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William Schaffner

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…

ID News Round-Up

Recent items of interest from the world of vaccine-preventable diseases: 1.  Dr. William Schaffner, NFID immediate past-president, spoke with CBS News about the recent US cyclospora outbreak,  a foodborne stomach bug of unknown origin. The outbreak has infected more than 275 people across at least seven states. 2. Oregon governor, John Kitzhaber, signed into law SB132, which requires a few extra steps for…

A Fitting Tribute

After 18 years of dedicated service as NFID executive director, Len Novick retired on June 30, 2013. Below is a “fitting tribute”  made by NFID immediate past-president Dr. William Schaffner at Len’s farewell dinner. Len, thank you so much for everything and we all wish you much happiness in your retirement! I’m reminded of that notable ceremony that all universities conduct as spring slides…

Preventing HPV in Teens

A study released last week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that HPV cases among teen girls fell by more than 50% since the vaccine was first introduced in 2006. In his November 2011 Huffington Post blog, reposted below, NFID Immediate Past-President, Dr. William Schaffner, hit the nail on the head. The recent vote by the CDC’s…