Immunization News

Remain up to date to with 2018′s new immunizations, updates and report with this page’s monthly reports!

View our past webinars here:

View our upcoming webinars here:



Vaccination Learning Resources: Podcasts by Voices for Vaccines!

Voices for Vaccines (VFV) is a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. VFV’s latest podcast, Live at NFID, features Karen Ernst from VFV and Dr. Nathan Boonstraw from  Blank Children’s Hospital at the NFID Vaccinology Course, which focuses on development, messaging, and issues related to the use of vaccines.

2018 ICAAP Immunization Webinar Series: Cervical Cancer Awareness Webinar

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Join ICAAP and Nita K. Lee, MD, from the University of Chicago on January 30 from noon-1pm for a webinar on cervical cancer prevention. The webinar will discuss the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), HPV vaccines, and its connections in preventing cervical cancer. CME will be granted upon completion of the webinar and survey.

The Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics is accredited by the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Nurses and Nurse Practitioners can submit Certificates of Attendance to their accrediting board for credit.



Myths about the Influenza Vaccine: Can the flu shot give me the flu?

Have you ever gotten a flu shot and felt pretty sick afterwards? There’s an explanation, and it’s not the flu virus. One of the biggest myths about the flu shot is that it can give you the flu. Andrew Pekosz, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health explains, “The flu shot is a killed flu virus that consist of only half of the virus—the part you need to make an immune response to. It’s also then administered into your arm muscle, which is not a place the flu virus normally goes to. So there is no possibility you can get the flu from the flu shot.” The symptoms you may feel after getting the shot are your body’s immune system reacting to the vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) these symptoms can include low-grade fever or body aches. Pekosz adds, “The flu vaccine protects against influenza virus, but there are a number of other viruses that can cause a flu-like disease.” So one should not avoid getting the flu shot because of fear it’ll make you sick. It’s normal to feel soreness, redness, tenderness, or develop fever, body aches and a runny nose for a day or two. A little discomfort is a small price to pay for helping prevent yourself and the people around you from getting the flu.

To read more about the influenza vaccine and where you can get one, visit:

December 3rd-8th: National Influenza Vaccination Week!
It is important to know, it is not too late to get vaccinated against the flu!

  • The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness.
  • Flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.

An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this disease. Find a flu clinic near you!

To learn more about NIVW visit:


Immunization Modules You Call the Shots

The CDC web-based training course titled You Call the Shots was updated to include the 2017-18 ACIP recommendations. The nurse education training program has 16 modules on a variety of immunization topics including DTap, Hepatitis A, Influenza, Vaccine Storage and Handling, and more. Every month, CDC will update its program to reflect the latest immunization practices. Continuing education credit is available for nurses who view a module and complete an evaluation

Importance of Immunization: Mumps cases at Syracuse Univ. Jump to 24 confirmed, 73 probable since end of August.

Since the first case of mumps was diagnosed at Syracuse University in August, more than 100 students have been affected. Of the 24 cases currently confirmed, all have been properly vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine. Students with confirmed or probable cases are receiving a third dose of MMR vaccine. The school has made the third dose available to the undergraduate population, and required student-athletes to receive it.

The CDC recommends those exposed to a mumps outbreak receive a third dose of the MMR vaccine. Although the first two doses are about 88 percent effective in preventing the disease, research shows that immunity wanes over time and could be attributed to recent nationwide outbreaks.

Needle Tips Modules

Flu Season is here and the November 2017 issue of Needle Tips discusses influenza, including age requirements, contradictions regarding the vaccine, latest updates, and educational resources for patients and staff.

Case of Meningococcal Meningitis Identified at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

A student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is confirmed to have meningococcal meningitis. The student is being treated at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana where she was admitted October 10. There are no further updates on the student or individuals who may be at risk, but roommates, friends and students living on the same floor as the student are being contacted for evaluation.

In 2016-2017, a new state requirement went into effect requiring students under the age of 22 and newly admitted to college to show proof of at least one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine on or after age 16. Exceptions for the vaccine must be approved by a doctor and the university. The conjugate vaccines are preventative vaccines that cover the four serogroupsof the bacteria Neisseria meningitis.

