I’m Immunized! (Pass it on!)

12 11 2013

At PKIDs, we have seen the awful reality of children affected by preventable disease: horrible illnesses, hospitalizations, chronic infections, and sometimes death. C

We share our stories with the hope that others will learn from them and get their families fully vaccinated to protect themselves and the ones they love.

In the same way that we are intimately familiar with the harm that comes from not vaccinating, we are also joyously aware of what happens when a family is fully vaccinated.

We want families to understand that getting vaccinated isn’t just about avoiding the horrors of disease. It’s also about experiencing the happiness of health.

Our I’m Immunized! campaign is a visual depiction of immunized people living happy, energetic lives.

We invite you, as immunization advocates, to share these images through your social media platforms, and to use them in your organizations’ educational outreach.

Immunization advocates at PKIDs share their families’ personal stories of illness and loss with the hope that those who hear the stories will be motivated to protect themselves and their loved ones through vaccination.

We humans are certainly motivated by empathy for others and a feeling of vulnerability for ourselves and those we love.

We are also motivated by positive messages that make us aspire to attain positive goals.

Both approaches may be effective, as noted by Angela Y. Lee and Jennifer L. Aaker in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “A positive frame that promotes something desirable is more effective than a negative frame that laments the absence of something desirable. At the same time, a negative frame that threatens the onset of something undesirable is more effective than a positive frame that promises the absence of something undesirable—a concept known as ‘regulatory fit’.”

RRAs parents, we at PKIDs share the realities of vaccine preventable infections with those who question the need for protection by immunization. We also propose to share the benefits of a vaccinated life.

Staying healthy is good. When you’re healthy, you can play and party and easily tackle life’s challenges. Vaccinating is a beneficial choice because it makes one’s life healthier and therefore happier. Adding that messaging through the I’m Immunized! campaign to our current communications mix is just what we all need to help spotlight the positive aspects of vaccination.

We encourage you to send us pictures (pkids@pkids.org) of family members of various ages who have been immunized. We’re looking for good, impactful photography. We will format them and add them to the growing library of images depicting the positive that comes through immunization.

Or, upload your pictures to your social media platform of choice (Google+, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and use the hashtag #I’mImmunized! or, #We’reImmunized! if there’s more than one of you in the photo.

We’d love to hear or see how you’re using these images to promote immunization. Share with us directly at pkids@pkids.org, or in the comment section below.

Thanks!





Universal Immunization Symbol

5 11 2013

immunize_rgb_fullcolorGood news! The universal immunization symbol is ready and available for use by all immunization advocates.

It is designed for all immunization organizations and advocates to display as a way to show solidarity in their awareness of and support for immunization.

The concept is that, just as a pink ribbon is associated with breast cancer, and a puzzle piece with autism, so this image is the recognized symbol of immunization. Organizations are encouraged to work together and use this symbol as a statement of broad support of immunization.

It is a reflection of all of our voices and is a solid addition to each organization’s individual image library. The symbol does not replace organizational or campaign logos, but is rather a symbol to be used when we wish to collectively present a united front in support of immunization.

The symbol’s use is limited only by our imaginations. It’s envisioned that the image will be used on anything from Web sites, brochures and other print materials, to T-shirts, pins, and social media sites.

In the spring of 2013, immunization coalitions around the country voiced a desire for a universal symbol. Putting thought into action, a small group representing the coalitions worked together to identify several potential designs.  These designs were put forward, and through a public vote, this symbol was chosen.

The umbrella, representing protection of the community, tells the story of the power of immunizations. The symbol, in several formats, is housed on Google Docs, and is available to all immunization advocates as a free download.

In addition to the logo in full color, black, or white, there is also a Style Guide and Read Me guide on how to download and use the symbol: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B07MTd0yDhmyY05hTFFFRElITTg&usp=sharing

For questions, please contact one of the following:

 

Joanne C. Sullivan, RN, BSN

Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition

joanne.sullivan@immunizepa.org

 

Lynn Bozof

National Meningitis Association

lynn.nma@gmail.com

 

Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD

Immunization Action Coalition

lj.tan@immunize.org

 

Trish Parnell

PKIDs

pkids@pkids.org

 

 





NIIW 2013 – Resources for Vax Educators

23 04 2013

It’s National Infant Immunization Week!

We put out the call for infant vaccination resources that groups were prepared to share, and this is what we received. If you have any tools or resources you can share with others, either hard copies or downloadables, just add them to the comments section.

