February 2018 - In This Issue:
Seattle Mama Doc shares some simple things you can do to protect your family during flu season.
The CDC released a health advisory emphasizing the importance of prompt antiviral use this flu season.
Families Fighting Flu understands that healthcare professionals have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to patients, only one of which is flu prevention. That's why they put flu toolkits together, in both English and Spanish, to help you make a difference!
Flu Near You is a research project that started in 2011. Volunteers respond to a weekly email prompt asking them how they felt during the past week. This data is used to help identify emerging flu outbreaks that may not be captured due to individuals not seeking healthcare.
Dr. John Merrill-Steskal, a Family Physician from Ellensburg, WA, shares his opinion about flu season: "Sitting on the fence won't help you fight influenza, but the vaccine will."
Flu activity remains elevated, with 109 lab-confirmed flu deaths in Washington. Check here weekly for an updated epidemic curve of influenza in our State.
The CDC, AAP, and AAFP have updated their childhood immunization "Basic" disease fact sheets in English and Spanish.
A systematic review published in the Cochrane Review found that patient reminder and recall interventions improve immunization rates.
STC's CEO, Mike Popovich, conducted focus groups with young kids to explore how to turn them into Junior Immunization Ambassadors. As he notes, "It's not just a shot, it's a superpower."
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the greatest influenza pandemic in history. Do you know all the basic facts? 
The ACIP released their recommendation for use of a 3rd dose of MMR vaccine for persons at increased risk for mumps during an outbreak.
The ACIP also released their new recommendations relating to the use of the herpes zoster vaccine.

Founded in 1994, the Immunization Action Coalition of Washington (IACW), a program of WithinReach, works to improve the health of the community by minimizing the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases through the optimal use of immunizations across the lifespan. Our priorities for 2018 are:

  • Increase vaccine confidence by being a trusted source of timely information about immunizations; 
  • Monitor legislation and advocate for policies that promote and maintain access to immunizations;
  • Improve awareness of adolescent immunizations
  • Develop data-driven resources and educational materials for providers who work with underserved communities.
Contact Izzy Brandstetter , MPH, Community & Systems Coordinator 
For more information about the Immunization Action Coalition of Washington:

Whether you're vaccinating in clinic, making sure students are up-to-date on their school-required vaccines, or communicating about the benefits of immunization, our members work hard every day to keep our communities healthy. Now is the time to celebrate that work! We encourage you to consider nominating a colleague, partner, or yourself for one of the opportunities below by this Friday, February 2nd!

Thanks for reading,

Izzy Brandstetter, MPH
We'd like to share multiple opportunities to recognize immunization heroes. 

Firstly, nominations are open for the IACW Advocate, IACW Collaborator, and CDC Childhood Immunization Champion awards! We are partnering with the Washington State Department of Health to streamline the nomination process. Please consider nominating an awardee and sharing this opportunity with partners and constituents. Awardees will be recognized at our April Quarterly meeting, which is during National Infant Immunization Week. Click here for more information on each award as well as the nomination forms.  Nominations are due February 2nd!

Secondly, have you heard about Immunize Washington? Providers can submit their immunization coverage report from the registry and will be recognized if they have achieved at least 70% series coverage for their childhood or adolescent patient populations. Awardees receive a window cling and status certificate signed by Gov. Inslee! Details and instructions, including past winners and links to the nomination form and FAQs are available here. Nominations for Immunize WA close on February 17th!
Introducing our newest e-course: Vaccine Training for Medical Assistants

We understand that the knowledge and skills of entry-level medical assistants widely differ, as there is no standard vaccine training curriculum for Medical Assisting schools. This course is no-cost and is approximately 1 hour in length, and is designed for entry-level medical assistants.

Register today to learn about best practices for vaccinations, including storage and handling, locating vaccine schedules, rights of administration, and guidance on how to administer vaccine properly to various populations.