To read more on meningococcal meningitis, preventative steps, and treatment, visit the CDC website.


Webinar: Parental Questions about Childhood Vaccines

On October 17 from 11am-12pm, the CDC and the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) will present a webinar titled “Understanding and Addressing Parent Questions about Childhood Vaccines: Insights from Recent Communications Research and Practice.” The webinar will discuss how providers can work with parents refusing vaccines or request to delay. Presenters include experts in the fields of pediatrics, health communications, and vaccine confidence.

Register here.

October: The Start of Flu Season

The CDC has released new flu information, prevention action, and recommendations for the 2017-2018 Flu Season (October-March). A section of the release has been added below.

What’s new this flu season?

A few things are new this season:

  • The recommendation to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) was renewed for the 2017-2018 season. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses (the influenza A(H1N1) component was updated).
  • Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate flu vaccine.
  • Two new quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines have been licensed: one inactivated influenza vaccine (“Afluria Quadrivalent” IIV) and one recombinant influenza vaccine (“Flublok Qudrivalent” RIV).
  • The age recommendation for “Flulaval Quadrivalent” has been changed from 3 years old and older to 6 months and older to be consistent with FDA-approved labeling.
  • The trivalent formulation of Afluria is recommended for people 5 years and older (from 9 years and older) in order to match the Food and Drug Administration package insert.

Access to the CDC Advisory Committee Recommendations on Immunization Practices: Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines

Tetanus Risk, Prevention and Management Guideline for Clinicians and Areas Affected by recent Hurricanes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a Clinical Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA Now) to help volunteers safely participate in cleanup activities.

Exposure to flood waters does not increase risk of tetanus. However, during evacuation, cleanups, emergency responders, cleanup workers, and volunteers may be as risk for wounds. Tetanus, or ‘lock-jaw’ is a toxin-mediated, noncommunicable, severe and potentially fatal disease requiring emergency treatment that is caused when it enters the body through any breach in the skin. Each year, “about 30 cases of tetanus are reported in the United States. Nearly all cases of tetanus are among people who have either never received a tetanus vaccine, or have not completed the recommended childhood vaccination series. Or adults who do not stay up to date with their 10-year booster shots” (CDC). Tetanus vaccines are recommended for people of all ages. Vaccination prevents tetanus. Being aware and update for tetanus vaccine can help treat wounds and prevent tetanus.

Access to the complete guidance document: Tetanus in Areas Affected by a Hurricane: Risk, Prevention, and Management Guidelines for Clinicians


IAC Adds Package Inserts & FDA Product Approvals and ACIP Recommendations on

Immunization providers around the country have given IAC feedback that the Package Inserts & FDA Product Approvals web page on is one of the most valuable resources for busy clinics that administer vaccines. This IAC web page has direct links to where the package inserts are located on the websites of the manufacturers who make them available. In addition, the ACIP Recommendations web page is another popular and important page. Here healthcare professionals can access all recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), sorted by either vaccine name or by date of publication.

Check these pages out, and see how easy it is to access the current information for any vaccine.

Vaccine Administration: e-Learn Now Available

Proper vaccine administration is critical for ensuring that vaccines are both safe and effective. Vaccine administration errors happen more often than you might think. Of the approximately 36,000 reports received annually by VAERS, about 1,500 of those reports are directly related to administration error. A new e-Learn on vaccine administration is now available. It is a free interactive, online educational program that serves as a useful introductory course or refresher on vaccine administration. The self-paced e-Learn provides comprehensive training, using videos, job aids, and other resources to accommodate a variety of learning styles, and offers a certificate of completion and/or Continuing Education (CE) for those that complete the training.

For more information, please contact

Aging & the Immune System: Rethinking Vaccines for Older Adults

On Tuesday, September 26th, 2017, join the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the webinar, Aging & the Immune System: Rethinking Vaccines for Older Adults. During the webinar, you will hear from experts in immunology, aging, and adult immunization, including:
Andrew Kroger, MD, MPH, Medical Officer, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
David Kim, MD, Deputy Associate Director for Adult Immunizations, Immunization Services Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Albert C. Shaw, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Yale School of Medicine, Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital
Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School and Brown School of Public Health, Brown University and Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University.

