Tragically, California has experienced its first infant death of 2019 from pertussis. An Orange County baby has died after contracting whooping cough, marking the first infant death from the disease this year in California, health officials said Thursday. The California Department of Public Health has issued a clinical health advisory with guidance on immunizing all pregnant women against pertussis to protect their babies.
We urge you to review it and share it with health care providers in your networks.
For additional resources:
· Visit the prenatal Tdap toolkit page on the CDPH Immunization Branch, EZIZ website.
· See the CDPH webpage on pertussis
· Thank you in advance for passing along this important message and helping protect infants from the dangers of pertussis.
Encourage Providers to Think Measles and Be Alert
So far in 2019, two outbreaks linked to patients with international travel have been reported in California. As of April 17, 2019, 23 confirmed measles cases, including 13 outbreak-associated cases, have been reported.
CDPH updates case counts weekly every Thursdays if new cases are reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from January 1 to April 19, 2019, 626** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states. This is an increase of 71 cases from the previous week. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000, second only to the 667 cases reported during all of 2014. In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels.
The states that have reported cases to CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.
SB276 (Pan) Child Safety and Disease Prevention Act
In 2015, California’s legislature passed SB 277 (Pan/Allen) which removed the personal belief exemption for children attending daycare or public school. SB 277 had an immediate positive impact with school immunization rates rising to their highest levels in history – 95.6%.
However, since 2015 the number of kindergartners with medical exemptions has more than tripled, rising from 0.2 percent of students in the 2014-15 school year to 0.7 percent of students in 2017-18. This represents over 4,000 children that are either unvaccinated or undervaccinated against one, some or all preventable diseases—and this is just in Kindergarten.
A small number of physicians in California and elsewhere have developed a sideline business that promotes and sells counseling services and letters of medical exemption for a fee to parents who wish to avoid vaccinations for their children and cannot get an exemption through their regular physician because it is not justifiable based on medical guidelines.
This increase in medical exemptions, combined with new outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, mumps and pertussis has led to growing
concern that our state’s community immunity may be threatened, putting us at risk for deadly outbreaks. As of April 19, 2019, 626 cases of measles have been reported in the United States, 23 of these in California. High vaccine coverage, particularly at the community level, is extremely important for people who cannot be vaccinated, including people who have medical contraindications to vaccination and those who are too young to be vaccinated.
The California Immunization Coalition is in strong support of SB276 and sample letters and other background information are available upon request. Important information here:
· Text of Bill
· Bill Analysis
· Frequently Asked Questions
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NIIW 2019 is April 27- May 4
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.
In 2019, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of NIIW. Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health.
NIIW 2019 is April 27-May 4, 2019.
Learn more about NIIW here
UNICEF launches #VaccinesWork campaign
to inspire support for vaccines
UNICEF is launching a new global campaign on April 24th to emphasize the power and safety of vaccines among parents and wider social media users.
The campaign will run alongside World Immunization Week from April 24th to the 30th to spread the message that together communities, including parents, can protect everyone through vaccines.
#VaccinesWork has long been used to bring together immunization advocates online. This year, UNICEF is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO), and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to encourage even greater reach. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute USD$ 1 to UNICEF for every like or share of social media posts using the hashtag #VaccinesWork in April, up to USD$1 million, to ensure all children get the life-saving vaccines they need.
“We want the awareness that #VaccinesWork to go viral,” said Robin Nandy, UNICEF’s Chief of Immunization. “Vaccines are safe, and they save lives. This campaign is an opportunity to show the world that social media can be a powerful force for change and provide parents with trustworthy information on vaccines.”