December 6, 2016
My brief message to you today relates to a new CDC Recommendation for a 2-dose Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Immunization Schedule, information on Influenza Activity in Virginia and a reminder related to the recent Public Health Emergency declaration.
Two-dose HPV Immunization Schedule
As of October 20, 2016, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the CDC recommend only two doses of HPV vaccine for patients who begin the vaccination series before age 15 to provide safe and effective protection against cancers caused by HPV infections. CDC continues to recommend a 3-dose schedule for persons starting the HPV vaccination series on or after the 15th birthday.
The CDC encourages clinicians to immediately begin implementing the 2-dose schedule in their practices; an HPV Vaccine Q&A document is attached for your review and is available on our website. If you have additional questions, please contact our Division of Immunization at (804) 864-8055.
Influenza activity is beginning to increase in Virginia. For the week ending November 28, 2016, Virginia reported sporadic flu activity. Please continue to recommend influenza vaccine to your patients six months of age and older, especially those who are at high risk of serious complications from the flu. For the 2016-2017 flu season, CDC recommends that the nasal spray flu vaccine, also known as “Flu Mist,” should not be used. For more information, click here.
To help you stay abreast of influenza in Virginia, we have a comprehensive influenza website that includes detailed information and recommendations for healthcare professionals and facilities.
Public Health Emergency Update
In follow up of the recent declaration concerning the opioid addiction crisis in Virginia, I am recommending that you periodically check and promote the state’s one-stop website referenced in the last communication – www.VaAware.com. Thank you.
Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP
State Health Commissioner