The Double Helix, Fall 2017


In This Issue: Fall 2017

  Message from Headquarters: Flu Season Kick-Off
Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children
Partner News
Hepatitis A and B Vaccines: Recommendations and Impact
  NFID News
Upcoming NFID Events
Support NFID

Message from Headquarters: Flu Season Kick-Off

NFID kicked off its 2017-2018 influenza (flu) awareness activities with the 6th Annual Flu Awareness Night on September 15, 2017 at the Washington Nationals home game against the LA Dodgers. The highlight of the evening featured the Flu Bugs on the field receiving a Spirit Award during pregame ceremonies in front of more than 37,500 fans. Special thanks to those who were able to come out to support NFID and flu prevention!

On September 28, 2017, NFID held the 2017 Annual NFID Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NFID medical director, William Schaffner, MD, moderated the panel with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas E. Price, MD as the keynote speaker. NFID Board members, Patricia A. Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP, CIC (Infectious Disease/Immunology, Children’s Minnesota) and Kathleen M. Neuzil, MD, MPH (Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine) also joined as expert panelists. The event had strong media attendance with several film crews and nearly 50 reporters attending in-person and many more via the live webcast.

Panelists delivered important messages, including an overview of the 2016-2017 influenza season and vaccination coverage estimates, information about flu vaccines available for the current season, as well as the importance of pneumococcal vaccination. Each panelist ‘led by example’ and got vaccinated at the onsite clinic.

We were also pleased to see so many NFID partner organizations in attendance, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Nurses Association, Families Fighting Flu, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and many others supporting annual flu prevention. For those unable to view the news conference, the recording is now available at:

Through its initiative, Leading by Example, NFID calls on community leaders in healthcare, business, education, and politics to “lead by example” by making a commitment to annual influenza prevention. Organizations can join the growing list of supporters by providing a photo of key organization leaders getting a flu vaccine or another visual that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to flu vaccination and promoting the NFID Commitment to Influenza Prevention.

Lastly, NFID has developed resources designed for healthcare professionals and consumers to help protect older adults 65+ against flu, through the Care for Older Adults? Care About Flu? and Flu Alert educational campaigns. Be sure to visit to access free online education (Seasonal Influenza Immunization: Strategies for Protecting Older Adults), as well as infographics, fact sheets, and public service announcements (PSAs) to help you #FightFlu this flu season!

Best regards,

Marla Dalton, CAE
NFID Executive Director & CEO



Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children

In conjunction with the Fall 2017 Clinical Vaccinology Course, NFID is hosting a special complimentary viewing of Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 6:00 PM ET in Bethesda, MD.

View the documentary that tells the inspiring story of Maurice Hilleman, PhD, a man with a singular, unwavering focus: to eliminate the diseases of children. From his poverty-stricken youth on the plains of Montana, he came to prevent pandemic flu, develop the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, and invent the first-ever vaccine against human cancer.

After the film, there will be a Q&A with Paul A. Offit, MD, Director, Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and Professor of Pediatrics at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. This event is open to the public. There is no cost to attend but pre-registration is required. RSVP to reserve your seat.

Partner News

New Teen Statistics Released by CDC Reinforce the Importance of  Adolescent Immunization

The 2016 results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annual report on adolescent vaccination coverage, the National Immunization Survey (NIS) – Teen, show that vaccination rates for adolescents 13-17 years of age remain below public health goals, particularly for the HPV vaccine series and the second dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY). Establishing an immunization platform at 16 years of age can help make vaccination a routine part of the 16-year-old visit and may help increase immunization rates. Learn more about efforts underway to establish this important platform from the Adolescent Immunization Initiative).

Increase Adult Immunization Rates at ICAMP

Participate in the 1/2-day Immunization Champions, Advocates, & Mentors Program (ICAMP) training workshop, a multidisciplinary program designed to equip healthcare professionals to champion adult immunization practices that improve public health and the quality of care for the patients they serve. ICAMP is developed by the Gerontological Society of America. Register online at

Adolescent Health and Immunization Poll

Findings from the Unity sponsored Harris poll of teens, parents, and healthcare providers provide insights into what teens and parents think about preventive health and how certain misconceptions may be contributing to low immunization rates among teens and young adults. Among the surprising findings: 1 in 4 teens believe vaccines are more important for babies than for teens; more than one-third of teens (34%) don’t know how being vaccinated helps them; and four in 10 parents (41%) believe their teen should only see a doctor when he/she feels sick, reducing opportunities to discuss preventive health measures, such as vaccines. View additional information and resources at:

Hepatitis A and B Vaccines: Recommendations and Impact

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 12:00 PM ET

Join Noele Nelson, MD, PhD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist, Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as she provides an update on the immunogenicity and safety of hepatitis A and B vaccines, explains current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, and evaluates the impact of vaccine implementation on the changing epidemiology of hepatitis A and B diseases.

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Explain and apply ACIP recommendations for the use of hepatitis A and B vaccines
  • Identify vaccine-preventable risks for hepatitis A and B
  • Describe the epidemiology of hepatitis A and B and immunization rates

Continuing education credits (CME/CNE) will be available for this activity.


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Hitting Flu Out of the Ballpark!

NFID is committed to increasing public awareness of the importance of annual influenza vaccination. In recognition of its accomplishments, NFID was presented with a Spirit Award on the field at the September 15, 2017 Washington Nationals game. And although the home team lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the NFID Flu Bugs had a great time greeting fans and helping to spread important flu prevention messages! Share the Flu Awareness Night Facebook Gallery. More…

Healthcare Professionals Play a Critical Role in Protecting Older Adults Against Influenza (Flu)

Did you know that in the US, adults age 65 years and older account for more than half (50-70%) of all flu-related hospitalizations and most (85%) flu-related deaths? The phenomenon known as immunosenescence describes how the body grows weaker with aging, making the immune system less effective in fighting off infections. As a result, adults age 65+ have an increased risk of hospitalization and complications from flu. More…

National Immunization Awareness Month

To highlight the importance of immunizations across the lifespan, NFID hosted an blog relay for National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), featuring a guest post each week from an immunization champion and/or organization that focused on a different stage of the lifespan.

Read all of the blog relay posts:
                                                                                                                                                                                   Back to top

Upcoming NFID Events

October 18, 2017: Hepatitis A and B Vaccines: Recommendations and Impact
November 3-4, 2017: Fall 2017 Clinical Vaccinology Course, Bethesda, MD
November 4, 2017: Hilleman–A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children, Bethesda, MD
November 9, 2017: Updates from October 2017 ACIP Meeting
December 6, 2017: Shingles Vaccines: What You Need to Know

April 23-25, 2018: 2018 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research, Bethesda, MD

Support NFID

Your support helps NFID provide timely, high-quality education to the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases across the lifespan. NFID is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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