This newsletter is meant to keep you up to date on issues related to vaccines quickly
and easily. We welcome your comments and questions; please email us at
VEC Announcements: Awards, webinar archive, and new
Dr. Offit’s work to keep children healthy with vaccines was recently rewarded with two
- Top 50 most influential people in vaccines – In an online vote hosted by a vaccine advocacy
blog in advance of the World Vaccine Congress in April, Dr. Offit was named sixth in the world for
his influence related to vaccines.
about the survey and view the complete list»
- National Foundation of Infectious Diseases’ Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement –
Earlier this month, the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases (NFID) presented the Maxwell
Finland Award for Scientific Achievement to Dr. Offit at their annual awards dinner in Virginia.
The recipient is chosen based on work in the fields of infectious diseases and public health that
advances clinical or scientific understanding, trains future leaders in the field or has a positive
impact on the health of humankind.
Learn more about the award
and view the list of previous recipients»
The March “Current Issues in Vaccines” webinar presented by Dr. Offit is now
online; viewers can get CME by completing a post-test and evaluation. Instructions are provided
at the end of the webinar. Webinars are co-sponsored by the VEC and the Pennsylvania Chapter,
American Academy of Pediatrics and are supported by the Thomas F. McNair Scott Endowed Research and
As a reminder, topics for this event included:
- Pertussis: Are vaccine-resistant strains emerging?
- Influenza: Conceptually different vaccines will be available for 2013-2014
- HibMenCY: One component routinely recommended for all infants, the other for high-risk infants;
what to do?
- Pneumococcal vaccine: Update to PCV-13 recommendation
New Medscape videos
VEC-associated CHOP doctors presented four Medscape videos related to vaccines and
vaccine-preventable diseases in recent weeks:
If you are not registered with Medscape, you will need to
register (free) prior
to viewing the videos. You
also access all four videos from the VEC website without having to register.
News and Views: Healthcare, science and the
Charlotte A. Moser, Assistant Director, and Paul A. Offit, Director, Vaccine Education Center
at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
The looming deadline for the sequestration has come and gone and it may seem as though not
much has changed. In fact, in the short term, it is likely that not much will change, but without
any congressional votes to undo the required budget cuts, change will come.
The sequestration means that almost all federally funded agencies and programs will need to
implement spending cuts to the tune of 5.3 to 7.9 percent. While some programs are shielded from
these cuts, most are not. Agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be required to adhere to these measures. Because the
cuts are discretionary within programs, we cannot know for sure what each agency will decide to cut
in order to meet the requirements. However, we have gotten a chance to see what they could mean
with the White House’s
out what the sequester means for healthcare providers, your patients, and science»
In the Journals: Efficacy of influenza vaccine in adults
Paul A. Offit, MD, Director, Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of
In February 2013, investigators at Vanderbilt University in collaboration with the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluated the efficacy of influenza vaccine at preventing
hospitalizations caused by influenza virus in adults (Talbot
HK, Zhu Y, Chen Q, Williams JV, Thompson MG, Griffin MR. Effectiveness of influenza vaccine for
preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations in adults, 2011-2012 influenza season.
Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Feb 28).
Investigators evaluated adults admitted with acute respiratory disease to one academic and
three community hospitals in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Eligibility criteria included an
admission diagnosis of pneumonia, influenza, or acute respiratory disease plus at least two of the
following: temperature greater than 100oF or less than 96.8oF, new onset of cough, dyspnea, chills,
headache, myalgia or sore throat. Patients with symptoms lasting longer than 10 days or having been
treated with antivirals were excluded. Diagnosis of influenza virus infection was made by
reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Of 191 eligible patients, 21 had
about the findings of the study»
Technically Speaking: What to do if
the wrong dose of a vaccine is administered
Deborah L. Wexler, MD, Executive Director, Immunization Action Coalition
Sometimes healthcare personnel inadvertently administer the wrong dose of a vaccine to a
child or adult patient. This often happens with vaccines that come in both pediatric and adult
formulations, such as hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines, which are available in both 0.5 mL and
1.0 mL formulations. Routinely used injectable influenza vaccines come in two dosing amounts as
well, with 0.25 mL for use in children younger than age 3 years and 0.5 mL for people age 3 years
more about what to do when such dosing errors occur, and how to avoid these errors in the
From the Media — Influenza vaccine as a cause of
One version of the H1N1 vaccine used in Europe during the 2009 pandemic has been questioned as a
cause of narcolepsy in children. The vaccine, known as Pandemrix, contained an adjuvant known as
ASO3. The media has carried stories related to this concern on both sides of the ocean.
about what you should know if patients or their families are concerned, and get more
On the Calendar
Pennsylvania and Idaho have announced their 2013 immunization conferences. Also, remember that
you can always check for online opportunities to get vaccine-related information and, in some
cases, continuing education credits.
On the Bookshelf: Special issue South Dakota
Charlotte A. Moser, Assistant Director, Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of
South Dakota Medicine, the journal of the South Dakota State Medical Association, recently
produced a special edition of the journal dedicated to vaccines. Featuring authors from South
Dakota as well as national experts, the journal contains articles about all aspects of vaccines.
Resources: Voices for Vaccines, CDC and IAC resources and
Voices for Vaccines
Voices for Vaccines (VFV) is a non-profit group composed of parents who believe in the
importance of vaccines. Supported by scientists and public health officials, the group aims to get
science-based information about vaccines into the conversations that parents are having.
After a lag in activity, VFV has been re-energized by Ashley Shelby and Karen Ernst,
dedicated parents who are volunteering their time to get more people involved and affect change.
The group is currently working on adding members, following some state bills related to vaccines,
and gathering a collection of personal stories. To see what VFV is doing or to join their efforts,
visit their website at
CDC and IAC resources
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently updated the following
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) recently published the February 2013 issues of
Needle Tips and
Vaccinate Adults. Both contain ready-to-print educational materials for healthcare
professionals and their patients, vaccine news and “Ask the Experts” columns. Check out the latest
Vaccine, recently published an article titled “5 ways statistics can fool you — Tips for
practicing clinicians.” Co-authors Colin P. West and Denise M. Dupras discuss five ways that
statistical data can impact the interpretation of medical literature. Using examples in
vaccine-related literature, the authors focus on the following:
- The differences between statistical and clinical significance
- The relevance of absolute versus relative risk to clinical significance
- The importance of confidence intervals and not just p values
- Considerations related to isolated p values in the midst of multiple tests
- Non-significant p values and their potential to have clinical significance
The paper may be a useful review or one to file for discussing vaccinology and the scientific
findings of different studies.
Cp and Dupras DM.5 ways statistics can fool you — tips for practicing clinicians. Vaccine 2013;