July/August 2020

Temperature Excursions

If your office's data logger alarms due to a temperature excursion, you must wait until the unit's temperatures have returned to the appropriate range (between 2° to 8° Celsius (36° to 46° Fahrenheit) for the refrigerator and between -50° to -15° Celsius (-58° to +5° Fahrenheit) for the freezer) prior to contacting the vaccine manufacturers for stability. The entire duration of the excursion must be reported. Stability letters and a data logger report documenting in-range temperatures are required to be submitted following any temperature excursion. Excursion information reported to the vaccine manufacturer and documented on the stability letters must match the excursion recorded by the data logger.

CDC issues guidance for immunization services in light of falling vaccine rates due to COVID-19 pandemic

Routine vaccination is an essential preventive care service for children, adolescents, and adults (including pregnant women) that should not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of COVID-19-related reductions in people accessing vaccination services, it is important to assess the vaccination status of all children and adolescents at each patient visit to avoid missed opportunities for vaccination and ensure timely vaccine catch-up. All vaccines due or overdue should be administered according to the recommended CDC immunization schedules during that visit, unless a specific contraindication exists, to provide protection as soon as possible as well as to minimize the number of healthcare visits needed to complete vaccination.
The vaccination status of all patients across the life span should be considered at each health visit. Encourage vaccination to help stop the spread of disease and communicate with patients and families about how vaccines can be administered safely during the pandemic. The guidance also states that adults are encouraged to take steps to receive vaccines according to the standards for adult immunization practice.
CDC guidance recommends all people age 6 months or older be given the influenza vaccine to reduce the overall burden of respiratory illnesses during the upcoming 2020–2021 influenza season. Providers should use every opportunity to administer the influenza vaccine to essential workers, people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, those over the age of 65, and people at high risk for influenza complications such as infants, young children, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions.
Coronavirus infection prevention practices such as physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, wearing of personal protective equipment, disinfection of surfaces, and source control while in the healthcare facility are important in limiting the spread of disease. The subsection titled “General Practices for the Safe Delivery of Vaccination Services” provid es a list of safeguards. Routine vaccination for people with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 should be temporarily deferred from vaccinations regardless of symptoms. This guidance is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pandemic-guidance/index.html

Updated! Ask the Experts: COVID-19 and Routine Vaccination Questions and Answers

IAC recently updated its Ask the Experts: COVID-19 and Routine Vaccination web page. The refreshed web page answers questions about the importance of administering all recommended immunizations for children and adults during the pandemic, and provides links to the latest CDC guidelines on immunization during a pandemic. The page addresses questions on many related topics (e.g., using telemedicine visits for vaccine assessment and counseling and differentiating COVID-19 symptoms from a self-limited Shingrix reaction). This section of Ask the Experts will grow with more Q&As as additional information becomes available.
IAC’s Ask the Experts gateway page is a compilation of common as well as challenging questions and answers about vaccines and their administration. The web page can be accessed here: https://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_covid19.asp

Adult Vaccine Update

NAIIS (the Summit) announces recipients of the 2020 Immunization Excellence Awards
The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) issued a news release on May 30 announcing the recipients of the 2020 Immunization Excellence Awards. These awards recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals and organizations towards improved vaccination rates within their communities in the past year. https://www.izsummitpartners.org/content/uploads/
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