The webinar will include 1 hour of presentations and a Q&A. This event will also offer 1 hour of free continuing education.

This webinar is collaboration between NVPO’s UpShot Webinar series and CDC’s Current Issues in Immunization NetConference.

Space is limited to the first 1,500 registrants. Register here


August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness month. Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective and successful public health tools that are available to prevent disease and health. Unfortunately however, many parents still remain hesitant on vaccinating their children. IDPH has recently released a toolkit that helps to address these issues.

The toolkit includes:

  • Health Care Provider Commitment for Exam Room - designed to stimulate conversation about vaccines, this should be printed and displayed in exam rooms. Providers have the opportunity to add their signatures/pictures to the template to attest that they are partnering with IDPH to vaccinate Illinois children.
  • Immunization Infographic - (included in this email) can be used online – on websites or social media – and/or printed for exam rooms
  • CDC Fact Sheet on Vaccine Hesitancy (for health care providers) - provides talking points for providers to use when discussing vaccines with concerned parents
  • IDPH Fact Sheet on Vaccine Hesitancy (for community health workers) - provides talking points for community health workers to use when discussing vaccines
  • Immunization Action Coalition’s Top 10 Reasons to Vaccine Your Child - English and Spanish
  • IDPH Immunization Information - IDPH website that includes links to vaccine requirements, forms, and disease information

The Power of Knowledge: Teens may be missing vaccines because parents aren’t aware they need one

A new national poll suggests that parents may know what vaccines their children need to enter school but less sure about high school immunization requirements. National vaccination rates are below public health targets for certain adolescent vaccines; “only one third of teens have received the second dose of meningitis vaccines by age 17.” Yet, more than 90 percent of parents reported their teen(s) having received all vaccines recommend according to their age. This study suggests, “there is a clear need for providers to be more proactive for their teen patients.”

Click here to read more on the study and results.


Illinois Pediatrician Now Available Online

The summer edition of the Illinois Pediatrician Newsletter is now available. The newsletter is published semi-annually summer and winter and is available digitally and also sent snail mail in print to ICAAP members and friends. This issue, released July 13, 2017, provides an update on Chapter advocacy efforts related to health care, upcoming conferences, and “hot topic” articles including: piloting a coordinated system of care for childhood obesity, teenagers’ sleep patterns and impact on school performance, increasing Human Papillomavirus Vaccine coverage levels in Chicago, what you need to know about climate change and health effects, greening your practice, update on lead exposure in drinking water, nature as a natural place to play, and a list of ICAAP educational course offerings on its eLearning platform. The ICAAP Executive Committee thanks Kimberly Glow, MD, MPH, FAAP for her many years of service as physician editor for the newsletter and Martin Duncan, MD, for serving as intern copy editor. 

Questions or comments related to content should be directed to the staff editor Kathy Sanabria, MBA at or 312/733-1026 ext 208.


New Vaccination Laws in Italy and Germany

Italy and Germany have passed new mandatory vaccination laws. This is in response to an increase in the number of cases of measles. Germany now mandates the measles vaccine for children entering kindergarten. Italy made this requirement last month due to a measles epidemic that has been sweeping across Europe. Click here to read more.

School Health Form for 2017-2018 School Year

All providers completing school physicals must use the updated School Health Form, released in November 2015, going forward. The old form will not be accepted for the 2017-2018 school year. If a practice has integrated the new form into the EMR, a copy of the form created must be sent to Jean Becker at for approval. The EMR form must be a duplicate of the authorized school health form. IDPH will then provide a signature and date of approval.

The current school health form can be found in English and Spanish on the ISBE School Health Issues website under the Health Examination and Immunizations Forms heading.

Measles Outbreak in Minnesota

There is currently a measles outbreak in Minnesota, with 73 cases reported so far in 2017. This number has topped the entire number of measles infections that were reported nationally in 2016. Many claim that the current measles outbreak is due to the anti-vaccine movement. State lawmakers need to tighten up school-aged vaccine exemptions in order to curb this outbreak and prevent future outbreaks.


