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December 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the December 2023 Massachusetts Vaccine Confidence Project (MVCP) newsletter! Our goal is to introduce you to a few resources that we think can help you to increase vaccine confidence in your practice.

Here at the Massachusetts Vaccine Confidence Project we are committed to increasing vaccine confidence and ensuring that all Massachusetts residents are protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

Interested in receiving future MVCP newsletters? Click here to subscribe.

We appreciate all that you do to vaccinate our residents!

National Influenza Vaccination Week

December 4-8 is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). NIVW reminds us as providers to continue recommending flu vaccine. See the Respiratory Illness Resources/Toolkits section of this newsletter for resources to help you promote flu vaccination.



Gabriela Garcia, RN, BSN Vaccine Program Coordinator, at the Lynn Community Health Center, has been named the 2023 Massachusetts Immunization Action Partnership (MIAP) Conference Awardee. This annual award recognizes individuals or groups that have made an outstanding contribution to pediatric immunization in Massachusetts. The recipient of this award is an individual or an organization that has demonstrated leadership, initiative, innovation, collaboration and/or advocacy. Congratulations Gabriela!

Visit the Lynn Community Health Center website to see the amazing accomplishments achieved by this caring community.

Kevin Myers, NP, MSN, Vaccine Director, Health Innovations, Randolph, has been named the 2023 Massachusetts Immunization Champion Awardee by the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM).

Health Innovations is part of a network of organization providing community-based vaccinations across Massachusetts. As Vaccine Director, Kevin has provided vaccines in multiple locations, such as homes, community centers, methadone clinics, food pantries, cargo ships, night clubs, houses of worship, Pride events, and cultural festivals. By meeting members where they are, physically and metaphorically, Kevin responded to the new and evolving vaccination needs in Massachusetts. Congratulations Kevin!

It is not too early to start thinking about nominees for the 2024 Massachusetts Adult Immunization Coalition (MAIC) Champion Award. Read about Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, the 2023 MAIC Champion Awardee, here.

Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers (IQIP) is the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) national Vaccines for Children (VFC) provider level immunization quality improvement program. The purpose of IQIP is to promote and support the implementation of provider level strategies designed to help increase on-time vaccination of children and adolescents. 


In this issue we offer tips on the IQIP strategy, Leveraging Immunization Information System (IIS) Functionality to Improve Immunization Practice.

Each month your practice receives a score from the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS). You will find this score on the Provider Scorecard. The Provider Score Card provides your practice an assessment of the completeness, accuracy, validity, and timeliness of the data you’ve submitted to the registry. 

There are two ways to access the Provider Scorecard in MIIS.

  1. Log in to the MIIS and select My Site from the menu in the upper right-hand corner; select PROVIDER SCORE CARD on the landing page.
  2. Log in to the MIIS and from the home screen, click on the Provider Score Card graph.

The data used to determine scores comes directly from all active patients associated to your site within the MIIS application as of the last completed month. It is a good idea to review data on a quarterly basis. The MIIS sends out a quarterly reminder email which includes a data quality tool to assist with conducting a data quality check. 

If you are in the middle of an IQIP cycle and chose Leveraging the IIS Functionality to Improve Immunization Practice consider these two tips - they could boost your Provider Score:

  1. Train staff to collect as much demographic information as possible at each patient encounter. Important measurements to capture include complete address, phone, email, race, and ethnicity.
  2. Run a MIIS Practice Population report and compare it to your electronic health record population report. Deactivate patients who are no longer affiliated with the practice.

Talk to your IQIP consultant for other tips to leverage the MIIS. Access the MIIS Provider Scorecard mini guide in the MIIS Resource Center


January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.

Cervical Health Awareness Month highlights issues related to cervical cancer, HPV-related disease prevention, and the importance of early detection.

Read on to learn more about MVCP Partner, Team Maureen, an organization dedicated to ending cervical cancer by educating about the HPV cancer connection and the importance of prevention and early detection.

The Maureen E. Russo Nonprofit Organization was founded as a promise and in memory of Maureen E. Russo, a loving sister, daughter, wife and mother who passed away from relapsed cervical cancer at the age of 37. Maureen’s family and friends founded Team Maureen in 2007, initially as a Pan Mass Challenge cycling team to raise funds for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, MA. The family and friends have grown to include additional volunteers, foundations, donors, and medical professionals and has become a full non-profit organization dedicated to fighting and preventing cervical cancers and enhancing the lives of those who live with the disease.

Team Maureen is a valued MVCP partner. Feel free to bookmark their website.

Resources for Healthcare Providers

Resources for Patients

SAVE THE DATE: 1.18.2024 12:00-1:00 PM

2024 Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Update

Additional webinar information will be

available soon.

SAVE THE DATE: 4.2.2024 8:00 AM-4:30 PM

2024 Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference


Disease Severity of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Compared with COVID-19 and Influenza Among Hospitalized Adults Aged ≥60 Years — IVY Network, 20 U.S. States, February 2022–May 2023

Most RSV-associated hospitalizations in this age group occurred among those 75 and older, and 17% of all patients resided in long-term care facilities. Most patients hospitalized with RSV had one or more underlying medical conditions, such as obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OPD), diabetes, or congestive heart failure.

During February 1, 2022–May 31, 2023, older adults had fewer hospitalizations for RSV than for COVID-19 or flu; however, patients with RSV had more serious outcomes, such as ICU admission and needing standard flow oxygen therapy or advanced respiratory support (high-flow nasal cannula or non-invasive ventilation)

Source: MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023 Oct 6;72(40):1083-1088

Shared Clinical Decision-Making (SCDM), RSV Vaccination for Adults 60 Years and Older Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a cause of severe respiratory illness across the lifespan. Each year in the United States, RSV leads to approximately 60,000-160,000 hospitalizations, and 6,000-10,000 deaths among adults 65 years and older. Adults 60 years of age and older now have the option to receive one dose of RSV vaccine based on a SCDM process between a patient and their health care provider.






Misinformation Theme: Consumers and social media users continue to have questions and concerns about COVID Vaccination in Children.

To provide guidance and maintain population protection, COVID-19 vaccines have been added to the recommended childhood vaccination schedule.

In response, some parents and vaccine skeptics took to social media to express their anger and opposition to this decision due to their concerns about vaccine safety as well as the misperception that COVID-19 vaccines would now be required for children.

How you can help:

Staff should promote positive vaccine experiences, emphasize vaccine safety, and communicate the rarity of severe adverse events from the updated COVID- 19 vaccines.

Disseminate materials that feature information about the current and future guidelines regarding the availability and timing for receiving an updated COVID-19 dose.


Bridge Access Program

In September 2023, CDC launched the Bridge Access Program following the FDA authorization of the updated 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccines and the commercialization of these products. Most people living in the U.S. still have access to no-cost COVID-19 vaccines through their private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid plans. However, there are 25-30 million adults without health insurance and additional adults whose insurance does not cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs. CDC’s Bridge Access Program will temporarily provide no-cost COVID-19 vaccines to adults without health insurance and adults with insurance that does not cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs.



"I get vaccinated because I trust the vaccines are safe and effective. I know they will protect myself and my family from serious diseases and it also prevents the spread of disease to those I come in contact with."


Vaccine confidence: 

The trust in the recommended vaccines, the providers who administer them, and the process that leads to vaccine licensure and recommendations.

Our Partners

Massachusetts Department of Public Heath (MDPH)
Massachusetts Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP)
Massachusetts Adult Immunization Coalition (MAIC)
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