Vaccinate Your Baby has a nice section on their website of video FAQs, featuring Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Mark Sawyer, Alison Singer, and Dr. Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco. The videos are very short, and they each ask and answer a question about vaccines. Plus, they have the full transcripts available for download. Nice way to hear how other healthcare professionals answer questions, and something you can show patients.

AAP has a multitude of resources, as you would imagine.

Here’s the Childhood Immunization Support Program Best Practices Summary. Clinicians answer several questions, and their answers are compared to best practices for each question. Sample question: “How does your practice ensure that, whenever possible, immunization appointments are scheduled along with other appointments, to prevent missed opportunities?” Good opportunity to find out how others are overcoming issues related to best practices.

AAP also has a nice page with several provider resources listed for those wanting to communicate with parents of infants, or children of any age.

The Alliance for Immunization in Michigan has a toolkit available for download that addresses infant immunization, as well as immunization in other age groups.

The Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition has a Community Immunization Education Guide Toolkit available in English and Spanish. It provides background information that the trainee can use as they train fellow community workers and/or educate the public about immunizations. Key topics include: What is a vaccine preventable disease, what are the five key immunization messages, what do vaccine preventable diseases look like, how to give an excellent presentation.

The Hepatitis B Foundation has a downloadable flyer promoting hep B vaccination.

CDC has an entire infant/toddler immunization section on its website.

Stanford’s Asian Liver Center has a flyer available in multiple languages that addresses HBV and Moms-to-be

CHOP’s Vaccine Education Center has several resources available:

Print materials: – Vaccines and Your Baby booklet; Q and A sheets about related vaccines: rotavirus, hep A, chickenpox, influenza, pertussis; Vaccine safety q and a sheets – facts about childhood vaccines, aluminum, recommended immunization schedule, thimerosal, too many vaccines, vaccine ingredients, vaccines and autism; Clings of the immunization schedule.

Videos: – Vaccines and your baby (for new or expectant parents), Vaccines: Separating Fact from Fear (for parents concerned about vaccine safety)

Parents PACK program – website and monthly e-newsletter (sample)

IAC has several resources for those working with infants:

FOR PARENTS:

Immunizations for Babies  (also available in 8 translations)

Vaccinations for Infants and Children, Age 0–10 Years

Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots by Dr. Ari Brown, MD, FAAP

Cocooning Protects Babies

Personal belief exemptions for vaccination put people at risk. Examine the evidence for yourself.

Questions Parents Ask about Baby Shots   (also available in 8 translations)

Reliable Sources of Immunization Information: Where to go to find answers!

What if you don’t immunize your child?

FOR PROVIDERS:

Vaccine Administration Record for Children and Teens

Summary of Recommendations for Child/Teen Immunization

Recommendations for Pneumococcal Vaccine Use in Children and Teens

Meningococcal Vaccination Recommendations by Age and/or Risk Factor

Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Vaccines for Children and Teens   (also available in 9 translations)

Decision to Not Vaccinate My Child (declination form)

Standing orders for all routine childhood vaccines

PKIDs has several infant-specific resources that anyone may use. There’s a nice section on pertussis with video and audio PSAs, , and other materials for use by providers and parents. For the Make On-Time Vaccination Easy program, there are radio PSAs available for download . There are also videos covering a variety of vaccine-preventable diseases that may be used by anyone as PSAs, or there are longer versions for showing in waiting rooms .





You’re An Adult, So Get Vaccinated!

29 01 2013

adults onlyOnce we leave our family home and go off to college or the military or the workforce, how healthy we are is up to us.

For our first couple of decades, mom and dad do all the work. They get us in for our immunizations, tell us to wash our hands, nag us to eat our greens—well, the nagging about our health never ends. But the point is, we don’t worry about that stuff because we know someone else is doing that for us.

Then, in our 20s, 30s, and 40s, we’re hauling our own kids to the clinic for shots and sniffles, or nagging them to eat their greens. We haven’t the time for a long shower; forget finding time to take care of our own health.

In our 50s, we’re working hard and at the peak of our careers, or getting laid off and stressing about that. Plus, we’re watching out for our parents’ health. We have no time for check-ups or even basic immunizations. Even if we have the time, we have no idea what we’re supposed to take care of and might not have a “medical home,” a physician we see when we need to see one.

Our 60s and 70s are when we wake up to the fact that we have to take care of our bodies. Most of the time, we do that by reacting to health issues that pop up rather than working to prevent problems.

After 80, we’re bossed around by our middle-aged children who can find us a specialist in 10 minutes, but have no idea that we need a Tdap vaccine.

Adults 19 and older in the US are not taking advantage of vaccines, and that’s an easy place to start taking care of ourselves. Each of us should check in with a healthcare provider and find out what vaccines we need. Nobody has time to do it, so just do it anyway.

