The Double Helix, Winter 2018


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Message from Headquarters

The Gift of Prevention: At NFID, our vision for 2019 and beyond is to help create healthier lives through the effective prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. In that spirit, we continue to share messaging that annual influenza (flu) vaccination is the best way to reduce the risk of flu and flu-related complications.
Flu can be deadly for anyone, and individuals living with chronic health conditions—including heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes—are at greater risk, even when their conditions are well-managed. A recent NFIDnational surveyfound that most US adults are not aware that those with certain chronic health conditions are at higher risk of flu-related complications, including the fact that for the 15+ million US individuals living with heart disease, the risk of a heart attack increases by up to 10 times within three days of acute flu infection.To help reduce those risks, NFID has developed a new onlinetoolkit to increase awareness about the dangers of influenza for adults with certain chronic health conditions and reinforce the importance of annual vaccination. The toolkit includes: A Call to Action supported by nearly 20 national partner organizations, a webinar and journal article (offering continuing education credits for physicians and pharmacists), infographics, sample social media posts, and fact sheets on the dangers of flu for people with diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease.In conjunction with World Pneumonia Day, NFID partnered with social media influencers to share reminders that flu season is also a great time to make sure you are up to date on pneumococcal vaccinations—a message that is particularly relevant for adults age 65 and older as well as those with chronic health conditions.

Throughout the fall season, NFID continued to leverage our sponsorship of the 2018 Outland Trophy, awarded annually to the best college football interior lineman, by reminding football fans that getting vaccinated each year is the best line of defense against flu. Working hard to help spread awareness about the importance of flu prevention, the #TravelingFluBug made a special appearance at the EPSN College Football Awards where the 2018 Outland Trophy winner, Quinnen Williams of the University of Alabama, was announced. Congratulations to Quinnen (pictured left with other Outland Trophy finalists), who is an avid fan of annual flu vaccination!

On behalf of NFID, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to reduce the burden of infectious diseases. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Marla Dalton, CAE
NFID Executive Director & CEO

2019 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research

Register Now!

Join NFID on April 3-5, 2019 in Baltimore, MD for the Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research (ACVR) featuring cutting-edge presentations, continuing education credits, and networking opportunities with vaccinology professionals from around the world.

New for 2019, the conference will include several events recognizing the impact of inspirational women in vaccinology, including:

  • Mary Lou Clements-Mann Memorial Lecture in Vaccine Sciences by Anita Zaidi, MD, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • 2019 Robert Austrian Memorial Lecture by Monica M. Farley, MD, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Panel Discussion: Recognizing Women in Vaccinology featuring women in a variety of professional settings discussing successes and lessons learned in addressing challenges faced throughout their careers
  • Special Reception Recognizing Women in Vaccinology providing attendees the opportunity to network and engage in conversations about topics impacting the field of vaccinology, while featuring a history of the accomplishments of women in the field.

 View the detailed program and register online.

NFID invites abstracts of original work in the field of vaccinology and related research for poster or oral presentation at ACVR. Abstracts are peer-reviewed for quality of research, educational and scientific content, and overall impact.

Don’t miss this opportunity to present your work to an audience of more than 350 vaccinology experts from around the world. Submission deadline is January 10, 2019 at 11:59 PM. Learn more and submit online.

New NFID Toolkit Helps Prevent Hepatitis B Infection in At-Risk US Adults

Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease that is easily spread. Although there are safe and effective vaccines available in the US to protect against hepatitis B virus (HBV), only about 25 percent of US adults get vaccinated against HBV as recommended.

Those who are not vaccinated remain at risk for HBV infection, which can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, or premature death. This immunization gap is of great concern, particularly as the US is experiencing an increase in new hepatitis B infections due to low adult vaccination rates and increasing rates of injection drug use related to the opioid crisis. While the nation struggles to find answers to address the opioid epidemic, a solution to the gap in HBV prevention is easier—better uptake of hepatitis B vaccines.

To raise awareness about the burden of hepatitis B among US adults and the importance of prevention through vaccination. NFID has created an online toolkit including the following free resources:

  • Call to Action with strategies to promote HBV vaccination, such as avoiding missed opportunities, implementing standing orders, integrating hepatitis B vaccination into services for individuals with opioid addiction or injection drug use, and using non-traditional settings to vaccinate
  • Continuing professional education resources offering CME/CE credits
  • Infographic to educate the public about risk factors associated with hepatitis B infection
  • Sample social media posts and newsletter/website content to help increase awareness of the importance of hepatitis B vaccination

The goals of the NFID Hepatitis B Awareness Initiative are supported by more than 20 organizations representing hepatitis experts, policy makers, healthcare professionals, and consumer health advocates.

