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Educating Physicians
​In their Communities

   January 2016

January is Cervical Awareness Month

January 2015

 May 2015

Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US

Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism

Journal of the American Medical Association (04/21/15) Vol. 313, No. 15, P. 1534 Jain, Anjali; Marshall, Jaclyn; Buikema, Ami; et al.

A large study of privately insured children with older siblings has found no association between receipt of the MMR vaccine and increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), whether or not the older siblings had ASD. The retrospective cohort study looked at insurance claims for about 96,000 children born between 2001-2007 and who had an older sibling. The researchers determined that 1.04 percent of the children were diagnosed with ASD and 2.01 percent had an older sibling with ASD. Of the children whose older siblings had ASD, about 7 percent had ASD, compared with 0.9 percent of children with unaffected siblings. Receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with a higher risk of ASD at any age, the researchers concluded, nor was there evidence that receipt of one or two doses of MMR vaccine was linked to a higher risk of ASD among children whose older siblings had ASD.

Mark Your Calendars:

Pediatrics by the Sea
Summer CME Conference
June 8-11, 2016
The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, FL

ACIP Meeting
June 22-23, 2016
Atlanta, GA


CDC now recommends 11 to 12 year olds get two doses of HPV vaccine—rather than the previously recommended three doses—to protect against cancers caused by HPV. The second dose should be given 6-12 months after the first dose. For more information on the updated recommendations, read the press release:

National Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.

Since 1994, NIIW has served as a call to action for parents, caregivers,  and healthcare providers to ensure that infants are fully immunized 
against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases, including influenza. 

APRIL 2016

Immunization News


January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Visit NCCC to learn more. Get involved and make a difference!

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day. During May, the campaign aims to shed light on this hidden epidemic by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging priority populations to get tested. Pediatric providers are encouraged to check immunization records of children and adolescents for proof of hepatitis A and B vaccinations, vaccinate those with no documented history, and screen high-risk children for hepatitis B and C infection.

Read more here in the May edition of EPIC Insider Newsletter.​

Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week

March 13-19, 2016

The purpose of Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week is to help raise awareness and encourage preteens to make smart, healthy choices including defending themselves against vaccine-preventable diseases. It is very important for health care providers treating adolescents to take advantage of every contact and office visit. No matter the reason for the office visit (e.g., acute care, chronic illness, camp or sports physicals, or any other visit type), each should become an opportunity to review an adolescent’s vaccination status and provide needed immunizations. 

It is also an opportunity to raise awareness regarding Georgia’s vaccine requirements for incoming seventh-grade students. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC currently recommends the following vaccines for preteens and teens:

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - three doses
  • Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MenACWY)

Click here for 2016 PreTeen Vaccination Awareness Week Campaign Toolkit

February 2015 

Measles Cases Linked to Disneyland Rise, and Debate Over Vaccinations Intensifies 

New York Times (01/22/15) P. A13 Nagourney, Adam; Goodnough, Abby 

California health officials said Wednesday that 59 cases of measles have been diagnosed in the state, including 42 linked to an outbreak that began at Disneyland. Another eight related cases have been reported in Utah, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Mexico. Five of the cases are among workers at Disneyland. The outbreak has renewed a debate that the anti-vaccination movement has led to an increase in disease. As a result of the growing number of measles cases, unvaccinated students in California's Orange County have been prohibited from going to school; more than 20 children were sent home from a local high school this week. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report said that the vaccination exemption rate in California kindergartners was 3.1 percent in 2013-2014. But health officials note there are pockets throughout the state where the exemption rate is much higher. The CDC reported 644 cases of measles in 27 states in 2014.  

Check out the EPIC Insider Newsletter - February 2015 for more articles.

March 2016


August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.
The National Public Health Information Coalition in collaboration with CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, developed communication toolkits to help you communicate about vaccines for various audiences. 
Each week of #NIAM16 focuses on a different stage of the lifespan:

  • ·Adults (Aug. 1-7)
  • Pregnant women (Aug. 8-14)
  • Babies and young children (Aug. 15-21)
  • Preteens and teens (Aug. 22-28)

Healthcare Professionals are key to raising awareness about the importance of vaccination. NIAM is great opportunity to remind your audiences about the benefits of immunization and the safety of vaccines. Next month, show your support and spread the word about the importance of vaccines for people of all ages.

 April 2015

What Doctors Should Tell Parents Who Are Afraid of Vaccines 

Washington Post (03/09/15) Hendrix, Kristin S. 

Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses have accompanied an increase in vaccine refusals and the number of parents requesting modified vaccine schedules. Health care providers may have a difficult time changing the attitudes of parents who strongly oppose vaccines, but they can make a difference by concentrating proactive intervention efforts on parents who are hesitant or uncertain about vaccines but are less set in their beliefs. These parents tend to be receptive to information from trusted health care providers, and how providers communicate with them is crucial. Communication ranges from one-on-one conversations with doctors and nurses to outreach efforts from health departments that include billboards and radio ads, and it remains uncertain which methods work the best. Clinicians should talk about the benefits of vaccination and the risks of not vaccinating, with discussions tailored to the parents' specific concerns. It also is important to communicate the risk of any negative side effects, despite the risks being low, because these discussions can help build public trust in vaccines. Parents should be told how to manage common side effects, what to do if a serious reaction occurs, and what the risks of vaccinating versus not vaccinating are. Written materials that explain risk also could be useful. Rather that take a "directive" approach, in which providers instruct parents to vaccinate, researchers suggest a "guiding" approach, which aims to help parents understand the importance and necessity of vaccination. 

Check out the EPIC Insider Newsletter - April 2015 for more articles.

MARCH 2017

Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week
March 13-17, 2017

The purpose of Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week is to help raise awareness and encourage preteens to make smart, healthy choices including defending themselves against vaccine-preventable diseases. Georgia’s preteens include more than 351,500 boys and girls between 10 and 14 years of age.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC currently recommends that 11 and 12-year-olds receive:
• Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
• Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – see below for new HPV recommendation
• Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MenACWY)
• Influenza (flu)
Some preteens may also need to catch up on other immunizations, including chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and hepatitis B
Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week Campaign Toolkit
Check out our EPIC Insider newsletter for more information:

July 2015


Not enough signatures: Vaccine opponents fall short in ballot effort September 30, 2015, Reporting from Sacramento, L.A. Times Patrick McGreevy

Opponents of a new child vaccination law in California have reported that they turned in some 228,000 signatures on petitions for a referendum to overturn the measure, far short of the number needed to qualify it for next year's ballot.

Referendum supporters needed the signatures of 365,880 registered voters by Monday to place the measure before state voters in November 2016.

The referendum was intended to overturn a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in June eliminating personal-belief exemptions that allowed some parents to avoid having their children vaccinated before they entered kindergarten.

All women are at risk for cervical cancer. Each year approximately 12,000 women in the U.S. get cervical CA. 4,000 women die from cervical cancer in the U.S. each year. The main cause of cervical cancer is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Many people with HPV don’t know they are infected. Vaccines are available to protect against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers.

It is recommended that boys and girls should get all three doses of HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old. If a teen or young adult (through age 26) has not started or finished the series of three HPV vaccine shots, it’s not too late!

Please visit this CDC site for more information on Cervical Awareness and protection with the HPV vaccine.

Please visit our HPV Awareness page for more information and resources: Click here

Check out the EPIC Insider Newsletter - January 2016 for more articles.

Georgia AAP & Georgia Department of Public Health Team up to fight HPV related cancers

Please click here to see the letter signed by Evelyn Johnson, MD, FAAP, President of the Georgia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics along with Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, DPH Commissioner.

February 2016

March 2015

Some Doctors Won't See Patients With Anti-Vaccine Views

San Diego Union-Tribune (01/29/15) Chang, Alicia

In recent years, some pediatricians and family physicians have refused to see patients who will not have their children vaccinated. Doctors are hoping that the strategy will help change parents' minds and reduce the risk to other patients. This approach comes as the United States is seeing a large measles outbreak, with most of the reported cases linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in Southern California. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that doctors speak on the importance of vaccinations but respect a parent's wishes unless the child is at a significant risk. "In general, pediatricians should avoid discharging patients from their practices solely because a parent refuses to immunize his or her child," according to AAP guidelines. Some doctors defend their decision not to see unvaccinated patients, but others warn that such treatment could send patients to less reputable providers. While all states require certain vaccinations for children enrolling in school, California is one of 20 states that let parents opt out through personal belief waivers.

Check out the EPIC Insider Newsletter - March 2015 for more articles.

