“Improving the Vaccination Experience: Reducing Pain and Anxiety for Children and Adults”; join Immunize.org February 28 for our webinar
Anxiety about needles and injections affects as many as 2 out of 3 children and 1 out of 4 adults. This anxiety can contribute to dreading, delaying, or avoiding vaccinations, even when the importance of preventing illness is understood. Good news: there are safe, effective, and practical steps that vaccinators, vaccine recipients, and caregivers can take to reduce vaccination-related pain and anxiety. Creating a less stressful vaccination experience increases confidence in vaccination.
Attend this live, 1-hour webinar hosted by Immunize.org, Improving the Vaccination Experience: Reducing Pain and Anxiety for Children and Adults at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on February 28 to learn more about the principles behind vaccination pain and anxiety. Learn simple evidence-based strategies to reduce apprehension. These strategies were developed by the experts from HELP Eliminate Pain in Kids and Adults. Their work was used by the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, and others to develop guidelines for reducing vaccination pain.
The panelists will be:
- Anna Taddio, BScPhm, PhD; Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto; Senior Associate Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Ontario
- Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH; President and CEO, Immunize.org
- Lucie Marisa Bucci, MA; Director, Policy and Government Relations, Society for Infodemic Management (SIM), Québec, Québec
- Sharon Humiston, MD, MPH; Director for Research, Immunize.org
Following the presentation, ample time is reserved for your questions.
Register now to be sure you don’t miss this important session to help you make vaccination a more positive experience for everyone.
“Early Estimates of Bivalent mRNA Vaccine Effectiveness in Preventing Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection Attributable to Omicron BA.5- and XBB/XBB.1.5-Related Sublineages among Immunocompetent Adults—Increasing Community Access to Testing Program, United States, December 2022–January 2023” published in MMWR Early Release
CDC published Early Estimates of Bivalent mRNA Vaccine Effectiveness in Preventing Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection Attributable to Omicron BA.5- and XBB/XBB.1.5-Related Sublineages among Immunocompetent Adults—Increasing Community Access to Testing Program, United States, December 2022–January 2023 in the January 25 issue of MMWR Early Release. A portion of the summary appears below.
Using spike (S)-gene target presence as a proxy for BA.2 sublineages, including XBB and XBB.1.5, during December 2022–January 2023, the results showed that a bivalent mRNA booster dose provided additional protection against symptomatic XBB/XBB.1.5 infection for at least the first 3 months after vaccination in persons who had previously received 2–4 monovalent vaccine doses.
Access the MMWR article in HTML.
“Information for Persons Who Are Immunocompromised regarding Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in the Context of Currently Circulating Omicron Sublineages—United States, January 2023” published in MMWR Early Release
CDC published Information for Persons Who Are Immunocompromised regarding Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in the Context of Currently Circulating Omicron Sublineages—United States, January 2023 in the January 27 issue of MMWR Early Release. A portion of the article appears below.
As of January 20, 2023, >90% of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in the United States, specifically Omicron BQ.1, BQ.1.1, XBB, and XBB.1.5 sublineages, are unlikely to be susceptible to the combined monoclonal antibodies, tixagevimab and cilgavimab (Evusheld) used for preexposure prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 infection (1). The Food and Drug Administration announced on January 26, 2023, that Evusheld is not currently authorized for preexposure prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the United States. It is important that persons who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, those who might have an inadequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination, and those with contraindications to receipt of COVID-19 vaccines, exercise caution and recognize the need for additional preventive measures. . . . In addition, persons should have a care plan that includes prompt testing at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms and rapid access to antivirals if SARS-CoV-2 infection is detected.
Access the MMWR article in HTML.
“Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Case Incidence Rates among Residents in Nursing Homes by Up-to-Date Vaccination Status—United States, October 10, 2022–January 8, 2023” published in MMWR
CDC published Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Case Incidence Rates among Residents in Nursing Homes by Up-to-Date Vaccination Status—United States, October 10, 2022–January 8, 2023 in the January 27 issue of MMWR. A portion of the summary appears below.
