Archive for December, 2013

Universal Immunization Symbol

Friday, December 20th, 2013 (last updated)

Universal Immunization Symbol

Good 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:

PKIDs Blog

Measles are back

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 (last updated)


Why vaccinate against HPV?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 (last updated)

If you could protect yourself or your children from developing cancer through taking a shot, would you? Risk Bites looks at why HPV vaccines are recommended for protection against cervical and other cancers, and how the risks and benefits pan out.

Risk Bites

Princeton University provides non-FDA approved meningitis vaccine

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 (last updated)

Princeton University began providing the first dose of the meningitis B vaccine to recommended campus groups on Monday, Dec. 9, with 1,959 individuals vaccinated by the end of the first day.

“I am really concerned about the safety of everyone in this community,” sophomore Audrey Berdahl-Baldwin said as she waited for the vaccine. “I was happy the University gave such thoughtful consideration to making this vaccine available, and coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to provide the vaccine on campus.”

Since March 2013, there have been eight cases of meningococcal disease associated with University students and a student visitor, all of which were caused by meningococcal bacteria known as serogroup B.

Princeton University

Get Happy, Get Vaccinated

Monday, December 16th, 2013 (last updated)

J. Cianca

New vaccination guidelines for immunocompromised patients

Sunday, December 15th, 2013 (last updated)

A new guideline released Thursday by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) notes that most people with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to illness and should receive the flu shot and other vaccinations.  The guideline, entitled “Clinical Practice Guideline for the Vaccination of the Immunocompromised Host,” was authored by Lorry G. Rubin, MD, director of the pediatric infectious diseases at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park, NY, and professor of pediatrics at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and will be published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Lorry G. Rubin

The new guideline aims to aid primary care physicians and specialists who treat immunocompromised patients (people with compromised immune systems, such as those with cancer, HIV infection and Crohn’s disease), and those who live with immunocompromised patients.

“The guideline provides ‘one-stop shopping’ for clinicians caring for children and adults with compromised immune systems and includes recommendations and evidence for all vaccinations, from influenza to chicken pox,” said Dr. Rubin. “Previously, the recommendations were difficult to retrieve because in most cases information had to be accessed individually by vaccine rather than by the category of patient disease.”

The new guideline includes recommendations for most available vaccinations, ranging from hepatitis A, measles, mumps and rubella and other childhood vaccinations to those for influenza, pneumococcus and herpes zoster. It applies to patients with congenital immune deficiencies, HIV/AIDS, cancer, solid organ transplant (such as kidney and liver), stem cell transplant, chronic inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease), sickle cell disease and asplenia, cochlear implants, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. The guideline notes that most immunocompromised patients six months or older should receive the annual influenza shot, but should not receive the live attenuated influenza vaccine that comes in the form of a nasal spray.

Patients receiving intensive chemotherapy or who have received anti-B-cell antibodies in the previous six months are unlikely to benefit from a flu shot.

North Shore LIJ

The road to a world without measles

Saturday, December 14th, 2013 (last updated)

The road to a world without measles

Beloved illustrator Sophie Blackall’s newest paintings are inspired by her trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she talked with families and health workers about their efforts to end measles. This video tells the story of her journey, and gives a behind-the scenes look at how Sophie creates her beautiful illustrations. For more see

Measles and Rubella Initiative

Faces of polio: living for 43 years in a hospital

Friday, December 13th, 2013 (last updated)

CNN’s Shasta Darlington introduces us to a Brazilian polio survivor who has lived the past 43 years in a hospital ward.


Spread the word. Make a difference

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 (last updated)

Meningococcal meningitis is a rare but serious bacterial infection that can kill an otherwise healthy child within 24 hours. It can also cause amputation of body parts, brain damage, hearing loss, and other serious consequences.

While the devastating effects of meningococcal meningitis are scary to think about, you can make a difference. Become a HealthTalker and get the resources to raise awareness through face-to-face conversations with people you know. Empower others with information about meningitis and highlight the importance of vaccination.

Join the Tribe


CDC recommendations for 2013-2014 flu season: focus on pregnant women and babies

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 (last updated)

Vaccination of high risk people and their close contacts is especially important to decrease the risk of complications from flu. This includes pregnant women, who are more likely to have severe illness from flu than women who aren’t. The good news is: Getting the flu shot during pregnancy protects both the mother and her baby for 6 months after birth.

Have a look at the presentation slides and speaker bios of a recent WebEx of the CDC discussing the flu vaccination program with leaders of March of Dimes, Families Fighting Flu, and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB).

Protecting pregnant moms and babies this flu season Click here