Here’s a list from the CDC, although it’ll be much simpler to ask a physician. But, if you love the details (full recommendations for each vaccine can be found here):

  • Pneumococcal Vaccine Information
    • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is recommended for all adults aged 65 years and older.
    • In addition, certain adults younger than 65 years should be vaccinated if they have certain high-risk conditions such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, alcoholism, cirrhosis, cerebrospinal fluid leak, or a cochlear implant, or if they have a suppressed immune system.
    • Adults aged 19 years and older should also get a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine if they have asthma or smoke cigarettes.
    • Preliminary data report approximately 37,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in 2011. Of those cases, there were about 4,000 deaths.
    • The majority of cases and deaths occur among adults 50 years or older, with the highest rates among those 65 years or older. Almost everyone who gets invasive pneumococcal disease needs treatment in the hospital.
    • Overall, pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is 30% to 70% effective in preventing invasive pneumococcal disease, such as meningitis and bloodstream infections.
      • Effectiveness is highest among otherwise healthy adults.
      • Effectiveness is lowest among adults with significant underlying illness.
    • There is not consensus regarding the effectiveness of PPSV23 against non-invasive pneumococcal pneumonia.
    • Certain adults with significant underlying illness should also get the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), which has proven highly effective among children.
      • A large clinical trial is underway in the Netherlands that is studying the effectiveness of PCV13 against pneumococcal pneumonia among adults.
    • Adults at high risk for pneumococcal disease who haven’t gotten the vaccine yet should talk with their doctor about getting it now.
  • Tetanus and Tdap Vaccine Information
    • Tdap vaccine is recommended for adults aged 19 years and older to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
    • Tdap vaccine is especially important for adults who will have close contact with infants less than 1 year old.
    • In addition, pregnant women are recommended Tdap vaccination during each pregnancy, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks’ gestation, to help protect their newborns from whooping cough.
      • Tdap vaccine can be safely given at any time during pregnancy, but is recommended during the third trimester to pass the most amount of protection to the baby.
    • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are all caused by bacteria.
      • Both diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person.
      • Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds. • Provisional data report nearly 42,000 cases of pertussis during 2012, a nearly 60-year high.
    • Our current estimate is that Tdap vaccination protects 7 out of 10 people who receive it.
    • Since Tdap vaccines were only licensed in 2005, we don’t yet have results on long-term vaccine protection.  We’re still working to understand how that protection declines over time.
    • CDC is conducting an evaluation in collaboration with health departments in Washington and California to better understand how long Tdap vaccines protect from pertussis.  The data from these evaluations will help guide discussions on how best to use vaccines to control pertussis.
    • Adults who haven’t gotten a Tdap shot yet should talk to their doctor about getting it as soon as possible, no matter when they last got a tetanus (Td) booster.
    • After receiving the Tdap shot, adults should continue to get a Td booster every 10 years.
    • Adults need to get Tdap even if they were vaccinated as a child or have been sick with pertussis in the past; neither provides lifelong protection.
  • Hepatitis A Vaccine Information
    • Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for adults who are working in or traveling to any area of the world outside of Canada, Western Europe and Scandinavia, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.
    • Other adults that should get the vaccine include men who have sex with men, people who use illegal drugs, people who have clotting factor disorders, people with chronic liver disease, and people who might be exposed to hepatitis A on the job (such as those who work with hepatitis A virus in laboratory settings or with hepatitis A-infected primates).
    • Hepatitis A is caused by a virus and spreads primarily by oral contact with fecal matter, either through person-to-person or by contaminated food or water.
    • More than 95% of adults will develop immunity within one month of a single dose of hepatitis A vaccine, and nearly 100% will develop immunity after receiving two doses.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine Information
    • Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for adults at high risk of infection by sexual or blood exposure to hepatitis B virus.
    • People at high risk of sexual exposure include sex partners of people who are positive for Hepatitis B, people who’ve had more than one sex partner in the last six months, people seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, and men who have sex with men.
    • People at risk of blood exposure include current or recent injection-drug users, household contacts of people who are positive for Hepatitis B, residents and staff of facilities for the developmentally disabled, people with end stage renal disease, and some health-care and public safety workers.
    • Other groups at risk include international travelers to regions with high or intermediate levels of Hepatitis B infection and people with HIV infection.
    • Hepatitis B is caused by a virus and is spread from person to person primarily through blood or semen. • In healthy adults, the vaccine is 80% to 95% effective in preventing infection or clinical hepatitis in those who complete a hepatitis B vaccine series (usually 3 doses).
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine Information
    • Herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years and older.
    • Shingles occurs when latent varicella zoster (chickenpox) virus reactivates later in life.
    • Pain from shingles lesions, called post-herpetic neuralgia, can be very severe and last a year or more.
    • 50% of people who live until age 85 will develop shingles.
    • In people 60 years of age and older, the shingles vaccine:
      • Reduces the risk of shingles by about half (51%)
      • Reduces the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia (prolonged pain at the rash site) by 67%
    • The shingles vaccine is effective for at least six years but may last longer; research is being done in this area.
  • HPV Vaccine Information
    • HPV vaccine is recommended for routine vaccination of females and males at age 11 or 12 years.  Vaccination is also recommended for females 13-26 years of age and for males 13-21 years of age, if not previously vaccinated.  Males aged 22-26 years may be vaccinated.
    • HPV2 or HPV4 is recommended for females; HPV4 is recommended for males.
    • Men who have sex with men (MSM) may especially benefit from vaccination to prevent condyloma and anal cancer.  HPV4 is recommended for MSM through age 26 years who did not get any or all doses when they were younger.
    • HPV is a common virus that is primarily spread through sexual contact.
    • There are approximately 40 types of genital HPV.
      • Some types can cause cervical cancer and other kinds of cancer in both men and women.
      • Other types of HPV can cause genital warts in both males and females.
    • About 6 million people become infected with HPV each year.
    • Studies found vaccine efficacy of over 93% against disease due to HPV vaccine types if a female had not already been infected with that type.
    • HPV vaccine is not therapeutic and does not treat existing infection or disease.
    • Prior infection with one HPV type did not lessen the effectiveness of the vaccine against other vaccine HPV types.
    • There are 2 vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by CDC to protect against HPV-related illness; these vaccines are Cervarix (made by GlaxoSmithKline) and Gardasil (made by Merck).
      • Both vaccines are very effective against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause most cervical cancers, so both vaccines prevent cervical cancer in women.
      • Only Gardasil protects against HPV types 6 and 11 – the types that cause most genital warts in females and males.
      • Only Gardasil has been tested and shown to protect against cancers of the vulva, vagina, and anus.
      • Only Gardasil has been tested and licensed for use in males.
  • Vaccine Safety
    • All vaccines used in the United States are required to go through years of extensive safety testing before they are licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
    • FDA and CDC work with health-care providers throughout the United States to monitor the safety of vaccines, including for any adverse events, especially rare events not identified in pre-licensure study trials.
    • There are three systems used to monitor the safety of vaccines after they are licensed and being used in the U.S.
      • These systems can monitor side effects already known to be caused by vaccines as well as detect rare side effects that were not identified during a vaccine’s clinical trials.
      • One of the three systems used to monitor the safety of vaccines after they are licensed and used in the U.S. is called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
      • VAERS accepts reports from health professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the general public and receives about 28,000 U.S. reports per year, compared with millions of vaccine doses given to adults.

