“Interim Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the Use of Bivalent Booster Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines—United States, 2022” published in MMWR
describing ACIP votes on September 1 and October 12, 2022
CDC published Interim Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the Use of Bivalent Booster Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines—United States, 2022 on November 11 in MMWR. The recommendations described were approved by ACIP on September 1 and October 12. A portion of the summary appears below.
In the United States, COVID-19 monovalent booster vaccination was previously recommended, but related protection decreased after the emergence of Omicron subvariants. . . .
In fall 2022, CDC recommended a bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for persons aged ≥5 years, administered ≥2 months after completing the primary series or after receipt of a monovalent booster dose. . . .
Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses might improve protection against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages and, along with completion of a primary series in persons who remain unvaccinated, are important to protect against COVID-19, particularly among those persons who are at increased risk for severe illness and death.
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Influenza continues its march; step up the vaccine defenses
Roll up your sleeve! Now is the time for you, your patients, and your coworkers to be vaccinated against influenza. Early increases in seasonal influenza activity continue nationwide. High levels of activity are expanding beyond the south. CDC expects influenza activity to continue to increase and spread across the United States in its seasonal epidemic pattern. CDC’s Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView, provides a valuable snapshot of influenza activity state-by-state.
For week 44, ending November 5, CDC's Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView reports that, nationwide, 5.5% of patient visits reported through the Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to respiratory illness that included fever plus a cough or sore throat (i.e., influenza-like illness [ILI]). This exceeds the national baseline of 2.5%. Multiple respiratory viruses are co-circulating; the relative contribution of influenza virus infection to ILI varies by location. Sadly, five children died from influenza-associated causes so far during the 2022–23 season.
Influenza Vaccination Dashboard
CDC's Weekly Flu Vaccination Dashboard data show that 137 million doses of influenza vaccine were distributed in the United States through November 4, 2022. Supplies are sufficient to manage a surge in demand due to early influenza activity.
CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get annual influenza vaccination. “Vaccines.gov” offers VaccineFinder, a service of Boston Children’s Hospital, to help people find influenza and COVID-19 vaccines for any age group. To be listed as a provider by VaccineFinder, see the information at this website.
If you don’t provide influenza vaccine at your site, please strongly recommend vaccination and refer people to sites that do vaccinate. To enable easy referral to vaccinating sites, the American College of Physicians offers free Adult Vaccination Prescription Pads listing ACIP-recommended vaccines.
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Immunize.org remembers our friend and vaccine pioneer Samuel L. Katz, MD (1927–2022)
Samuel L. Katz, M.D., FAAP, who codeveloped the measles vaccine, passed away on October 31 at age 95. Dr. Katz was a world-renowned virologist and pediatrician with degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard University. He served a medical internship at Beth Israel Hospital and completed pediatrics residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Katz teamed up with John Enders, Ph.D., who received the Nobel Prize in 1954 for his work with polioviruses. Dr. Katz spent the next 12 years researching viruses, specifically measles, and the two developed an attenuated measles virus vaccine—one of the landmark discoveries in childhood medicine. The measles vaccine was licensed in the United States in 1963. In 1971, it was incorporated into the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Dr. Katz then went on to a prominent career in virology and pediatrics and was appointed chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine in 1968, a role he held for 22 years. Dr. Katz represented the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society on Immunize.org’s advisory board.
Dr. Katz became a renowned advocate for vaccines. He chaired the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) from 1985–1993 and was the recipient of the 2003 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal, presented to public health leaders who save lives through vaccines.
The World Health Organization estimated that Dr. Katz's measles vaccine saved an estimated 17.1 million lives between 2000 and 2015.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, he was a kind and caring human being who will be missed by all who knew him.
National Community Pharmacists Association releases first episode of "Show Me," an online reality series following pharmacists as they start or improve vaccination programs
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) released the first episode of its new online educational reality series titled "Show Me." This series, which is sponsored by Pfizer, is styled after popular TV makeover shows and features real pharmacists who need help getting a certain aspect of their practice on track. This season the subject is vaccinations.
In episode one, coaches Meredith Ayers, CPhT, and Tana N. Kaefer, PharmD, help pharmacy owners Chris and Gwen O’Neill of Circle Pharmacy in Philadelphia find additional streams of revenue by boosting their vaccination program. Find out how they progress in episode one, titled Jumpstart Our Program!
The rest of this season’s five episodes will be released in the coming weeks on NCPA’s various internet platforms including its YouTube channel, NCPAvids, and its website. Follow @commpharmacy on social media for updates and sneak previews.
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No mixing, no diluting: FDA licenses new Rotarix liquid formulation
On November 4, FDA licensed a new formulation of Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral (Rotarix, GSK). The new formulation is free of porcine circovirus (PCV) and comes as a liquid that does not require mixing or dilution. The single dose oral applicator increases provider convenience.
Both the lyophilized (requires reconstitution) and liquid rotavirus vaccine presentations will remain in use until the lyophilized formulation is used up or expires.
