Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
September 2020
This newsletter is meant to keep you up to date on issues related to vaccines quickly and easily. We welcome your comments and questions at

Announcements: Updated VEC materials; recent Dr. Offit interviews

Changes to Quadracel and Pentacel production lead to VEC materials information update

Previously, the polio vaccine component of Quadracel® and Pentacel® was grown in fetal cells. However, in December 2019, Sanofi received FDA approval for a revised production process that removes the use of fetal cells for polio vaccine growth. The revised process uses monkey kidney cells for growth of the polio vaccine component.

As a result, the Vaccine Education Center (VEC) updated our information related to vaccines and fetal cells to remove mentions of these vaccines in the lists of vaccines grown in fetal cells. Changes included:

Recent interviews with Dr. Offit

While Dr. Offit has been busy giving a variety of interviews, a couple of recent conversations may be of particular interest:

News & views – COVID-19 and kids — What do we know?

Charlotte A. Moser, Assistant Director, and Paul A. Offit, Director, Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

As time passes and cases of COVID-19 increase, we are learning more about SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and young adults. See what we currently know about:

  • Infection, including asymptomatic infection rates
  • Transmission, including information about viral load
  • Hospitalization, including which groups are at higher risk and rates of intensive care required compared to adults
  • Complications — MIS-C, including common symptoms, types and rates of severe complications, and three classes of MIS-C
  • Deaths 
  • Vaccination

In the journals – COVID-19 deaths among those < 21 year old in the U.S.

Paul A. Offit, MD, Director, Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
On Sept. 15, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published data on the incidence of death from COVID-19 in people less 21 year of age (Bixler D, Miller AD, Mattison CP, et al. SARS-CoV-2-Associated Deaths Among Persons <21 Years — United States, February 12-July 31, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 69: Sept. 15, 2020). At the time of this report, 190,000 deaths from SARS-CoV-2 had been reported in the general population. Although people less than 21 years of age represent 26% of the population, only 121 deaths (0.08% of all COVID-19 deaths) had been reported. In other words, more children died from influenza during the previous epidemic season than from SARS-CoV-2.

Find out about several other observations of interest.

Technically speaking — Is it 0.25 milliliters or 0.5 milliliters? What is the correct dose of injectable flu vaccine for children younger than 3 years of age? 

Deborah L. Wexler, MD, Executive Director, Immunization Action Coalition

Determining the correct dosage of influenza vaccine for children 6 months to 3 years of age has become more challenging in recent years. Until recently, only one injectable influenza vaccine was licensed for children in this age group. Currently, four injectable vaccines are approved for these young children, and their dosages vary from product to product.

Be sure you administer the correct dose according to the vaccine brand(s) you have available in your clinic. 

Read on to see what you need to know. 

From the media — PBS recognizes Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)

Congratulations to our colleagues at the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) as they celebrate 30 years of supporting and promoting vaccinations! IAC was recently featured in a 30-minute PBS documentary hosted by Sam Waterston titled, “Protecting Health: Saving Lives.” The film describes the founding of IAC, highlights the value of immunization, and depicts the challenge of anti-vax messaging.

If you have not seen this documentary, plan to watch it today! It will be of particular interest to those of you who regularly rely on IAC’s vast array of materials that support vaccination administration in offices throughout the country every day. 

On the calendar

Check the calendar for updated meeting information.

On the bookshelf – Ava Antibody Explains Your Body and Vaccines by Andrea Cudd Alemanni

Ava Antibody Explains Your Body and Vaccines is a new book for children that describes how antibodies work using simple prose and fun illustrations. The story by Andrea Cudd Alemanni introduces Will, who gets chickenpox disease, and Ashley, who gets vaccinated and is, therefore, protected from chickenpox. The book also explains how vaccination protects others by introducing Ashley’s friend, Amara, and her baby brother, who is too young to be vaccinated.

This new book is a great addition to lending libraries or as a gift for the young children in your life.

Check it out today:

Vaccine resources: Vaccine hesitancy, well-visit videos, flu vaccine promise campaign and hep B vaccine disparities


Addressing vaccine misinformation, hesitancy and denial

The following resources may be of interest for responding to vaccine misinformation, hesitancy and denial:

Well-visit videos for new parents

Boost Oregon recently released short videos for new parents describing what will happen during well visits scheduled during the first year of a baby’s life. Each video is available in English and Spanish. Find out more or watch the videos. 

Flu vaccine promise campaign

Families Fighting Flu (FFF) is hosting a flu vaccination pledge campaign this fall. The “Families Fighting Flu Vaccination Promise” asks people to complete a form that includes a deadline for getting their flu vaccine by October 1, Election Day or Thanksgiving. Completing the form adds people to the campaign wall, and FFF will also send an email reminder to those who complete the form for each deadline date.

Hepatitis B vaccine disparities in refugee and immigrant communities — free e-course

Within Reach, a Washington-state based organization focused on the health of families, recently released a free e-learning course that addresses how to work with immigrant and refugee families to ensure that they are screened and treated for hepatitis B. Find out more or register for the course. 
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