By Trish Parnell





Flu Season Is Finally Here – Get Vaccinated

2 01 2013

Flu was a slow starter this season, but it’s finally here. Those who track such things say it’s going to be a doozy of a season. It’s time to get vaccinated, and to make sure everyone in your family is protected!





Why Vaccinate? I Never Get Sick!

5 11 2012

No matter your age, if you’re sitting in a moving vehicle you’re required to wear a seatbelt or to be in a size-appropriate car seat.

Most states require that anyone riding a bicycle or a motorcycle wear a helmet. And again, it doesn’t matter what age you are.

Kids going to public schools are required to be immunized against several diseases for school entry. How many immunizations they’re required to get depends on the state they live in, and the school they attend.

I suppose I could think up a few public health scenarios that would require adults to be immunized against a particular disease. But as a rule, unless our jobs require it, we adults are exempt from this particular requirement.

There are lots of protections in place for kids, as there should be. For instance, if I don’t feed my daughters, or provide adequate shelter for them, they’ll be taken away from me and placed in a foster home, where they’ll get the care they need. We need that oversight in place, so that no kids fall through the cracks. The heartbreak is that there are still kids falling through the cracks, but we do know that the oversights in place keep that number from being astronomical.

Most adults don’t need that kind of micromanagement when it comes to their health. But, they do need information. Before I became involved with PKIDs, I wasn’t even aware that there were vaccines for adults, other than the flu vaccine.

Now I know.

