A publication of the Immunization Action Coalition of WA (IACW) and WithinReach
May 2020

While we are pacing ourselves, working on self-care and practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment to vaccinations and protecting our community from the diseases that vaccines prevent has not wavered! Last week marked World Vaccination Week and National Infant Immunization Week, and May kicks off Hepatitis Awareness Month. Each of these annual observances highlights the importance of protecting people from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Please enjoy our May newsletter, which is full of resources, including utilizing pharmacies as vaccination providers, changes in Tdap requirements and other interesting news articles. If you missed our quarterly IACW meeting last month – you can watch the recording and view the presentations on our website .

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay vaccinated!

Pharmacies are essential vaccination providers for pregnant women and older adults who are at greatest risk for vaccine-preventable illnesses. The Washington State Department of Health encourages pharmacies to continue administering vaccinations to these vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinations continue to protect the most vulnerable patients from outbreaks of other diseases.

Pharmacy guidance has been listed on the Department of Health website as well as the state coronavirus pages. Please take a moment to review and share with anyone who may benefit from the information.

Hepatitis Awareness Month and Hepatitis Testing Day
The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day. During May, the CDC and its public health partners work to shed light on this hidden epidemic by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging priority populations to get tested. Learn more
Update on Hepatitis A Outbreak in
King County
Public Health - Seattle & King County recently released this update on the status of the Hepatitis A outbreak in the Seattle area. While King County has been fortunate in that, to-date, they have not experienced an outbreak on the scale seen in other large cities, Hepatitis A continues to spread locally, and the rate of infections has increased in 2020. Learn more
Immunization Rule Change - Conditional Status
State immunization rules for the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine booster have changed for the 2020-21 school year. All students attending grades 7 through 12 must have one dose of Tdap vaccine or a valid exemption. Previously, students had to have the vaccine by 6 th grade. The minimum age Tdap can be given for school entry will be aligned with the national age recommendation:

  • Students entering 7th grade will need Tdap given at or after age 10 to be accepted for school entry.
  • Students entering 8th to 12th grade will need Tdap at or after age 7 to be accepted for school entry.

April 29 (Recording)
If you missed the event, you can find the recording here .

Respecting the need for social distancing, the IACW quarterly meeting was moved virtually. The IACW Awards have been postponed; please stay tuned for more updates.

April Meeting Agenda:
  • DOH Updates
  • Presentations on the updates to school and child care immunization requirements going into effect August 1, 2020
  • Hepatitis A outbreak in the incarcerated population
It is especially important for adults with chronic health conditions to be up to date on recommended vaccinations, as they are at increased risk for complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Especially in these challenging times, patients rely on healthcare professionals (HCPs) to advise them about important measures to protect their health and an HCP recommendation is the strongest predictor of whether adults get vaccinated.

A planning committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a two-hour virtual meeting on vaccine access and hesitancy, and the causes and effects of the declining confidence in vaccines.

D rop Your Assumptions and Pick Up the Evidence: Strategies for Communication with Parents About Vaccines

Many parents are wondering if their babies or children should still get their vaccines during this pandemic and what should they do if they have appointments coming up. Read more.

The COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 2.6 million cases around the world, and growing each day, has shown us the indisputable value of vaccines. Read more.

Although more than  40 organizations  are developing the COVID-19 vaccine, only three have made it to human testing. Leading the way is Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle, which began testing 45 healthy adult volunteers earlier this month.  Read more.

Visualizing social distancing networks in the era of COVID-19: Read as network epidemiologists explain why these connections matter more than they may seem.

Looking for durable, laminated copies of the 2020 Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule? The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has them! Additionally, WithinReach and DOH created a one-pager with information on where to access digital versions. Learn more

For the general public, the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as important to address as are the physical health effects. Learn more
Contact us: ic@withinreachwa.org
Making the connections Washington families need to be healthy and safe. Promoting, protecting & supporting immunization as a vital part of the health and development of children and families.

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.