Nursing home residents who were not up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines had a 30%–50% higher risk for acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with residents who were up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
Access the MMWR article in HTML or PDF.
Influenza is still active in some areas; keep vaccinating
Keep encouraging influenza vaccination of those not yet protected. Although this influenza season peaked early, it is not possible to rule out a late season resurgence. CDC’s Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView, provides a valuable snapshot of influenza activity state by state.
For week 3, ending January 21, CDC's Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView, reports that nationwide, 2.6% of outpatient visits were due to respiratory illness that included fever plus a cough or sore throat (i.e., influenza-like illness [ILI]). This is just above the national baseline of 2.5%. Multiple respiratory viruses are co-circulating; the relative contribution of influenza virus infection to ILI varies by location. So far this season, 91 children have died from influenza-associated causes.
Influenza Vaccination Dashboard
CDC's Weekly Flu Vaccination Dashboard shows that vaccination coverage for all children age 6 months to age 17 years is similar to the estimate at the same time in January 2022 (50.1% compared with 49.6%) and 3.2 percentage points lower compared with same time in January 2021 (50.1% compared with 53.3%).
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.
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CDC revises parts of its General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization
On January 21, CDC updated the list of errata/updates for its General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization. Recent updates include:
Timing and Spacing of Immunobiologics – Unknown or Uncertain Vaccination Status
Page 32, Table 3-2: Fifteen-valent and 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV15 and PCV20) were added with an explanatory footnote.
Pages 101, Table 6-1: PCV15 and PCV20 were added.
Storage and Handling of Immunobiologics
Page 120, Table 7-1: PCV15 and PCV20 were added.
Page 133: Clarification was added to guidance involving recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) re-administration to recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplants. More specificity on the timing of vaccination was added, relative to antiviral timing.
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Spotlight: Immunize.org resources grouped by age cohorts
In this week's Spotlight, we summarize resources at Immunize.org that focus on specific vaccine products.
Our CDC Schedules main page provides printable PDFs of the recommended immunization schedules for children and adolescents and for adults.
Our Schedules for Patients main page contains links to informational sheets on vaccines recommended for people with varying needs based on their age and/or underlying medical conditions.
Within our Handouts: Topic Index we feature:
These recent articles convey the potential risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of vaccination.
Immunize.org Pages and Handouts
Immunize.org updates three standing orders templates for adult vaccination—Td/Tdap, Tdap during pregnancy, and meningococcal ACWY
Immunize.org revised three standing orders templates for adult vaccination with added information on the use of the anterolateral thigh muscle as an alternate site for IM injection in adults and QR codes linking to the online versions of the documents. Links and additional changes are shown below.
Immunize.org updates handout titled “Leading Medical Organizations Endorse Strong School and Childcare Vaccination Requirements and Elimination of Non-medical Exemptions”
Immunize.org updated its handout titled Leading Medical Organizations Endorse Strong School and Childcare Vaccination Requirements and Elimination of Non-medical Exemptions. This one-page handout for policymakers lists organizations' policies that endorse:
- Childcare and school vaccination requirements
- Elimination of personal belief and religious exemptions
Changes include updated and reaffirmed policy statements from many of the listed medical organizations and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America's policy adopted in 2021. The handout now has a QR code linking to the online version of the document.
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Immunize.org updates its patient handout “Rabies: Questions and Answers”
Immunize.org updated its patient handout Rabies: Questions and Answers, organizing questions and answers into sub-categories, incorporating more complete information on pre-exposure prophylaxis, and adding a QR code to link to the online version of the document.
Recap: See updated Immunize.org clinician materials released in December and January
IZ Express regularly provides readers with information about Immunize.org’s new and updated educational materials for healthcare professionals and handouts for patients. All Immunize.org materials are free to distribute.
Immunize.org Web Pages
Immunize.org Printable Materials for Patients
In case you missed them during recent weeks, updates were made to these helpful materials:
Immunize.org 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 1,200 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
Immunize.org continues to expand its translations of new and updated Rabies and Polio Vaccine Information Statements. Be sure to use the latest translations!
