Dr. Arthur Caplan, Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City recently appeared in a video on Medscape in which he discussed the importance of making sure vaccinations are up to date at every medical visit. Using the recent measles outbreak in a Texas mega-church, Dr. Caplan outlines the lessons that healthcare providers can take away from this experience. He goes on to conclude that while parents have the right to refuse immunizations, part of the conversation must include parlaying an understanding that they will be to blame if their child gets infected and transmits a vaccine-preventable disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the following updates:
Several useful articles related to vaccines and infectious diseases have recently been posted on Medscape:
You may need to register for free to view some or all of these articles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a supporting document related to the 2013-2014 influenza vaccine information statements (VISs) specifically for providers. The seven-page document is intended to be a reference guide when answering questions about or discussing influenza vaccine and includes sections such as people at highest risk of complications and their close contacts, immunizing children 6 months through 8 years of age, precautions and indications and safety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided a variety of information and updates over the last few weeks. Due to the quantity of materials, titles and links are presented with minimal commentary. Please refer to individual items of interest:
Vaccine information statements (VIS) for both live and inactivated influenza vaccines have been updated for the upcoming influenza vaccine season. The date on the current edition of each is July 26, 2013. If you have not printed out these updated copies in preparation for the start of influenza vaccinations, here are the links to the relevant pages. Versions for posting in electronic systems are available on these pages as are links to the VIS in different languages.
To be sure you are using current versions of all other VIS, visit the CDC’s related page.
The 2014 edition of CDC Health Information for International Travel, commonly referred to as the Yellow Book, is now available. In addition to information about infectious diseases that may be encountered during travel, the guide contains information related to all aspects of travel. Some topics include:
The guide can be viewed online or purchased and is an important source of information for anyone preparing to travel. The book is also available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers and is available for e-readers. A mobile app is also being developed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a resource aimed to help practices increase immunization coverage rates among adolescents. Specific information related to the following is described in the four-page PDF:
The AAP and CDC have worked together to create a variety of additional resources. Check out the messages and tools on the dedicated adolescent immunization Web page for pediatricians.
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) recently released a great series of photocopy-ready, patient-friendly handouts related to the diseases that vaccines prevent. Twelve handouts relate to childhood diseases and vaccines and eight are for teen and adult vaccinations. The sheets are one-sided, short and non-medical while emphasizing the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Have you ever had a new patient bring you an immunization record that has an unfamiliar vaccine abbreviation? Or a patient from another country with an immunization record they brought with them?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a list of acronyms and abbreviations commonly used on immunization records for just these occasions. Recently updated, the list is easily accessible from this page of the CDC’s website. The page also contains links to related information, such as translation of foreign immunization records and the standardized list of abbreviations from the ACIP.
The CDC has a digital press kit related to HPV vaccination. Some of the materials may be of use to healthcare providers:
The materials can be used for media outreach, on websites, or with parents and colleagues.
You might be interested in the following video clips:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared the following information over the past few weeks:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently announced the availability of new resources related to safe vaccine storage and handling, including:
To view these resources and additional related information, visit the dedicated page on their web site.
Several new or revised resources came to our attention last month. Take a few moments to check them out and see if they can help in your vaccination efforts:
Dr. Mike Evans made a video titled “Should you get the HPV vaccine?” Posted on YouTube and just under nine minutes in length, the video uses the combination of narration during animation to discuss HPV biology and vaccination.
The Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC), a project of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), recently launched a redesigned website at www.preventchildhoodinfluenza.org. Updates include improved navigation and search functions, social media tools, and a variety of resources, such as fact sheets and “flu funnies” videos.
NFID also recently released the results of its teen health survey. Findings included several misperceptions related to teen health; for example, about one-third of teens who answered that they do not get an annual check-up felt they only need to see a doctor when they are ill.
