The Double Helix, Spring 2019



Message from Headquarters

Measles outbreaks across the US, vaccine hesitancy seemingly on the rise, a six-year-old who nearly died of tetanus—it is easy to get discouraged reading current event headlines. Fortunately, there are signs of hope—children of anti-vaccine parents are growing up, doing their own research, and now choosing to get vaccinated. Ongoing research is also helping to develop more effective vaccines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.In that spirit of hope, NFID is proud to recognize several scientific pioneers and public health champions whose work has helped individuals around the world live healthier lives. On April 4, 2019 at the NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research in Baltimore, MD, leading women in the field will share their insights, stories, and lessons learned during a special day of programming focused on

Recognizing the Impact of Women in Vaccinology. NFID will also honor three outstanding public health heroes at the NFID Annual Awards Dinner on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. Not only have these leaders in the field helped to save millions of lives across the globe, but they also have inspired and mentored countless others in the process.At NFID, we are inspired by these individuals and are dedicated to keeping the momentum of their work going through our educational efforts aimed at healthcare professionals and the public—from conferences and webinars to public service announcements and digital media campaigns. In the weeks ahead, NFID will be participating in #TeenHealthWeek on April 1-7, 2019 and National Infant Immunization Week (#NIIW) on April 27-May 4, 2019. Visit the NFID website and follow us on social media for tools and resources to share during these upcoming events.

Now more than ever, our mission is vital to protecting public health. Read on to learn more about the work of NFID and our partners. Together, we can—and do—make a difference every day!

Marla Dalton, CAE

NFID Executive Director & CEO

2019 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research Less: Than One Week Away!

Join NFID in Baltimore, MD on April 3-5, 2019 for the latest scientific and clinical knowledge in vaccinology.

Highlights include an opening keynote presentation by Robert R. Redfield, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the inaugural Women in Vaccinology programming, and Career Development Workshop.

Recognizing Public Health Heroes at the 2019 NFID Awards Dinner

Join NFID on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC as we honor influential scientists and public health heroes at the 2019 NFID Awards Dinner. Known as the ‘Oscars of Infectious Diseases,’ the black-tie event includes a cocktail reception, dinner, dessert, and silent auction.

2019 outstanding honorees are:
  • Jeremy Farrar, FRS, recipient of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award for his work addressing some of the greatest global health challenges of our time
  • Anne A. Gershon, MD, recipient of the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement for her trailblazing and influential research on varicella-zoster virus
  • Richard E. Besser, MD, recipient of the John P. Utz Leadership Award in recognition of his long-standing leadership and service to the field of infectious diseases

Limited seats are still available. Purchase your ticket and reserve your hotel room today! All proceeds from the dinner and silent auction help support NFID.

NFID is now accepting online nominations for the 2020 awards until July 1, 2019. Additional information is available at

Partner News

Vaccinate Your Family: State of the ImmUnion Report

The annual State of the ImmUnion Report examines why children, adolescents, and adults, including pregnant women, may not receive timely vaccinations. The report includes several policy solutions to stop the needless loss of lives due to vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as resources for immunization advocates.

National Association of School Nurses: Stats4Vax

Stats4Vax aims to improve teen vaccination rates by providing support and tools for school nurses and other healthcare professionals to help guide conversations with parents and guardians. Materials include letters to parents/guardians, tips for discussions with teens, and content to share via social media, school newsletters, and/or school websites—all designed to keep teens up-to-date on recommended immunizations.

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor

The CDC mobile app, PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor, is designed to help healthcare professionals quickly and easily determine which pneumococcal vaccines a patient needs and when. Users simply enter a patient’s age, note if the patient has specific underlying medical conditions, and answer questions about the patient’s pneumococcal vaccination history. The app provides patient-specific guidance consistent with the immunization schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

 Trust for America’s Health: Ready or Not

To help improve emergency preparedness, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) has released the 2019 annual report scoring states on key indicators of public health and emergency readiness, including state influenza (flu) vaccination rates. Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism cites a drop in seasonal influenza vaccination rates as an area of concern—on average, only 45 percent of state residents age 6 months and older were vaccinated in 2017-2018.

 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): Optimizing Immunization Programs in Obstetric-Gynecologic Practices

The new ACOG toolkit for healthcare professionals, Optimizing Immunization Programs in Obstetric-Gynecologic Practices, includes tip sheets, a quick-reference coding card, and other information to help women’s healthcare providers implement strategies to improve immunization processes and increase immunization rates. For additional information, visit the ACOG Immunization for Women website.

NFID Leaders in the News

Former NFID President Carol J. Baker, MD, will receive the 2019 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award on April 2, 2019 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, in recognition of her dedicated work in science and advocacy to improve the health of pregnant women and infants. A highly accomplished infectious diseases clinician, teacher, and vaccinologist renowned for her work in group B Streptococcus, Dr. Baker was a pioneer advocate for maternal immunization. NFID presented her with the John P. Utz Leadership Award in 2009.

NFID Director Jeffery A. Goad, PharmD, MPH, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy at Chapman University, was recognized with the 2019 Outstanding Career Achievement Award by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The Immunization Champion Awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions toward improved vaccination rates within their communities.


To stay up-to-date on NFID activities, subscribe to NFID Updates and follow our blog, NFID News. Recent popular posts include:

Vaccines Save Lives: What Is Driving Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks?

Vaccines save lives; there is simply no question about it. Decades of evidence and scientific studies support this fact. So why are we facing a potential epidemic of vaccine-preventable diseases? Read more…

Don’t Be A Dreaded Spreader!

Recent news reports show high influenza (flu) activity across the US including more than 64 pediatric deaths for the season. A new 30-second public service announcement video from NFID, “Don’t Be A Dreaded Spreader,” demonstrates the three steps recommended to #FightFlu. Read more and share the PSA…

Sharing New Research on Vaccinology
Leading global experts will share cutting-edge research on addressing vaccine hesitancy and new vaccines to prevent Zika, dengue, influenza, and antimicrobial resistance in Baltimore at the NFID 2019 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research. Read more…

Upcoming NFID Events  

Support NFID

For more than 45 years, NFID has educated the public and healthcare professionals to help achieve our vision of healthier lives through effective prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. You can help us continue our impactful work by making an online donation.

You can also help support NFID with online purchases through established partnerships:

  • Purchase GIANTmicrobes and 5% of the proceeds will be donated to NFID

Together, we can make a difference!

Connect with NFID