The Talk: NFID & DoSomething Partner to Increase HPV Awareness

NFID launched a new HPV (human papillomavirus) awareness campaign (The Talk) in collaboration with, a not-for-profit organization for social change with a digital platform reaching more than 6 million adolescents.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It can be deadly and is the primary cause of cervical cancer as well as other diseases affecting males and females, including cancers of the mouth and throat, as well as genital warts. In the US, there are an estimated 14 million new infections each year, and 79 million individuals, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV. Despite recommendations for HPV vaccination starting at age 11 to 12 years, many teens and young adults remain unvaccinated and are at risk for catching and spreading the infection.

Through ‘The Talk’ campaign, NFID and partnered to make conversations about HPV prevention easier. Read some of the inspirational stories submitted by DoSomething members.

Partner News

Smithsonian DIY Outbreak Exhibit

NFID is a proud supporter of the Smithsonian exhibit, Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, that explores pandemics and emerging infectious diseases. The National Museum of Natural History offers a free, do-it-yourself (DIY) version of the exhibit that can be customized for local communities/specific audiences, including multiple languages. For more information, contact

Vaccinate Your Family

Every Child By Two (ECBT) has a new name—Vaccinate Your Family (VYF): The Next Generation of Every Child By Two. The new name reflects an expanded mission to protect people of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases by stressing the importance of timely vaccinations and supporting pro-vaccination policies. For more information, view the redesigned VYF website and blog.

 ACP Adult Immunization Resource Hub

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has developed a new online Adult Immunization Resource Hub as part of the ACP ‘I Raise the Rates’ initiative to help physicians and their teams assess, understand, and improve adult immunization rates and patient outcomes in their clinical settings.

In Memoriam: Betty Bumpers

A life-long advocate for children and immunizations, Betty Bumpers passed away on November 23, 2018 at her home in Little Rock, AR. She was 93 years old. In 1974, Bumpers forged a partnership with Rosalynn Carter, when the two were the first ladies of Arkansas and Georgia respectively, to improve immunization services for the children in their home states. During the Carter administration, they worked together in support of immunization programs and were credited with the passage of state laws mandating vaccines for school-entry. In 1991, they founded Every Child By Two, following a devastating measles outbreak that took the lives of many children. NFID joins many others in mourning this tremendous loss.

NFID Leaders in the News

NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD, was honored with the 2018 D.A. Henderson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Health by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The award was presented in recognition of Dr. Schaffner’s work to advance the nation’s health through research, teaching, mentorship, and tireless advocacy for science-based immunization policies. In debates fueled by vaccine skepticism, he has earned a national reputation for providing facts and reassurance to both healthcare professionals and the public.

Kathryn M. Edwards, MD, was honored by the University of Maryland School of Medicine as the 2018 Frontiers in Vaccinology lecturer. The annual lecture is presented by the university’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health. Dr. Edwards chairs the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received NFID Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement in 2018.

Save the Date: 2019 NFID Awards Dinner

Join NFID on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC for the ‘Oscars of Infectious Diseases,’ a festive evening celebrating distinguished leaders and public health heroes. In addition to inspirational presentations, the black-tie event will feature a cocktail reception, dinner, and dessert reception along with a silent auction to support NFID.

  • Jeremy Farrar, FRS, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award
  • Anne A. Gershon, MD, Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement
  • Richard E. Besser, MD, John P. Utz Leadership Award
Additional information is available at Online ticket sales will open in January 2019.

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

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As the holiday season approaches, many will prepare to gather with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks. People with diabetes are more susceptible to contagious illnesses, so pre-holiday visits are an opportune time to educate patients and promote vaccination. Read more …

NFID Board Picks: Holiday Reading Recommendations

The end of the year is a great time to enjoy some downtime and catch up on must-read books, but what will you read? We asked members of the NFID Board of Directors for their holiday reading recommendations. Read more …

Antibiotic Resistance: A Pressing Public Health Issue
Each year in the US, more than two million individuals become sick with infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and more than 23,000 die as a result of these infections. Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Read more …

Upcoming NFID Events  

April 3-5, 2019: 2019 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research, Baltimore, MD
May 9, 2019:
2019 NFID Awards Dinner, Washington, DC
November 16-17, 2019:
2019 Clinical Vaccinology Course, Washington, DC

Support NFID

For the past 45 years, NFID has played an important role in the fight against infectious diseases. During 2018 alone, we educated thousands of healthcare professionals and worked with partners to extend our reach to teens and young adults, older adults, as well as other audiences. But there is more work to do. You can help us continue our impactful work by making an online donation. Together, we can make a difference!

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