I don’t have time to get sick. I get vaccinated for me. I also wash my hands, try to get enough sleep, make myself eat green vegetables, and generally do whatever I need to do to keep myself healthy. But because I’ve met and talked with so many families affected by preventable diseases and I know how awful those infections can be, one of my motivations for getting vaccinated is so that I don’t accidentally infect someone else.

For example, it’s the infected adults and teens around babies who infect them with whooping cough, and it’s the infected birth moms who infect their newborns with hepatitis B. Babies infected with whooping cough can end up hospitalized, or worse. And babies infected with hepatitis B usually stay infected for life. This can lead to liver cancer or transplantation—if they’re lucky.

If you’re one of those people who never gets sick and figures you don’t need to be vaccinated—well, who knows, you might be right. But not getting sick is not the same as not being infected. You can and do pass on those germs to little babies who haven’t gotten all of their vaccinations yet, and others whose immune systems are not robust, for one reason or another.

So, you know where I’m going with this. Take just a few minutes the next time you’re at the pharmacy or your doctor’s office and ask what vaccinations you need. Do it for you, but also do it for the vulnerable in your life.

By Trish Parnell





Gastro Bugs

17 09 2012

There is no such thing as “stomach flu,” despite the cavalier use of the phrase in some circles. What’s really going on is usually viral gastroenteritis.

Viral gastroenteritis isn’t caused by just one thing—it can be the result of any one of many different viruses, such as norovirus or rotavirus.

A gastro bug, as I like to call it, can be in the food or water we consume and will most commonly cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and/or abdominal pain or discomfort.

Sometimes, it can also cause you to have a fever or chills, clammy skin, muscle or joint pain, and may put you off your feed. (That’s a “duh,” isn’t it!)

With liquids of various sorts pouring out of you, dehydration is a concern. Here are the signs, symptoms, and potential treatments to consider, as specified by NIH:

Signs and tests

The healthcare provider will look for signs of dehydration, including:

  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Lethargy or coma (severe dehydration)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low or no urine output; concentrated urine that looks dark yellow
  • Markedly sunken soft spots (fontanelles) on the top of an infant’s head
  • No tears
  • Sunken eyes

Tests that examine stool samples may be used to identify which virus is causing the sickness. This is usually not needed for viral gastroenteritis. A stool culture may be done to find out whether diarrhea are causing the problem.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to prevent dehydration by making sure the body has enough water and fluids. Fluids and electrolytes (salt and minerals) that are lost through diarrhea or vomiting must be replaced by drinking extra fluids. Even if you are able to eat, you should still drink extra fluids between meals.

  • Older children and adults can drink sports beverages such as Gatorade, but these should not be used for younger children. Instead, use the electrolyte and fluid replacement solutions or freezer pops available in food and drug stores.
  • Do NOT use fruit juice (including apple juice), sodas or cola (flat or bubbly), Jell-O, or broth. All of these have a lot of sugar, which makes diarrhea worse, and they don’t replace lost minerals.
  • Drink small amounts of fluid (2-4 oz.) every 30-60 minutes. Do not try to force large amounts of fluid at one time, which can cause vomiting. Use a teaspoon or syringe for an infant or small child.
  • Breast milk or formula can be continued along with extra fluids. You do NOT need to switch to a soy formula.

Food may be offered often in small amounts. Suggested foods include:

  • Cereals, bread, potatoes, lean meats
  • Plain yogurt, bananas, fresh apples
  • Vegetables

People with diarrhea who are unable to drink fluids because of nausea may need intravenous (directly into a vein) fluids. This is especially true in small children.

Antibiotics do not work for viruses.

Drugs to slow down the amount of diarrhea (anti-diarrheal medications) should not be given without first talking with your healthcare provider. DO NOT give these anti-diarrheal medications to children unless directed to do so by a healthcare provider.

People taking water pills (diuretics) who develop diarrhea may be told by their healthcare provider to stop taking the diuretic during the acute episode. However, DO NOT stop taking any prescription medicine without first talking to your healthcare provider.

The risk of dehydration is greatest in infants and young children, so parents should closely monitor the number of wet diapers changed per day when their child is sick.

You can buy medicines at the drugstore that can help stop or slow diarrhea.

  • Do not use these medicines without talking to your healthcare provider if you have bloody diarrhea, a fever, or if the diarrhea is severe.
  • Do not give these medicines to children.

Viral gastroenteritis can become a serious illness, so watch for the symptoms and alert your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.

Washing hands is the best prevention, along with vaccination when available (babies can be vaccinated against rotavirus).

Visit these websites for more information on gastro bugs

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001298/
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/faq.htm
By Trish Parnell (really by the NIH with a few asides from me)

Image courtesy of Examiner