voices for Vaccines (VFV) has posted a new entry in its Vax Talk podcast series: Getting Back to the Vax featuring Lydia Greene and Heather Simpson from Back to the Vax. A description from the VFV web page appears below.
Vaccine hesitancy can be exhausting for everyone involved. Those who are uncertain may feel badgered by well-meaning friends, and well-meaning friends may feel frustrated by combatting misinformation.
But we know that the hesitant can become confident because our two guests have been there. Join this fun conversation about how we can all talk to each other.
Voices for Vaccines is a national organization of parents and others dedicated to raising the level of the voices of immunization supporters. VFV invites everyone who values vaccines to become a member, use VFV tools in their own community, and get involved with VFV.
Explore the www.Give2MenACWY.org website to increase coverage for the MenACWY booster and other adolescent vaccinations
Immunize.org's www.Give2MenACWY.org website promotes the importance of adolescent vaccination, including administering the recommended MenACWY vaccine booster dose at age 16. Many teens are behind on vaccines because of the pandemic, so vaccination is more important than ever.
Materials on this colorful website for healthcare professionals incorporate the 2020 ACIP meningococcal vaccine recommendations and coverage statistics from CDC’s National Immunization Survey–Teen (NIS–Teen). One particularly popular resource on the site is the updated Algorithm for MenACWY Immunization in Adolescents 11 through 18 Years of Age.
The website is divided into five easy-to-access sections:
The site also categorizes materials according to whether they are primarily of interest to providers, to adolescents, or to parents.
Visit Give2MenACWY.org and enjoy browsing (and deploying) its bountiful resources.
“Use of Jynneos (Smallpox and Monkeypox Vaccine, Live, Nonreplicating) for Preexposure Vaccination of Persons at Risk for Occupational Exposure to Orthopoxviruses: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2022” published in MMWR Early Release
CDC published Use of Jynneos (Smallpox and Monkeypox Vaccine, Live, Nonreplicating) for Preexposure Vaccination of Persons at Risk for Occupational Exposure to Orthopoxviruses: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2022 on May 27 in MMWR Early Release. Portions of the article appear below.
In 2015, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended preexposure prophylaxis with ACAM2000, a replication-competent live virus Vaccinia virus vaccine, for certain U.S. persons at risk for occupational exposure to orthopoxviruses....
In 2019, FDA licensed Jynneos, a replication-deficient MVA vaccine, for prevention of smallpox or monkeypox disease in adults aged ≥18 years determined to be at high risk for infection with these viruses. Jynneos is administered by subcutaneous injection as a 2-dose series delivered 28 days apart. There is no major cutaneous reaction, also known as a “take” (a vaccine site lesion often used as a marker of successful vaccination with replication-competent vaccines such as ACAM2000), following vaccination with Jynneos and consequently no risk for inadvertent inoculation or autoinoculation….
On November 3, 2021, ACIP voted to recommend Jynneos preexposure prophylaxis as an alternative to ACAM2000 for certain persons at risk for exposure to orthopoxviruses....
A second vaccine is now available for persons for whom vaccination against orthopoxvirus infections is recommended. Potential vaccinees should weigh the risks and benefits of each vaccine when deciding which to receive.
Access the MMWR Early Release article in HTML or PDF.
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“Post-COVID-19 Conditions among Adult COVID-19 Survivors Aged 18–64 and ≥65 Years—United States, March 2020–November 2021” published in MMWR
CDC published Post-COVID-19 Conditions among Adult COVID-19 Survivors Aged 18–64 and ≥65 Years—United States, March 2020–November 2021 on May 27 in MMWR. A portion of the summary appears below.
As more persons are exposed to and infected by SARS-CoV-2, reports of patients who experience persistent symptoms or organ dysfunction after acute COVID-19 and develop post-COVID conditions have increased....
COVID-19 survivors have twice the risk for developing pulmonary embolism or respiratory conditions; one in five COVID-19 survivors aged 18–64 years and one in four survivors aged ≥65 years experienced at least one incident condition that might be attributable to previous COVID-19....
Implementation of COVID-19 prevention strategies, as well as routine assessment for post-COVID conditions among persons who survive COVID-19, is critical to reducing the incidence and impact of post-COVID conditions, particularly among adults aged ≥65 years.
Access the MMWR article in HTML or PDF.
Virtual: Several upcoming FDA Advisory Committee meetings will discuss Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA vaccines for additional childhood cohorts, and strain composition: June 7, 14–15, and 28
FDA will convene its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) several times in June to discuss use of COVID-19 vaccine topics.
June 7: To discuss an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) request by Novavax for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in individuals age 18 years and older.
June 14: To discuss amending the EUA of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to include the administration of the primary series to children and adolescents age 6 years through 17 years.
June 15: To discuss amending the EUA of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to include the administration of the primary series to infants and children age 6 months through 5 years, and also to discuss amending the EUA of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to include the administration of the primary series to infants and children age 6 months through 4 years.
June 28: To discuss whether and how the SARS-CoV-2 strain composition of COVID-19 vaccines should be modified.
Briefing materials for these meetings will be posted to VRBPAC web pages specific for each meeting a day or two beforehand.
Virtual: Watch June 15–16 National Vaccine Advisory Committee
The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) will hold its next meeting June 15–16.
Attendance is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis by registration. Registration is now available online.