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


It's hard to believe September is already upon us, that summer is winding down and many of our kids are headed back to school (albeit mostly virtually). With the end of summer, the start of cold and flu season also comes, and this year we also have COVID-19 to contend with!

While we don’t have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 yet, we do have a vaccine to prevent influenza (flu). Getting vaccinated against the flu is one small thing we can all do to protect our communities, and to prevent our hospitals from getting overwhelmed this winter. Check out our new flu vaccine resources page on the Immunity Community!

Our September newsletter includes updates on the WA State school vaccine requirements, upcoming immunization webinars, immunization and COVID-19 news, and resources we think you’ll find useful.

Please save the date for our next IACW meeting on October 21st at 12 pm! We are excited to welcome Dr. Jim Kublin, Director of the Fred Hutch-based COVID-19 Prevention Network that is managing multiple large-scale clinical trials of coronavirus vaccines; stay tuned for registration information! 
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Get the Flu Vaccine!

WA State School Vaccine Requirements – Updated Guidance on K-12 School
Distance Learning
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) feel strongly about the importance of keeping students, staff, and their families safe and healthy. DOH and OSPI issued the following for the 2020-21 school year and K-12 programs only:

  • In light of the pandemic, if a student cannot meet the immunization requirements by the first day of school and a student is fully participating in remote learning, we are not recommending that the school exclude that student from school. The student should be immediately enrolled and served remotely.
  • Students should be in compliance when they are back on campus for any reason, including small group learning or extracurricular activities.
  • If the student’s learning program is at school or only partially remote and the student is not in compliance with immunization requirements, they should be enrolled but excluded from physically attending school.
  • As required by current state and federal law, any student experiencing homelessness or living in foster care must immediately be enrolled and served, regardless of their immunization status or educational setting.
  • Schools should continue to work with families to bring students into compliance as soon as possible.
More information can be found here.
Upcoming Webinars & Events
Join the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) for a discussion on shared clinical decision-making for human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization in adults. This webinar will provide practical strategies to implement shared clinical decision-making in various practice settings.

NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD will moderate the webinar with presentations by Lauri E. Markowitz, MD, HPV Team Lead and Associate Director of Science for HPV at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Margot Savoy, MD, MPH, Chair and Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine at the Temple University School of Medicine.

You'll learn from national, state, tribal and local experts leading these efforts to help public health leaders and community organizations confront the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on racial and ethnic minority populations.

By bringing health professionals, community leaders and public policy leaders together, the OMH virtual symposium will foster a meaningful exchange of actionable ideas for responding to the pandemic through the examination of a wide range of topics, including:

  • COVID-19 racial and ethnic data and data-informed response 
  • How health equity can drive state, territorial and tribal COVID-19 response
  • Community-based and culturally appropriate approaches for addressing COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations  

September 23, 2020 Noon - 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Interpret and employ new or updated vaccine information
  • Discuss vaccine-related information with patients and their families
  • Provide science-based resources to patients and their families who are seeking additional information
  • Describe the types of approaches being tested in COVID-19 vaccine development

September 24, 2020 Noon - 1:00 p.m. ET
Evidence-Based Communication Strategies for Improving Pediatric Immunization Rates in Your Practice

At the conclusion of the program, the participant should be able to:
  • Discuss how to use a “presumptive” approach to make a strong vaccine recommendation;
  • Describe how to use motivational interviewing (MI) techniques if needed;
  • Debunk common vaccine myths;
  • Discuss how the COVID pandemic is affecting vaccine confidence in general or may affect the upcoming seasonal flu vaccination or a future COVID vaccine.

Free E-Courses
Hepatitis B Health Disparities in Refugee and Immigrant Communities

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


It’s time to start thinking seriously about influenza, which typically spreads in fall and winter. A major flu outbreak would not only overwhelm hospitals this fall and winter, but also likely overwhelm a person who might contract both at once.

Illinois' first COVID 19 vaccine trial got underway Monday, according to researchers who are partnering with federal scientists and the biotech company Moderna in the race to beat coronavirus.

Read more about what has health officials pushing for unprecedented levels of flu vaccination this fall.
Resources Section
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.