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William Schaffner

World Hepatitis Day: Are Your Teens Protected?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and is often caused by a virus. There are several types of hepatitis viruses but in the US, the most common types are Hepatitis A, B, and C. Millions are living with viral hepatitis but most do not know they are infected. People can live with chronic hepatitis for decades without having symptoms. Two vaccines are currently available to help prevent viral hepatitis in adolescents…

Excellence in Vaccine Communication

Thoughtful, evidence-based communication is important when talking to the public, the media, and other healthcare professionals, as there is an abundance of misinformation and myths about vaccines. Here are 5 tips for effectively communicating the benefits of timely vaccination…

Experts Answer Questions About Flu

Special thanks to Vaccinate Your Family for co-sponsoring the Flu Facebook Forum during National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), as well as those who took time to ask flu-related questions and the NFID experts (William Schaffner, MD; Walter A. Orenstein, MD; Patricia A. Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP, CIC; Lisa S. Ipp, MD; and Kathleen M. Neuzil, MD, MPH) who provided detailed responses.

We’ve Come A Long Way: Trends in Flu Vaccination

The first recorded worldwide influenza epidemic happened in 1580, more than 430 years ago. The outlook for preventing influenza remained bleak for 350 years until the first influenza virus strain was isolated in a laboratory in 1933, and the work began to create an effective vaccine…

RSV: The Annual Epidemic You May Not Know About (But Should)

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is estimated to cause 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in adults 65 and older in the US every year, and yet it goes largely unrecognized. With new RSV-specific antivirals and vaccines in the research pipeline, we need to begin raising awareness of the burden of RSV among older adults…

Pneumococcal Disease: Are You Protected?

There’s a disease that kills up to 18,000 US adults age 65 years and older each year. It can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections (sepsis), meningitis, and ear and sinus infections. As many as 900,000 US adults contract it each year — 400,000 of whom require hospitalization. Pneumococcal disease is a serious concern for anyone over the age of 65, but there are safe and effective vaccines to help prevent it.

Improving Lagging Flu Vaccination Rates Among the 65+ Population

Patients should be vaccinated with any available approved influenza vaccine, even if their first choice of vaccine type is not available. CDC states (and I wholeheartedly agree) that it is far better to vaccinate at the first opportunity with whichever vaccine is available than to delay. A vaccine deferred is often a vaccine never received.

Flu Season Has Arrived: Get Vaccinated to #FightFlu

Make sure you #FightFlu all season long by practicing the CDC Take 3 Actions to Fight the Flu: 1) Get a flu vaccine, 2) Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs, and 3) Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

Leading By Example in Preventing Influenza

On September 17, 2015, NFID hosted the 19th Annual Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), joined with leading medical/public health experts at the news conference and encouraged all individuals age 6 months and older to get vaccinated against influenza (flu) annually.

Leave No Vaccine Opportunity Behind

There is still much work to be done to increase adult vaccination rates in the United States to reach public health goals. William Schaffner, MD, NFID immediate past-president, wrote the post below for Infectious Disease News on the importance of every patient medical visit representing an opportunity to vaccinate. Despite well-documented evidence regarding effectiveness and safety, overall adult vaccination rates in the…