Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
December 2019
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: December webinar archived

The December 2019 webinar is available for archived viewing and continuing education credits. Dr. Offit discussed: 
  • Tdap vaccine: Updates on safety
  • Influenza vaccine: Latest surveillance and effectiveness data
  • Dengue vaccine: Where things stand
Information related to the process of obtaining credits was provided at the end of the webinar.
Current Issues in Vaccines webinars are supported by the Thomas F. McNair Scott Endowed Research and Lectureship Fund and are co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics.

News & views – 5 takeaways from 2019 Vaccine Update “News & Views” articles

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

See if you recall the answers to these questions from 2019 “News and Views” articles in the Vaccine Update newsletter. Then read about the related takeaways from the last year.

When addressing vaccine hesitancy which may help?
  1. Describing what unvaccinated individuals need to know in case they are infected
  2. Describing the techniques being used to misinform the public about a particular issue
  3. Providing accurate sources for obtaining vaccine information
  4. Addressing inaccurate information
  5. All of these
Who do people trust the most when it comes to getting medical advice?
  1. Family and friends
  2. Social media networks
  3. Healthcare providers
  4. Internet sources
Why is a responsive website important for healthcare practices?
  1. Having a chat feature allows people to get information from you more often.
  2. People are increasingly using mobile devices to access online information.
  3. Creating a fresh website regularly keeps interest high.
During which trimester of pregnancy can B and T cells be found in the intestine?
  1. First trimester
  2. Second trimester
  3. Third trimester
What should parents consider related to measles vaccine?
  1. Measles causes immune suppression.
  2. Measles is extremely contagious.
  3. It takes a few weeks for antibodies to develop following vaccination.
  4. All of these.

In the journals – Progress toward a universal influenza vaccine

Paul A. Offit, MD, Director, Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
In the United States alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that during the 2017-2018 influenza season:
  • 49 million people were infected with influenza virus
  • 960,000 were hospitalized
  • 79,000 died 
Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that influenza virus kills 650,000 people a year. We could use a better influenza vaccine. More importantly, we could use a universal influenza vaccine, one that protects against many different strains for many years.

Several approaches are now being used to make a universal influenza vaccine. Two were recently highlighted in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Abbasi J. The Search for a Universal Flu Vaccine Heats Up. JAMA. 2019 Nov 6; 322(20):1942. DOI:10.1001/jama.2019.16816).

Technically speaking: ACIP updates its pneumococcal vaccine recommendations for adults 65 years and older 

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

On Nov. 22, 2019, CDC published “Use of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine among Adults Aged ≥65 Years: Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)” in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR.68(46):1069).

This document updates ACIP’s 2014 statement which recommended routine use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in series with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) for all adults in this age range. Since that time, the incidence of PCV13-type disease has been reduced to historically low levels among adults age 65 and older through indirect effects from pediatric PCV13 use. Because of this changing epidemiology, ACIP has updated its recommendations on PCV13 vaccine scheduling in older adults and incorporated the concept of shared clinical decision-making.

From the media: Podcast episodes about the recommended immunization schedule and HPV management

Two podcast episodes may be of interest:

“Protect Me Later: Alternative Vaccine Schedules” — This episode of Vax Talk, a podcast series produced by the parent group Voices for Vaccines, features Dr. Offit discussing the alternative vaccine schedule.

“HPV Management in Adolescents and Young Adults” — Episode 62 of Primary Care Perspectives, produced by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), features Dr. Akers, an attending physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at CHOP, discussing HPV disease and vaccination.

On the calendar

Check out the calendar to see new meetings and 2020 health observances. 

On the bookshelf — Let’s Talk Vaccines: A Clinician’s Guide to Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Saving Lives

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

Let’s Talk Vaccines: A Clinician’s Guide to Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Saving Lives is a book for healthcare providers who vaccinate patients and have vaccine-related conversations. Written by Gretchen LaSalle, a family physician who practices in the state of Washington, the book is designed to be accessible and relevant for providers on the frontlines. Some of the unique chapters in the book include:
  • “There and Back Again: How Anti-vaxxers Change Their Minds” 
  • “Catching Flies: Approach Matters”
  • Three “Point-Counterpoint” chapters
The strength of this book is that it was written by someone who regularly has conversations similar to those vaccine providers everywhere are having, making it a useful tool for effectively addressing vaccine hesitancy.

The book contains a vast amount of information and resources beyond those highlighted above. Find out what is in each of these chapters and more in the full article.

Vaccine resources: Tips for working with patients diagnosed with autism, WHO web info, and CDC videos about HPV

Tips for working with patients diagnosed with autism

Milestones Autism Resources is a nonprofit group that focuses on helping those diagnosed with autism and their families. The organization’s goal is to “improve lives through education and evidence-based strategies for school, home, community and work.” The Milestones website has a vast array of resources that may also be helpful for healthcare providers who see patients with autism, including:

Finding WHO info related to infectious diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains several websites related to health and infectious diseases. If you are looking for particular information, these topic-specific sites may help you more easily find it: The last page of the Nov. 29, 2019, issue of WER offered a more extensive list of topics and URLs. 

CDC videos about HPV
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a great new video series about HPV, called Can I Ask You a Question? The series of videos are each less than one minute in length and feature physicians outside of the office being contacted by acquaintances who have a question about HPV or the vaccine.

Check out Can I Ask You a Question? on the CDC’s website or YouTube
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