A New View of Flu (and Flu Vaccines): Although often underestimated by the public, influenza (flu) is a serious and highly contagious viral infection. In the US, millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu and related complications every year—which is why NFID devotes so much time and energy to increasing awareness about the annual burden of flu.
We kicked off the 2018-2019 season with the appearance of the Flu Bugs at the 7th Annual Flu Awareness Night at Nationals Park and a sold out crowd on September 21st; followed by the 2018 NFID Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference on September 27th in Washington, DC; publication of a new Call to Action: The Dangers of Influenza and Benefits of Vaccination in Adults with Chronic Health Conditions, and NFID sponsorship of the NCAA Outland Trophy.A key goal of the news conference was to reset perceptions about flu and flu vaccines. Although flu vaccine can vary in how well it works against circulating strains each season, evidence shows that it reduces the severity of illness and helps prevent flu-related complications. If that weren’t reason enough to get vaccinated each year, there is another compelling reason: By getting vaccinated, we protect not only ourselves but also the people around us—our families, friends, and neighbors, many of whom could be severely impacted by flu, especially those with chronic health conditions including heart and lung disease as well as diabetes.Panelists urged everyone age six months and older to get vaccinated annually against influenza, and also noted that flu season is a great time to ensure that you are up to date on pneumococcal vaccination as well. In the spirit of ourLeading by Example initiative, news conference panelists and participants rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, including US Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH; FDA Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb, MD; and Joe Thomas, former Cleveland Browns NFL player and NFID flu ambassador for the NFID/Outland Trophy partnership.
Featured panelists included Wendy Sue L. Swanson, MD, MBE, of Seattle Children’s Hospital, representing the American Academy of Pediatrics, who discussed the importance of keeping kids and families healthy this flu season; Laura E. Riley, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine, representing the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who stressed the importance of flu vaccination during pregnancy to protect both mother and baby; and Daniel B. Jernigan, MD, MPH, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who shared final vaccination coverage estimates for children, healthcare workers, and pregnant women for the 2017-2018 flu season, noting that last year’s flu season was particularly severe, setting records for flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD again moderated the well-attended media event. The complete news conference recording and related resources are available at: www.nfid.org/2018flunews.We were pleased to see so many NFID partner organizations in attendance to help raise awareness about the importance of flu and pneumococcal disease prevention. By supporting NFID, you help support our efforts to lessen the burden of infectious diseases.
Don’t miss the 2018 Clinical Vaccinology Course on November 9-10, 2018 in Bethesda, MD. This two-day course is a great opportunity to engage with experts on the latest developments and issues related to the use of vaccines. Expert faculty provide the latest information on vaccines, including updated US recommendations for vaccinations across the lifespan, and innovative and practical strategies for ensuring timely and appropriate immunization.
Submit an Abstract: NFID invites poster submissions of best practices and implementation strategies related to immunization for presentation at the course. Abstracts of previously published or presented work will be considered. Take advantage of this great opportunity to gain recognition and share best practices while expanding your network. Submit an abstractby October 18, 2018. The agenda also includes additional networking opportunities such as Meet the Experts Breakfast Roundtables and a new Dine-Around option where attendees can join colleagues for networking and peer-learning over dinner. Sign up information for the Dine-Around will be shared with all registered attendees in advance. Group size will be limited so be sure to register early!
Stop by Gusto Farm to Street in Bethesda, MD on Friday, November 9, 2018 between 11:00 AM-8:00 PM to support NFID through a special fundraiser. Gusto will donate 20% of all purchases to NFID in support of our mission. If you are not able to stop by, consider making an online donation to support NFID.
New HPV Resources
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Medscape have launched a new continuing medical education (CME) activity for healthcare professionals, Making the Case: Championing for HPV Cancer Prevention in Your Practice (login required). Modeled on an interactive grand rounds, the CME activity features cases with two adolescent patients to educate providers about how to effectively communicate with parents about HPV vaccine and vaccine recommendations. In addition, CDC recently released results of the 2017 National Immunization Survey-Teen, which reveal rural-urban disparities in HPV and meningococcal vaccination rates.The CDC resources complement “The Talk” campaign, an initiative of NFID and DoSomething.org to raise awareness about HPV and encourage teens and young adults to talk with their parents and guardians about HPV vaccination, which can help prevent certain types of cancers.Make Strong Flu Vaccine Recommendations
Families Fighting Flu has developed an online toolkit, Do You Know the Flu?, to help healthcare professionals increase pediatric flu vaccination rates. The toolkit includes a conversation road map to assist in addressing tough flu-related questions, as well as personal stories, a public service announcement, key messages, and infographics that can be shared with parents and patients.
Protecting Patients Everywhere: 2018 International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)
Sponsored by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, IIPW will focus on protecting patients across the healthcare continuum. According to CDC, approximately one in 25 hospitalized patients get healthcare-associated infections each year in the US. Not only does this cost the healthcare system billions in excess costs, it also results in approximately 75,000 deaths each year. NFID is a proud partner of this important public awareness initiative.
Input Needed on FY18 Biomedical Grant Review Panels
The Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs is calling on healthcare professionals and consumers to serve on panels to review infectious disease-related biomedical research grant applications. Topic areas include: emerging infectious diseases, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and vaccine development. A consultant stipend is provided. Upcoming 2018 panel sessions will take place October 31-November 2; November 5-6, 7-9, 12-13, and 14-16. Some sessions are in person and others by teleconference. Reviewers need to participate in only one session. For additional details and to apply, contact Ann Dodelin at
2019 Awards Dinner to Honor Infectious Disease Heroes
The prestigious 2019 NFID Annual Awards Dinner will recognize three individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to public health and the field of infectious diseases: Jeremy Farrar, FRS, will receive the 2019 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award; Anne A. Gershon, MD, will receive the 2019 Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement; and Richard E. Besser, MD, will receive the 2019 John P. Utz Leadership Award. The dinner is scheduled for May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. For additional information, visit www.nfid.org/awards.
Is your teen prepared with the essentials for college life? You may have helped furnish a new dorm room, or at least done some shopping together, but it is equally important that you help them lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes making sure they are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases frequently seen on college campuses. Read more…
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are safe and effective in preventing certain types of cancers, but for many preteens and teens, having the talk with their parents about preventing a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can be awkward.Read more…
NFID Leaders in the News
Congratulations to former NFID Director Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, who will become the next dean of theLoma Linda University School of Pharmacy on January 1, 2019. Hogue has served in various roles at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University College of Health Sciences in Birmingham, AL, including pharmacy practice department chair and associate dean for the university’s Center for Faith and Health. Hogue will also serve as president of the American Pharmacists Association in 2020.
In Memoriam: Lynn Bozof, Leader in Meningitis Awareness
Lynn Bozof, president of theNational Meningitis Association (NMA), died of pancreatic cancer on September 15, 2018. Bozof, who lost her son Evan to meningococcal meningitis, founded NMA with four other parents in 2002 and was a long-time partner and supporter of NFID. “Lynn was passionate about NMA’s mission to protect our children through meningococcal and other vaccines,” said Leslie Maier, NMA secretary/treasurer. NFID joins NMA in continuing to advance our shared mission in Lynn’s memory.
NFID works on many levels to educate the public and healthcare professionals about infectious diseases, with the overall goal of helping people live healthier lives through effective disease prevention and treatment.
Visit our website to read some of the real-life stories of how the work of NFID impacts—and often saves—lives. Hopefully, the stories will inspire you to make a charitable gift of support so that our work can continue, thrive, and grow.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s why we’re here. Please help us to continue this important work through your support.