On Tuesday, 11/3/2021, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.
COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes) and long-term complications, such as “long COVID,” in which symptoms can linger for months. The spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in children throughout the summer. During a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold. Vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the United States. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.
COVID-19 vaccines have undergone – and will continue to undergo – the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Vaccinating children will help protect them from getting COVID-19 and therefore reducing their risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or developing long-term COVID-19 complications. Getting your children vaccinated can help protect them against COVID-19, as well as reduce disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission.
Distribution of pediatric vaccinations across the country started this week, with plans to scale up to full capacity starting the week of November 8th. Vaccines will be available at thousands of pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and more.
The following is attributable to Dr. Walensky:
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19. We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
See the full press release here.
MDPH Covid-19 Vaccine Trainings now available!
MDPH has comprehensive COVID-19 Vaccine Trainings now available! To begin the COVID-19 vaccine training, please register here
and then go to the training page
and select “Enroll”.
You will find training modules on:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Storage and Handling
- Vaccine Administration
- Vaccine Safety
- Vaccine-Specific Information
as well as
- Information for first-time vaccinators
- Resource Links
- MDPH Contact Information
Continuing education credits can be earned for completing all modules.
Title: Overcoming Rural Health Challenges
Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 3:00 PM ET - 4:00 PM ET
AIM is excited to be hosting our next in the series of Vaccine Confidence webinars focused on Understanding Rural Health Challenges and Building Successful Partnerships to Achieve Vaccine Confidence
on Tuesday, November 9th
from 3-4PM ET.
The webinar will provide perspectives from immunization coalition and program leaders about how they've partnered to boost vaccine confidence, perspectives on challenges and strategies in rural communities for overcoming access and vaccine hesitancy issues, and best practices for creating successful partnerships to build vaccine confidence!
We are excited to learn from Karen Sharpnick of Get Immunized Idaho
, her counterpart at the Idaho Dept of Health and Welfare, Immunization Manager Sarah Leeds and REACH
national subject matter expert and pediatrician Dr. Yabo Beysolow!
Title: Addressing Influenza and COVID-19 Immunization Health Inequities
Monday, November 15, 2021, 9:00 AM ET-10:00 AM ET
Influenza immunization rates have historically been well below Healthy People 2020 goals. COVID-19 vaccine coverage rates have reached historical highs compared with other adult immunizations, however, vaccine coverage rates still need to increase to help better control the spread of COVID. Inequities persist in both influenza and COVID-19 vaccination rates across different population groups. Providers require the most current information available on these inequities, and the social determinants of health that cause them. This webcast will review inequities in influenza and COVID-19 immunizations and how providers and public health advocates can address these inequities in their practices and programs.
Title: NFID Clinical Vaccinology Course (Virtual)
November 15, 2021, 10:45 AM ET - 5:00 PM ET
November 16, 2021, 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM ET
November 17, 2021, 10:45 AM ET - 3:30 PM ET
Led by expert speakers, the interactive, virtual Clinical Vaccinology Course (CVC) will focus on new developments and issues related to the use of vaccines including the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination recommendations, practical strategies for ensuring timely immunization, and the ongoing impact and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
View the agenda
for the virtual program scheduled for November 15-17, 2021
- Actionable strategies to move from vaccine recommendation to implementation
- Engaging and fun Jeopard-ID game
- Live panel discussion on communication strategies to improve vaccine confidence
- Opportunities for Interaction between attendees and faculty
- Presentations on rapid response during a pandemic
- Sessions on vaccine safety
- Customizable resources and communication templates
- Unlimited access to recorded sessions until December 31, 2021
- Up to 13.5 hours of continuing education credits
Weekly MDPH Influenza News - 10/29/2021
|Influenza Activity in the U.S.
• An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications.
• Influenza vaccine can be given at the same time as COVID-19 vaccine.
• CDC recommends everyone 6 months or older get a flu vaccine.
• There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.
In the last week CDC Reported Two New Variant Influenza (Flu) Virus Infections.
National Influenza Activity:
According to this week’s FluView report, seasonal influenza activity in the United States remains low.
Below is a summary of the key influenza indicators for the week ending October 23, 2021:
Viral Surveillance - Clinical Lab: The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza at clinical laboratories is 0.1% this week.
Viral Surveillance - Public Health Lab: At this time, few specimens have tested positive.
Virus Characterization: Influenza virus characterization information will be reported later this season.
Outpatient Illness: The percentage of patient visits to a health care provider for Influenza-like illness (ILI) in week 40 was 1.8% which is below baseline.
Outpatient Illness: ILINet Activity Map During week 42, 1 jurisdiction experienced moderate activity and no jurisdictions experienced high or very high activity.
Influenza-associated Hospitalizations: FluSurv-NET sites will update their hospitalization rates starting later this season.
NCHS Mortality: 16.5% of deaths were attributed to pneumonia, influenza, or COVID 19 (PIC ). This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 5.9% for this week. Currently, the majority of PIC deaths are due to COVID-19. (NCHS:National Center for Health Statistics)
Influenza-associated Pediatric Deaths: No influenza-associated pediatric deaths during the 2021-2022 season have been reported to CDC.
Click for full CDC FluView
Influenza Activity in Massachusetts
Figure 1 shows that for MMWR week 42, the percent of ILI visits visits is higher than the 2020-2021 season and comparable to the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons in the same week. For more information, see CDC’s influenza surveillance website at www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm.
|ILI Activity in Massachusetts by Region
Figure 4 shows the relative intensity of reported ILI activity in Massachusetts by region. Although regions may not all experience the same intensity of ILI at similar times, infections due to influenza can be found throughout Massachusetts during flu season. Figure 4 shows that all regions of Massachusetts are reporting minimal ILI activity.
Link to most recent Immunization MMWRs
to view all recent MMWRs!