Network News – July 15, 2021
Coalition News, Top Stories, and Events
- Introducing the next chapter in IAC’s leadership: Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
- Voices for Vaccines releases new podcast on vaccines and health equity with Minnesota School of Medicine health equity expert Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP
- Check out New Mexico’s “Got Shots?” program aimed at getting children up to date on their immunizations!
- “Some Quit, Others Retired: How COVID-19 Has Forever Impacted U.S. Immunization Managers,” published in USA Today
- CDC and WhatsApp, a multiplatform messaging app, launch “Mi Chat Sobre Vacunas COVID” to help Spanish-speaking communities find information about vaccine locations and get answers to frequently asked questions
- Order IAC’s free, CDC-supported “Me Vacuné Contra el COVID-19” buttons and stickers to encourage vaccination in Latinx communities. Also available in English.
Other News, Educational Opportunities, and Events
- American Pharmacists Association offers “Vaccine Confident” program to foster communication and understanding about COVID-19 vaccines
- Johns Hopkins’ campaign, “Get the Facts about the Vax,” helps people make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccine
- CDC offers resources to help get the word out about catching children up on routine vaccinations
- Johns Hopkins introduces Vira, a vax chatbot, to answer common COVID-19 vaccine questions
- HHS’s COVID-19 Community Corps adds COVID-19 toolkits for LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and faith-based leaders (also available in Spanish) to its library of resources
- Resolve to Save Lives initiative describes 15 practices to improve vaccination rates in hard-to-reach U.S. communities
- Be sure you’re subscribed to IAC’s weekly e-newsletter, IAC Express, to stay current on ACIP recommendations, FDA licensures, immunization resources from many organizations, and more!
- Urge your coalition’s members to subscribe to this e-newsletter, IAC’s IZ Coalitions Network News!
- Please make sure your coalition is listed and your information is up to date on immunizationcoalitions.org, the website of the National Network for Immunization Coalitions
Coalition News, Top Stories, and Events
Introducing the next chapter in IAC’s leadership: Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
On July 1, 2021, IAC founder and executive director Deborah L. Wexler, MD, turned over the leadership of IAC to Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH. We welcome Kelly to the helm of IAC in our IAC Express Special Edition article, Introducing the Next Chapter in IAC’s Immunization Leadership.
Joining Kelly are six new board members of diverse and distinguished backgrounds: Carolyn W. Schott (chair), Clement Lewin (treasurer), Kathryn M. Edwards, Elisa Greene, Patricia B. Hairston, and Jamie Swift. Learn more about our new directors at the Board of Directors web page.
Voices for Vaccines releases new podcast on vaccines and health equity with Minnesota School of Medicine health equity expert Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP
Voices for Vaccines (VFV) has posted a new entry in its Vax Talk podcast series: What Is Health Equity, and What Does It Have to Do with Vaccines? A description from their web page appears below.
With the pandemic bringing a bright spotlight on vaccine hesitancy, people are under the impression that confidence varies by race and background. Why would that be, and how is it related to health equity? And what is health equity anyhow?
We invited University of Minnesota School of Medicine professor and health equity expert Dr. Nate Chomilo to our podcast to ask him all the questions about health equity we could think of and to drill down about vaccine equity, as well.
Voices for Vaccines is a national organization of parents and others who are dedicated to raising the level of the voices of immunization supporters. VFV invites everyone who values vaccines to become a member, use VFV tools in their own community, and sign up for VFV’s free newsletter. Please spread the word to your friends and colleagues to join VFV!
- Voices for Vaccines website
- Voices for Vaccines Tools gateway page
- Join Voices for Vaccines and receive weekly email updates
- Follow Voices for Vaccines on Facebook
Check out New Mexico’s “Got Shots?” program aimed at getting children up to date on their immunizations!
New Mexico’s Got Shots? program, organized by the New Mexico Department of Health, the New Mexico Primary Care Association, and the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, provides opportunities for children in New Mexico to stay up to date on their immunizations. Participating providers will open their doors for any child who needs immunizations, regardless of whether they are a patient or have insurance. These events will take place July 24–August 14.
Provider sign-up and participating location information available on the Got Shots? web page.
“Some Quit, Others Retired: How COVID-19 Has Forever Impacted U.S. Immunization Managers,” published in USA Today
USA Today published Some Quit, Others Retired: How COVID-19 Has Forever Impacted U.S. Immunization Managers on July 4. A portion of the article is reprinted below.
…Since the beginning of the pandemic, a third of the 64 people who oversee the nation’s vaccination programs have left. In the midst of the largest vaccination effort in the country’s history, the nation lost a staggering amount of institutional knowledge….
