MMWR News Synopsis for September 27, 2018
Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel — United States, 2017–18 Influenza Season
CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommend that all healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine. If you work in health care and get the flu, you can spread it to others even if you don’t feel sick. By getting vaccinated, you help protect yourself, your family at home, and your patients. CDC, ACIP, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommend all health care workers receive an annual flu vaccine. Vaccinating healthcare workers can a) reduce influenza-related morbidity and mortality among health care workers, b) reduce work absences, and c) help protect patients. Flu vaccination coverage during the 2017-2018 flu season was 78.4 percent among healthcare workers, which is a 15 percentage-point increase from the 2010-2011 flu season. However, estimates have stayed relatively similar during the past four seasons. Coverage was consistently higher among healthcare workers in hospital settings and lowest among healthcare workers in long-term-care settings.
Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — United States, April 2018
Many pregnant women are unvaccinated. They and their babies continue to be vulnerable to influenza and pertussis infections with potentially serious complications including hospitalization and death. Doctors are encouraged to strongly recommend vaccines that their pregnant patients need, and either administer needed vaccines or refer patients to a vaccination provider. CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend two vaccines for pregnant women: 1) a flu vaccine for women who are or might be pregnant during the flu season and 2) a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine during every pregnancy, between 27 and 36 weeks gestation (preferably earlier in this period). To assess influenza and Tdap vaccination coverage among pregnant women during the 2017–18 influenza season, CDC analyzed data from an Internet panel survey. Only about half (49.1 percent) of women reported receiving influenza vaccine before or during their pregnancy. Additionally, a little over half (54.4 percent) reported receiving Tdap during their pregnancy. Women who reported receiving a provider offer of vaccination had higher vaccination coverage than women who received a recommendation but no offer and women who did not receive a recommendation.
Meningococcal Disease Surveillance in Men Who Have Sex with Men — United States, 2015–2016
Men who have sex with men (MSM), including those with HIV, have increased meningococcal disease rates compared to non-MSM. Identifying MSM among meningococcal disease patients and improving collection of data on HIV status for all cases will help researchers understand the epidemiology and risk factors for meningococcal disease among MSM. Studies have shown that MSM are at increased risk for meningococcal disease in the United States. However, until now, researchers have not well described the epidemiology of disease in this group because gender of sex partners and/or sexual orientation have not historically been collected through routine meningococcal disease surveillance. From 2015-2016, 271 meningococcal disease cases were reported in men ages ≥18 years; among them, sufficient information to identify MSM status was available for 124 (45.8 percent). Overall, 48 (17.7 percent) cases occurred in MSM. MSM, including those with HIV, have increased meningococcal disease rates compared to non-MSM. During investigations of meningococcal disease, CDC encourages state and local health departments to assess HIV status of all patients and identify MSM among male patients ages ≥16 years.
Barriers to Receipt of Prenatal Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap) Among Mothers of Infants Aged <4 Months with Pertussis — California, 2016
Getting immunized against whooping cough at the earliest opportunity during 27-36 weeks gestation of each pregnancy is the best way to protect young infants against this disease. Prenatal care providers should make a strong recommendation for Tdap to all pregnant women. If Tdap is not stocked onsite, providers should make every effort to refer patients to an accessible site covered by the mother’s insurance and then follow up to ensure she is immunized. Infants are at highest risk for hospitalization and death due to whooping cough (pertussis). To protect newborns, CDC recommends that all pregnant women be immunized against whooping cough as early as possible during 27-36 weeks gestation of each pregnancy. This California study showed that only 30 percent of mothers whose infants developed pertussis were appropriately vaccinated. Women whose prenatal clinics stocked Tdap vaccine were more likely to be vaccinated. Women with Medicaid insurance were less likely to be vaccinated than were those with private insurance, even when treated in clinics that stocked Tdap vaccine.