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Immunize.org's Influenza Vaccination Honor Roll for mandatory healthcare worker vaccination now features 1,294 organizations, including one new facility
Immunize.org's Influenza Vaccination Honor Roll recognizes facilities that take a stand for patient safety by implementing policies for mandatory healthcare personnel influenza vaccination. There are now 1,294 organizations enrolled. Since October 19, 2022, Immunize.org welcomed one additional healthcare organization.
- OSF Healthcare, Peoria, IL
- Eligible organizations: Hospitals, long-term care facilities, medical practices, pharmacies, professional organizations, health departments, and other government entities
- Your policy must require influenza vaccination for all staff
- The application must describe measures to prevent transmission of influenza from unvaccinated personnel to patients (e.g., masking for the entire work shift)
Spotlight: Immunize.org's "Handouts" main page provides free access to hundreds of vaccination-related handouts and fact sheets
Immunize.org's Handouts for Patients and Staff web page leads users to hundreds of free vaccination-related patient handouts and fact sheets for healthcare professionals. All items are ready to print, copy, and distribute widely.
Visit the Handouts for Patients and Staff web page to view more than 230 handouts sorted by:
From the main page, you can search by any of the 22 topics. Some of the most popular are:
The right-hand side of the web page includes links to some of Immunize.org's most popular handouts, including:
You can also view an alphabetical listing of Immunize.org’s more than 230 ready-to-print staff educational materials and patient handouts.
Visit Immunize.org's Handouts for Patients and Staff web page today!
These recent articles convey the potential risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of vaccination.
Immunize.org Pages and Handouts
Voices for Vaccines releases podcast on mRNA vaccines and what the future may hold
Voices for Vaccines (VFV) posted a new entry in its Vax Talk podcast series: The Future of mRNA Vaccines featuring Melissa Moore, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer for Moderna. A description from the VFV web page appears below.
In many ways, mRNA vaccines are a game-changer, but not an unexpected one. For this episode, we talked to one of the scientists who has been pursuing mRNA vaccines for years: Melissa Moore, Ph.D. We discuss how mRNA vaccines have changed so much for us and what the future might hold.
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.
Organizing a new vaccination program? Use Immunize.org’s Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide
—free to download by chapter or in its entirety.
Download Immunize.org’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 www.immunize.org/guide. 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.
“Preferential Recommendations for Vaccines: Time for a Structured, Transparent Process
” commentary published online in Vaccine
Preferential Recommendations for Vaccines: Time for a Structured Transparent Process, a commentary by Immunize.org's President and Chief Executive Officer, Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH, and the Chief Policy and Partnerships Officer, Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD, is now posted ahead of print by Vaccine. In the commentary, the authors note:
The approach used to determine preferential and non-preferential ACIP recommendations can positively or negatively affect vaccine innovation. A well-reasoned preference rewards better vaccine performance and provides clear guidance to clinicians and patients. Absence of a preference in the presence of clinically significant differences in product performance may confuse clinicians and impede the adoption of better, more expensive—but not preferred—options in health systems that select products on the basis of cost alone. . . .
We propose that now is the time to establish an ACIP-led working group, including experts from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), to define a framework that will elucidate the process and criteria necessary for preferential recommendations. Preferential use criteria must include vaccine efficacy/effectiveness data, clinical impact, cost-effectiveness, implementation considerations, health equity and other values, as well as vaccine supply, packaging, and market concerns that will likely vary by disease and by vaccine.
Full citation details for the article will be added when the final version becomes available.
“COVID-19–Associated Hospitalizations among U.S. Infants Aged <6 Months—COVID-NET, 13 States, June 2021–August 2022” published in MMWR
CDC published COVID-19–Associated Hospitalizations among U.S. Infants Aged <6 Months—COVID-NET, 13 States, June 2021–August 2022 on November 11 in MMWR. A portion of the summary appears below.
Infants aged <6 months, who are ineligible for vaccination, have high COVID-19–associated hospitalization rates compared with other pediatric age groups. . . .
Although population-based COVID-19–associated hospitalization rates among infants aged <6 months increased in the Omicron variant–predominant periods compared with the Delta variant–predominant period, indicators of the most severe disease among hospitalized infants aged <6 months did not. . . .
Pregnant women should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination to help protect themselves and infants too young to be vaccinated. Nonpharmaceutical measures should be used to help protect infants ineligible for vaccination.
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“Epidemiologic Features of the Monkeypox Outbreak and the Public Health Response—United States, May 17–October 6, 2022” published in MMWR
CDC published Epidemiologic Features of the Monkeypox Outbreak and the Public Health Response—United States, May 17–October 6, 2022 on November 11 in MMWR. A portion of the summary appears below.
An earlier analysis of 2,891 U.S. monkeypox cases found that up to 99% occurred in men, 94% of whom reported male-to-male sexual contact. . . .
CDC’s emergency response focused on surveillance, laboratory testing, medical countermeasures, and education. A total of 26,384 U.S. monkeypox cases were reported during May 17–October 6, 2022. Among 59% of persons with data on gender and recent sexual or close intimate contact, 70% reported recent male-to-male sexual contact. Black and Hispanic persons continue to be disproportionately affected. . . .
Public health monkeypox prevention efforts, including vaccination, should continue to prioritize gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, Black and Hispanic persons, and persons who are immunocompromised.
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