Immunizations Best Practices Webinar Series: HPV

Join ICAAP for part of the webinar series on immunization best practices.  Dr. Tina Tan will present on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) on Tuesday, June 13 from noon-1pm.Dr. Tan is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and a Pediatric Infectious Diseases attending, co-Director of the Pediatric Travel Medicine Clinic, and Director of the International Adoptee Clinic at Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Dr. Tan received her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed her residency, chief residency, and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Tan serves on the Immunization Advisory Committee for the Illinois Department of Public Health and is a member of the AAP Section on Infectious Diseases. Register to attend this, and any other webinars here!

Immunization Summit Events

This year, ICAAP is hosting six Illinois Vaccine Summits. The first three events are full, but there are three additional events later this year.  The summits are all-day, in-person educational sessions ICAAP coordinates in collaboration with a planning committee. Planning committee members include local pediatric and family private practices, AFIX local public health departments, and other Vaccines For Children (VFC) providers, local pediatricians that are ICAAP members and regional Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regional representatives. Topics on the agenda include vaccine requirements for school entry, 2017 ACIP Updates, Illinois VFC storage and handling requirements, I-CARE, and vaccine hesitancy. Please register today to claim your spot!



ICAAP 2017 Immunization Best Practices Webinar Series

ICAAP offers health care providers the opportunity to receive the latest information on pediatric and adolescent immunizations via webinar. ICAAP hosts these webinars to update and educate health care providers on important immunization issues and best practices.  Please join us by registering here.

Upcoming Webinars:

2017 ACIP Updates

Scott Goldstein, MD, FAAP

Northwestern Children’s Practice

Tuesday, April 4 12-1pm

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)

Mark Sawyer, MD

UCSD School of Medicine/Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego

Monday, April 24 12-1pm


In a new clinical report, Dr. Joseph Bocchini and Dr. Henry Bernstein summarized strategies to aid in the increase of adolescent vaccination rates.  With the rates of vaccinations slowly declining, allowing for some infectious diseases to cause outbreaks here in the United States, it is important to promote the safety and efficacy of vaccines at every encounter.  The report takes an in-depth look at strategies to help all healthcare professionals increase rates.


Flu Season Starting to Peak

The 2016-2017 flu season is starting to peak and there has been an increase in number of infections, hospital stays, and deaths. While the CDC recommends that everyone receives a shot every flu season, many people do not think it is enough to warrant getting a shot.  Dr. Michael Northrup has a very different story to tell about his sister and her battle and eventual death from contracting the flu virus.  Hopefully firsthand stories will persuade people to protect themselves from the flu.

Vaccine Safety and Importance Letter Sent to President Trump

ICAAP joined more than 350 other groups, including the AAP, many AAP state chapters, and nine Illinois organizations, in sending a letterto President Donald Trump, expressing unequivocal support for the safety of vaccines. The letter outlines how vaccines have worked to protect the health of children and adults and save lives and highlights the scientific evidence supporting vaccine safety and effectiveness. The organizations that signed the letter represent families, providers, researchers, patients, and consumers.

New Study Looks at Practical Ways to Maximize Immunization Rates

A new study published in the February issue of Pediatrics looks at adolescent immunization and ways to approach vaccine hesitant patients and parents.  Physicians and healthcare providers often receive many reasons for vaccine refusal or hesitation, which can be difficult.  This study examines strategies that heighten confidence in immunizations and addresses parental concerns to promote adolescent immunization and explores how best to approach the adolescent and the family to improve vaccination rates.

HPV Webinar – Recommendation Updates and Common Practice Hurdles

Interested in learning what the new HPV vaccination series recommendations means for your practice? Unsure of how to best address commonly asked questions about HPV vaccinations from parents? Want to know more about how to increase HPV vaccination rates among your patient population? Join a panel of experts in pediatric primary care, infectious diseases, OB/GYN, and ENT for an HPV vaccination update webinar on March 6 at noon. Experts will cover a range of topics related to HPV vaccination, including the latest trends in HPV disease prevalence and prevention. Click here for more information and to register.