…There are many reasons people are leaving the field, including exhaustion, new opportunities and, at times, frustration with the politicization of a once straightforward public health effort….
…In the United States, immunization managers are the backbone of the nation’s vaccination system. Among their responsibilities are making sure every child in the U.S. gets four doses of polio vaccine between the age of two months and six years, keeping the debilitating childhood disease eradicated here since 1979….
…Vaccination is about relationships, some of them built up over years. Immunization managers know their state and county health officials and community leaders, working for years and sometimes decades to stop diseases like whooping cough, rubella, diphtheria, measles and mumps….
CDC and WhatsApp, a multiplatform messaging app, launch “Mi Chat Sobre Vacunas COVID” to help Spanish-speaking communities find information about vaccine locations and get answers to frequently asked questions
The CDC and WhatsApp, a multiplatform messaging app, launched Mi Chat Sobre Vacunas COVID to increase vaccination rates among Latinx Americans. Users can message (833) 636-1122 from their app and receive information about nearby vaccination locations, arrange a free ride to get vaccinated, and get answers to frequently asked questions from the CDC helpline.
Order IAC’s free, CDC-supported “Me Vacuné Contra el COVID-19” buttons and stickers to encourage vaccination in Latinx communities. Also available in English.
Public health departments, nonprofit organizations, and all clinics that provide vaccination services in communities experiencing health disparities or vaccine hesitancy can order IAC’s FREE I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine buttons and stickers, provided with support from CDC. Spanish-language buttons and stickers are cheerful, highly visible tools to help you communicate the importance of COVID-19 vaccination in Latinx communities. Access this order form to request the FREE buttons and stickers in Spanish and English for your outreach efforts.
Buttons and stickers remain available for sale to those not eligible for the CDC-funded supplies.
- IAC’s FREE I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine buttons and stickers order form for public health departments, nonprofit organizations, and all clinics promoting vaccination
- Shop IAC gateway page: All the buttons, stickers, laminated schedules, record cards, and other products offered by IAC
Other News, Educational Opportunities, and Events
American Pharmacists Association offers “Vaccine Confident” program to foster communication and understanding about COVID-19 vaccines
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is collaborating with the CDC on Vaccine Confident, a multifaceted project that leverages pharmacists’ accessibility and trusting relationships with patients to promote confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines. Resources available include:
- A broad array of practice resources to keep pharmacists informed about COVID-19 vaccine developments and help pharmacists engage patients who have questions. These include fact sheets, toolkits, playbooks, and other resources.
- Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) programs covering core topics a pharmacist needs to know about this fast-changing disease
- Public-oriented materials with science-based, unbiased information about the vaccines in multiple languages, including vaccine development, administration, effectiveness, side effects, and benefits
- Dozens of short videos for social media, showing pharmacists discussing why they got vaccinated, why they recommend COVID-19 vaccines to their patients, and how they respond to their patients’ questions and concerns
- A series of success stories as pharmacists discuss vaccine issues with their patients
APhA conducts national surveys regularly to monitor vaccine confidence trends among pharmacists and pharmacy team members. Recently, 92% of the respondents said they planned to be or have been vaccinated and 98% said they were comfortable addressing vaccine concerns.
Johns Hopkins’ campaign, “Get the Facts about the Vax,” helps people make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccine
Johns Hopkins Center for Communications Programs’ campaign Get the Facts about the Vax offers easily digestible and trustworthy information on the COVID-19 vaccines. The campaign materials are publicly accessible, providing accurate and research-driven information that can help people make an informed decision about getting vaccinated.
To learn more about the “Get the Facts about the Vax” campaign and to access the campaign toolkit materials, visit www.vaxfacts.jhu.edu.
- Johns Hopkins’ Get the Facts about the Vax web page
- HUB press release: Johns Hopkins Launches Campaign to Help People Make Informed Decisions about Vaccines (4/8/21)
CDC offers resources to help get the word out about catching children up on routine vaccinations
The pandemic disrupted routine well-child visits, leading to a decline in routine childhood vaccines. Fall is right around the corner and many children returning to schools, camps, playdates, and daycares are behind on their vaccines. The CDC offers resources to help catch children up on missed routine childhood vaccines. Resources include:
- An infographic that can be printed from HTML or PDF
- Social media resources for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
- Newsletter template language that can be tailored to specific needs
- A web feature that can be linked to or repurposed for website content
- CDC’s Resources for Encouraging Routine Childhood Vaccinations web page
Johns Hopkins introduces Vira, a vax chatbot, to answer common COVID-19 vaccine questions
Johns Hopkins’ International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), in collaboration with IBM Research, aims to increase vaccine confidence, equity, and distribution with Vira, a vax chatbot. Type your COVID-19 question into the chatbot and in just seconds, Vira will offer evidence-based answers pre-vetted by Johns Hopkins vaccine scientists. Vira can be used on both desktop and mobile devices.