Did you know that the CDC has a series of fact sheets related to vaccines and vaccine safety? The series includes titles such as, “Understanding MMR Vaccine Safety,” “Understanding the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)” and “Ensuring the Safety of Vaccines in the United States.” The sheets can be printed in color or black and white. High resolution print files are also available upon request for those who want to have materials printed at their expense.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has partnered with the United Nation Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to offer pediatric practices materials to educate patients and their families about the importance of global immunizations. Practices can receive a free toolkit by completing a short survey. The kit includes posters, information cards for various audiences, pin drives with media for television and computers, mobile app information cards, bandages, and fundraising tools for those who may want to go a step further.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had updates regarding the following over the last few weeks:
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 www.voicesforvaccines.org.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently updated the following resources:
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 issues:
The journal, 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 paper may be a useful review or one to file for discussing vaccinology and the scientific findings of different studies.
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) recently transformed its website for the public and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) made some infographics available:
The CDC also has a new pertussis-specific infographic titled “Protect Babies from Whooping Cough.” The infographic highlights the need for pregnant moms to get vaccinated, describes the concept of cocooning, points out when babies and young children need to get pertussis-containing vaccines, and guides parents as to where to get the vaccine. The infographic and accompanying text document are available for sharing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s National Medical Center recently started recruitment for a new study referred to as “Comparison of Immunization Quality Improvement Dissemination Strategies” or “CIzQIDS.” The randomized trial is seeking primary care practice teams interested in improving care and sharing what they learned with other participants.
Participating practices will be divided into two groups, half in a pay for performance intervention and half in a quality improvement technical support intervention. To qualify, practices must have a baseline immunization rate for 3- to 18-month-old patients of 79 percent or lower; however, practices are encouraged to apply even if they are unsure of their rates as the study team anticipates most practices will qualify. To learn more or listen to an informational recording, visit the AAP’s web page. To see if you are qualified, complete the screening survey.
A variety of resources have come to our attention this month. Please use the links below to navigate to stories that interest you. Becar, links to additional information are provided for each.
Oregonians for Healthy Children
Oregonians for Healthy Children is currently working to pass a bill in Oregon that will require education for parents who request vaccine exemptions for their children. The measures are in response to increases in exemption requests in recent years and would require education either by viewing an online video or talking with a healthcare provider. The group is seeking supporters who are willing to be listed as part of the campaign, share information with their colleagues, provide testimony or meet with legislators, assist with media efforts or offer financial support.
NFID’s Adolescent Vaccination Website
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has re-launched its adolescent vaccination website at www.adolescentvaccination.org. The updates included improvements to navigation and searches as well as updated information, news stories, resources, and real-life stories of families affected by diseases that can be prevented through the adolescent immunization schedule.
Measles & Rubella Initiative
While measles outbreaks and concerns about the safety of the MMR vaccine continue to plague the U.S. and some parts of Europe, people in Africa continue working to improve vaccine coverage rates in parts of that continent. The December 2012 Measles & Rubella Initiative newsletter provided some wonderful stories of success and the need for continued efforts to raise funds and continue immunizing. The newsletter also included a nice map showing measles cases throughout the world during 2012.
Cervical Cancer Screening Data
The January 4, 2013 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) contained two articles related to cervical cancer screening, “Cervical Cancer Screening Among Women Aged 18-30 Years – United States 2000-2010” and “Cervical Cancer Screening Among Women by Hysterectomy Status Among Women Aged >65 Years – United States, 2000-2010.” Both surveys focused on Pap screening over the decade beginning in 2000. Current guidelines suggest that:
Read about the findings using the links to each article or find a summary prepared by Zosia Chustecka on Medscape.
Literature Review Related to Vaccines and Premature Infants
Susanna Esposito and colleagues recently published a review of the literature related to vaccinations in premature infants. The article, “Immunogenicity, Safety and Tolerability of Vaccinations in Premature Infants,” was published in Expert Rev Vaccines, 2012 Oct;11(10):1199-209 and can be accessed on Medscape. The authors concluded that while additional data should be sought regarding newer vaccines, existing data shows that premature infants should follow the same schedule as that of full-term babies.
Medscape Awards in Infectious Diseases: Disease Most Likely to Be Eradicated from Earth
In an interesting article by John G. Bartlett, readers are asked to choose which of seven diseases is likely to be successfully eradicated next. Bartlett goes on to describe the contenders in what he terms a “2-horse race,” and predicts which of the two he thinks will win. Not to spoil it, this article will not reveal the contenders, you’ll have to go to Medscape to find out and after reading his arguments, you will have the opportunity to discuss whether you agree with Dr. Bartlett.
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