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National Influenza Vaccination Week: Don’t Stop Now!

Don’t Stop Now! As we come together to recognize National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) on December 8-14, 2013, it is heartening to know that last flu season, more children were vaccinated against influenza than ever before. This represents tremendous progress in childhood influenza immunization since the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) was created in 2007, and we don’t want to stop…

Take Steps to Prevent Flu

Today marks the beginning of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of annual influenza vaccination. Influenza, more commonly referred to as the flu, is a serious and contagious respiratory illness that affects 5-20% of the US population and hospitalizes over 200,000 people every year. The flu season typically runs from October–March, peaking in January…

This Holiday Season, Spread Joy, not Whooping Cough

Special thanks to Thomas A. Clark, MD, MPH acting branch chief in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch for this guest blog post on the importance of vaccination in preventing pertussis (whooping cough). The holidays usually mean time surrounded by family and friends. As you prepare to enjoy the upcoming season with your loved…

Antibiotic Stewardship–The Ultimate Return on Investment

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated November 18-24, 2013 as “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.” Did you know? 1. Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health threats. 2. Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat life‐threatening bacterial diseases, but antibiotics can have side effects. 3. Antibiotic overuse increases…

A Son’s Life Cut Short By Influenza

My son, Jacob Ryan Schmidt of Baytown, TX, was a semi-pro competitive martial arts expert, strong as a bull, and enjoying life as a family man. In April of 2010, at the age of 27, he succumbed to complications from H1N1 influenza. He had not been vaccinated against the illness. Jacob was not someone you’d expect to fall ill to…

ID News Round-Up

Recent items of interest from the world of vaccine-preventable diseases: 1. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on October 23-24, 2013 to discuss recommendations and potential changes to the 2014 Immunization Schedules. ACIP recommended that infants 2-23 months who are at high-risk for meningococcal disease, or who travel to areas where it is hyperendemic or epidemic, be given the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine,…

A Daughter Lost to Meningococcal Disease

My daughter, Adrienne, was a loving, funny, and intelligent 16-year-old who played clarinet in her high school band. Her life was tragically cut short on January 28, 2001 from meningococcal disease, a serious, yet vaccine-preventable infection. Adrienne went with her sister to see a movie and when she got home she complained she wasn’t feeling well and had pain in…

Helping a Friend Fight Pneumococcal Disease

I have a close friend who is 86 years young, and a dynamic testament on how to grow older gracefully. She has been a foster grandparent to my children since they were infants and feels like a second mother to me. I am very active as an educator and advocate for optimal immunization across the lifespan. I believe that immunization…

Making Influenza Prevention a National Health Priority

Influenza (flu) prevention was front and center at the 2013 NFID Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference held this week at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. News conference panelists included Dr. Howard K. Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service and Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases…

A Night at the Ballpark Raising Flu Awareness

NFID kicked off its 2013-2014 influenza (flu) season awareness activities with the 2nd Annual Flu Awareness Night at Nationals Park in Washington, DC on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 to a crowd of 36,000 fans. Originally planned for Monday 9/16, the event was rescheduled due to the tragic events at the Navy Yard. As part of NFID’s campaign to increase flu awareness and encourage all individuals 6 months and…

NFID Welcomes New Executive Director

This summer, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) said goodbye to longtime executive director, Leonard Novick, and also welcomed Marla Dalton, PE, CAE as the new head of the organization. Dalton joined NFID in December 2010 as senior director of education and public outreach and has worked to advance the organization’s mission to educate both the public and healthcare…

A Healthy Start: The Importance of Vaccinating Infants on Time

The month of August has been designated as National Immunization Awareness Month. As a partnering organization, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is helping to promote the importance of immunization in keeping our communities healthy. Most parents know that feeding and sleep schedules are important to help keep their children healthy. The same goes for childhood immunizations. Vaccinating children on…