JUNE 2016

Influenza Update

CDC Immunization Works Newsletter December 2014 

Flu Update: As always, flu is unpredictable and every season is different, with different flu viruses spreading and causing illness. CDC held a telebriefing on December 4, 2014, to discuss the current flu season, noting that influenza A (H3N2) flu viruses are predominant so far. H3N2-predominant seasons are often associated with more hospitalizations and deaths, especially in young children and older people. CDC also highlighted laboratory information indicating that more than half of analyzed H3N2 viruses this season are different from the H3N2 vaccine virus, a factor which may reduce how well the vaccine protects against those drifted H3N2 viruses. Despite the detection of drifted viruses, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination as the best way to prevent the flu. Specifically, CDC recommends: 

Vaccination may provide partial protection against drifted H3N2 viruses and will protect against non-drifted circulating vaccine viruses this season, including influenza B viruses.

Antiviral medications are an important second line of defense against the flu. Treatment with antiviral drugs is especially important for people at high risk of serious flu complications or people who are very sick with flu. It’s especially important to get antiviral medicines quickly, since they work best when started within two days of the beginning of flu symptoms. Take everyday actions like covering your cough, staying away from sick people, and washing your hands often. If you get the flu, stay home from work or school. If you are sick, stay away from other people to avoid spreading the flu. 

More information is available in the December 4 press release, the transcript, and the CDC Health Alert Network, Health Advisory, regarding the Potential for Circulation of Drifted Influenza A (H3N2) Viruses.  

Check out the EPIC Insider Newsletter - January 2015 for more articles.

Acute Gastroenteritis Hospitalizations Among US Children

Following Implementation of the Rotavirus Vaccine

Journal of the American Medical Association (06/09/15) Vol. 313, No. 22, P. 2282 Lesham, Eyal; Tate,
Jacqueline E.; Steiner, Claudia A.; et al.

Following the introduction of routine rotavirus vaccination in 2006, rates of acute gastroenteritis hospitalization declined significantly, a new study shows. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality looked at 1.2 million all-cause acute gastroenteritis hospitalizations, of which 17 percent had a rotavirus-specific code, among children younger than five years from 2000 to 2012. In a research letter, they report that rates of all-cause acute gastroenteritis among children younger than five years decreased by 31 percent to 55 percent in each of the postvaccine years from 2008 to 2012. In addition, rotavirus-coded hospitalizations dropped 63 percent to 94 percent during that period. The researchers add that "with an increase in vaccine coverage, herd protection may have contributed to larger declines in rotavirus hospitalizations,"noting that vaccine coverage was highest in 2012, which was also when the largest decreases were seen for both all-cause acute gastroenteritis and rotavirus-coded hospitalizations.

Check out the EPIC Insider Newsletter - July 2015 for more articles.

June 2015

Whooping Cough: A Small Drop in Vaccine Protection Can

Lead to a Case Upsurge EurekAlert (04/23/15)

Researchers led by Dr. Manoj Gambhir of Monash University in Australia, Dr. Thomas Clark of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Prof. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London reviewed 60 years of pertussis data to determine the cause of the decrease in the degree of vaccine protection that led to the highest number of pertussis cases in the United States since 1955 in 2012. Published in PLOS Computational Biology, the study reveals that the level of protection in the current acellular vaccine is lower than that of the previous whole-cell vaccine and that reporting of pertussis cases has steadily increased over time. Because the efficacy of the acellular vaccine is not much lower than that of the whole-cell vaccine--80 percent for the first three doses versus 90 percent--the researchers believe booster shots could be enough to put a damper on epidemics while research on new vaccines continues. "Pertussis has also been on the rise in several countries around the world, and we are eager to look at data from other countries to see whether the explanation for this is similar to what we found for the US." says Clark.

Check out the EPIC Insider Newsletter - June 2015 for more articles.


A 2017 Supplement to Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, 13th Edition (the Pink Book)

A 2017 Supplement to the 13th Edition of the Pink Book is now available. The supplement reflects the latest ACIP recommendations since the latest publication of the Pink Book in 2015.
The Pink Book supplement is a resource intended for immunization providers, and includes supplementary immunization information on human papillomavirus vaccine, meningococcal vaccines, and pneu-mococcal vaccines.

Please visit to view and/or download your copy. The 13th edition of the textbook, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, or the Pink Book, is available for purchase. Published by CDC, NCIRD, and the Public Health Foundation (PHF), the Pink Book provides health care professionals with the most comprehensive information available on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases.

NIIW 2016 is April 16-23, 2016

The link below from the AAP has resources for campaign or project updates, logos, posters, parent handouts, and more.

MAY 2016