This program has been approved by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) for 1 Clinical CEU. Alternatively, if you would like to submit a certificate of completion for this course to another professional accrediting body, a certificate will be available to you after you have completed the course.

Click here to download the e-course flyer, and here to take the course!
A huge thank you to all of you that were able to attend our first quarterly meeting of 2018 either in person or via webinar on January 17th. It was great to learn more about the work our state and local health departments are doing to prepare for a hepatitis A outbreak and engage in meaningful dialogue on the topic. 

If you weren't able to attend, we archived both the presentation slides and an archive of the webinar. Check them out here!

And while we're on the subject of hepatitis A, San Diego just declared an end to their hepatitis A state of emergency that has been going on since September 1, 2017. The outbreak is still rampant in other states across the United States.
Five years ago, two mothers each lost their young, healthy daughters too soon to a now vaccine-preventable disease, Meningitis B (known as MenB). High school senior Kimberly Coffey, 17, died one week before her graduation. College sophomore Emily Stillman, 19, died just 36 hours after her symptoms. Together, the Kimberly Coffee Foundation and the Emily Stillman Foundation have come together to launch the Meningitis B Action Project.

Two separate vaccines are necessary to be fully immunized against the disease. Most have received the MenACWY vaccine. Few have received the MenB vaccine.

The goal of the Project is to arm parents and young adults with the information to proactively talk to their healthcare provider about MenB and the vaccine available to help prevent it, and encourage the medical community and high school, college and university administrators to talk to their patients and students about the MenB vaccine. Check out the action kit on their website, and learn how you can get involved in this important work!
December 9, 2017 - March 2018

Would you recognize measles, mumps, or whooping cough if you saw them? In the exhibit, see images and learn about the life-altering complications of these and other diseases. Play the Chicken-poxing video game and discover your body's natural response to disease. learn how vaccines stimulate that response so you gain immunity without actually getting sick. Run a simulation of measles spreading through communities with different vaccination rates to witness herd immunity in action.

To learn more about vaccines, community immunity, and amazing Seattle institutions leading the way in vaccine innovations, visit the newest exhibit inside The Studio, located in Wellbody Academy at Pacific Science Center. Click here for more information on the exhibit.
The schedule for the 2018 IACW quarterly meetings is out! All meetings will be held at the Tukwila Community Center, Meeting Room A, from 12-2pm. We also have a remote option available for those who are unable to attend in-person. A registration link will be posted closer to the meeting date.
  • April 25
  • July 18
  • October 17
Please review our Code of Conduct prior to attending these meetings.
We're hiring for a Senior Manager of Operations! This is a tremendous opportunity for an operations leader to maximize and strengthen the internal capacity of a well-respected, innovative, high-impact organization. Accounting, administrative, and IT staff report to the Senior Manager of Operations. Spread the word or  apply today!
New! Immunization Records Management Toolkits: These toolkits, designed for both schools & childcares, respectively, are intended to assist both medical and non-medical staff establish immunization record-keeping and documentation workflow processes, or modify existing processes.

Mobile Immunizations Toolkit:  This toolkit is designed to help local health departments work with schools and healthcare providers to plan and host onsite immunization clinics in their schools or community. It was developed and piloted by the Spokane Regional Health District at 26 schools within 10 school districts in Spokane County. You can find the toolkit with its associated planning checklists here.

Adult Immunization Schedules: 
Our pocket-sized, convenient format of the recommended adult schedule for patients, update d for 2017. Order yo urs today  by emailing  with your name, mailing address, and desired quantity. 
E-Courses on Vaccine Hesitancy & HPV Immunization: V isit our website to learn everything you need to know about vaccine hesitancy and the HPV vaccine series through two of our e-courses. Both courses are free, and you can register any time at:

Izzy Brandstetter and Mackenzie Melton


Immunization Action Coalition of Washington 



Promoting, protecting & supporting immunization as a vital part
of the health and development of children and families.