Visit and share vax chatbot Vira with your friends, family, and colleagues!
HHS’s COVID-19 Community Corps adds COVID-19 toolkits for LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and faith-based leaders (also available in Spanish) to its library of resources
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) national campaign We Can Do This aims to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Through a nationwide network of trusted messengers and consistent, fact-based messaging, the campaign helps people make informed decisions about their health and COVID-19. The effort is driven by communication science and provides tailored information for at-risk groups.
“We Can Do This” recently added toolkits for the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, faith-based leaders, and faith-based leaders (Spanish) under the Resources and Toolkits tab on wecandothis.hhs.gov.
HHS invites you to join the COVID-19 Community Corps. As a member, you’ll receive timely, accurate information to share with your family, friends, and neighbors. By encouraging them to get vaccinated, you’ll help protect them and allow all of us to safely gather again. As a Corps member, you’ll get resources to help you build vaccine confidence in your community.
Resolve to Save Lives initiative describes 15 practices to improve vaccination rates in hard-to-reach U.S. communities
Resolve to Save Lives is a global health advocacy organization led by former CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden. Resolve to Save Lives’ U.S. COVID-19 response team has developed 15 Practices to Improve Vaccination Program Effectiveness by Reaching the People Most at Risk.
The overview highlights promising strategies being implemented by health departments, clinics, and community partners that are achieving the greatest success in promoting COVID-19 vaccination among hard-to-reach communities. These strategies are clustered in three groups: equity and allocation, community engagement and access, and communication and community education.
- Resolve to Save Lives: 15 Practices to Improve Vaccination Program Effectiveness by Reaching the People Most at Risk (PDF)
Be sure you’re subscribed to IAC’s weekly e-newsletter, IAC Express, to stay current on ACIP recommendations, FDA licensures, immunization resources from many organizations, and more
IAC Express, the free weekly e-newsletter produced by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), is emailed to more than 50,000 opt-in subscribers every Wednesday morning, providing articles that succinctly summarize the week’s important immunization developments.
IAC Express keeps you informed about new and updated vaccine recommendations from CDC and new vaccine licensures by the FDA. You’ll read about newly posted Vaccine Information Statements and their translations, and new immunization education materials from IAC, CDC, AAP, and others.
IAC Express also provides updates on online and in-person educational opportunities, many offering free continuing education credit.
To subscribe, simply provide your name and email address at www.immunize.org/subscribe. We will never share your contact information.
Urge your coalition’s members to subscribe to this e-newsletter, IAC’s IZ Coalitions Network News!
IZ Coalitions Network News is a monthly e-newsletter for the National Network of Immunization Coalitions and features news of interest to immunization coalitions and nonprofit organizations, including advocacy opportunities, legislative efforts, immunization resources, educational offerings, and local, state, and national conference information.
IZ Coalitions Network News is available to coalition members and nonprofit staff, and all people who work with immunization coalitions.
Urge your coalition members and your co-workers to subscribe. All they have to do is send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org asking to be included.
The National Network of Immunization Coalitions is a project of the Immunization Action Coalition.
Please make sure your coalition is listed and your information is up to date on immunizationcoalitions.org, the website of the National Network for Immunization Coalitions
The National Network for Immunization Coalitions website at www.immunizationcoalitions.org is a place to learn about immunization coalitions and nonprofit organizations, their locations, missions, activities, newsletters, and how to engage with them. The website promotes the activities of immunization coalitions and nonprofits, offers resources of importance to the network, and provides a searchable online database of local, state, regional, and national immunization coalitions. Interested supporters of immunization can find contacts, resources, ideas, and volunteer opportunities.
There are now 139 immunization coalitions and nonprofits listed on this website; view their pages here. If your coalition is not listed, or your information needs to be updated, please email email@example.com.
New coalitions and nonprofits are encouraged to include their information on the National Network for Immunization Coalitions website. Updated information can be added at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer
Lisa Jacques-Carroll, MA
Coalitions Network Project Manager
Taryn Chapman, MS
Marian Deegan, JD
Julie R. Murphy, MA
Senior Administrator for Grants and Leadership
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. The Coalition also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, health care organizations, and government health agencies. Click here for more information on IAC.