Thanks to CDC support, Immunize.org substantially expanded its repository of Vaccination Information Statement (VIS) translations. Immunize.org posted new and updated VIS translations for HPV, rotavirus, Td, and Tdap vaccines.
All translations are available in print-ready PDF format.
Rabies VIS (view in English)
New! Khmer (Cambodian)
New! Swahili (Kiswahili)
Polio VIS (view in English)
Updated: Khmer (Cambodian)
New! Swahili (Kiswahili)
Check the version dates of your office copies of newly updated translations. Translations of previous VIS versions should be discarded now that translations of the current versions are available.
Recap: Use new Vaccine Information Statements and translations released in December and January
In November, with support from CDC, Immunize.org began working with partners to significantly increase the number of Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) translations available. If your facility works with patients whose primary language is not English, please use these translations.
Updated 65+ Flu Defense website offers resources for healthcare professionals caring for 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 CSL Seqirus, updated the 65+ Flu Defense website.
Older adults are at increased risk of severe influenza and COVID-19 illness, including hospitalization and death, especially if they are not up to date on these vaccinations. An updated fact sheet on The Importance of Preventing Influenza and COVID-19, offers responses to help guide discussions with patients on the importance of preventing influenza and COVID-19.
This helpful site includes information, tools, and tips for communicating with adults age 65 and older about the scope and severity of influenza. Resources include:
Check out the updated 65+ Flu Defense website at www.influenza-defense.org to assist your ongoing efforts in protecting this vulnerable population.
Explore the www.Give2MenACWY.org website to increase coverage with the MenACWY booster and other adolescent vaccinations
Immunize.org's www.Give2MenACWY.org website promotes the importance of adolescent vaccination, including 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.
“SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Responses to the Ancestral SARS-CoV-2 Strain and Omicron BA.1 and BA.4/BA.5 Variants in Nursing Home Residents after Receipt of Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine—Ohio and Rhode Island, September–November 2022” published in MMWR
CDC published SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Responses to the Ancestral SARS-CoV-2 Strain and Omicron BA.1 and BA.4/BA.5 Variants in Nursing Home Residents after Receipt of Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine—Ohio and Rhode Island, September–November 2022 on January 27 in MMWR. A portion of the summary appears below.
Among nursing home residents in two states, SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels waned within months after vaccination, irrespective of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, after monovalent booster vaccination. Antibody response broadened after the COVID-19 bivalent booster for vaccinated nursing home residents among those with and without previous infection.
Access the MMWR article in HTML or PDF.
“Persistent COVID-19 Symptoms at 6 Months after Onset and the Role of Vaccination before or after SARS-CoV-2 Infection” published in Infectious Diseases
In the January 18 issue, Infectious Diseases published Persistent COVID-19 Symptoms at 6 Months after Onset and the Role of Vaccination before or after SARS-CoV-2 Infection. The Conclusions and Relevance and the Meaning sections appear below.
In this cohort study, more severe acute illness, a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score, and being unvaccinated were associated with a higher risk of reporting COVID-19 symptoms lasting 28 days or more. Participants with COVID-19 were more likely to seek medical care for diabetes, pulmonary, neurological, and mental health–related illness for at least 6 months after onset compared with their pre-COVID baseline health care use patterns. . . .
The findings suggest that COVID-19 is associated with increased health care encounters through 6 months after infection; vaccination was associated with lower risk of long-term COVID-19 symptoms.
Virtual: Watch February 22–24 ACIP meeting; agenda is now available
Event: CDC will convene its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
- February 22 and 23, 8:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. (ET)
- February 24, 8:00 a.m.–1:10 p.m. (ET)
Agenda: mpox, rotavirus, influenza, pneumococcal, meningococcal, polio, respiratory syncytial virus (pediatric/maternal and adult), chikungunya, dengue, varicella, and COVID-19 vaccines
Registration: Not needed. Opportunities for public comment are described at the website.
- ACIP main page for access to webcast, agendas
- ACIP: Meeting Information for presentation slides, content from previous meetings, and information about future meetings