HFS Provider Notice: Secure Electronic Web-Based Portal
This is to inform providers that HFS launched a secure electronic web-based portal to assist providers statewide in resolving issues with Illinois Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs).

A major goal of the new MCO provider complaint portal is to facilitate prompt and fair resolution of disputes between MCOs and providers. Issues impacting immediate access to care will be expedited.

The new MCO provider complaint portal does not replace issue reporting and escalation processes already in place between providers and an MCO. Prior to submitting a complaint through the new online portal, issues must already have been submitted to and reviewed by the MCO in question. If HFS determines a complaint was submitted to the Department prior to the MCO being afforded an opportunity to resolve it directly with the provider, the complaint will be immediately closed.

Providers should carefully identify which representatives within their provider organizations will be designated to use this complaint system for unresolved issues. The name of the provider representative submitting the complaint will be shared with the MCO, and outcomes will be reported only to the provider representative whose email is entered into the system with the complaint.

HFS staff will follow Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy procedures when using this secured site and providers must do so as well as a condition of use. Providers are able to upload protected health information to the secure provider complaint portal. Each complaint should be for a single topic for a single MCO; please do not combine several issues or designate more than one MCO on the same complaint.

The link to the complaint portal may be found on HFS’ Care Coordination webpage, or may be accessed directly from the HFS Managed Care Provider Complaints webpage. The portal is available for immediate use.

2017 ACIP Immunization Recommendations

The CDC published the 2017 recommendations for children ages 0-18 in MMWR.  The new schedule and catch-up schedule are available online. These publications are established at the beginning of each year but there can be modifications throughout the year so please stay updated on any changes to ensure all children are up-to-date on vaccine recommendations.


AAP Webinar Series on Zika Virus Syndrome

The AAP is launching its American Academy of Pediatrics Webinar Series on Zika Virus Syndrome on Tuesday, January 10. The first webinar in this series,Recognizing Microcephaly and Other Presentations of Zika Virus Syndrome, will provide an overview of the neurodevelopmental manifestations of congenital Zika virus syndrome. Expert speakers Edwin Trevathan, MD, MPH, FAAP and Amy Houtrow, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP will also describe how to monitor symptomatic and asymptomatic infants, including how to collaborate with specialists to ensure a continuum of care.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 10 at 1pm. Register here.


A studypublished in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that there is no link between the influenza vaccine and autism. The study, conducted on over 195,000 children, has shown no significant increase in having a child that develops autism when the mother has received a flu vaccine in her first trimester, or if she has been infected with the flu virus during that same time

New Report on Zika Virus

In a new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, CDC scientists used preliminary data from the US Zika Pregnancy Registry (USZPR) to estimate that 6% of completed pregnancies following Zika virus infection were affected by one or more birth defects potentially related to Zika virus infection during pregnancy. This is the first release of preliminary findings based on data reported to the USZPR. Additional key findings include the following:

  • Among women infected with Zika in the first trimester of pregnancy, 11% of their pregnancies were reported to have birth defects.
  • The proportion of pregnancies with birth defects was similar for pregnant women who did or who did not experience symptoms, about 6% in each group.
  • Infants with microcephaly represented 4% of the completed pregnancies, which is substantially higher than the background rate of microcephaly in the United States (7 per 10,000 live births).

Vaccine Exemptions Are on the Rise in a Number of US States
On the whole, fewer U.S. families have opted out of school-required immunizations in recent years, thanks in part to stricter state laws. But data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that, while nonmedical exemptions (which includes religious and philosophical opposition) are on the decline nationally, they’re rising in certain states, including states that haven’t previously been considered hotbeds of anti-vaccination sentiment — which may put those areas at risk of a disease outbreak.  READ MORE

New AAP Public Service Announcement on Immunizations

In a new public service announcement, the AAP offers an important message in support of immunizations. The PSA, part of a monthly series, is available in both English and Spanish. Pediatricians Anita Chandra and Edith Bracho-Sanchez explain how immunizations give children the protection they need to live healthy lives. The PSA concludes by advising parents to talk with their pediatrician for more information or to visit, where related articles will be highlighted.