The UpShot Online - 2014, 1st Quarter

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April 7, 2014 Sign up for e-mail updates

In this Issue

Updates & Announcements

New & Revised Publications

See our Literature and Forms page and our online order form for all current material.

  • Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule—United States, 2014 (English) rev. 02/14
  • Recommended immunization schedule for persons aged 0 through 18 Years—United States, 2014 (English) rev. 02/14
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria (Td)
    (#C-94) rev. 02/14
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (#C-108) rev. 02/14

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Upcoming Events 

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)
April 26 - May 3, 2014

NIIW is an annual observance that includes local and state health departments, national immunization partners, health-care professionals and community leaders to celebrate the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children. NIIW promotes the benefits of immunizations, especially for children up to 36 months. Texas has fallen below the national average for infant immunization rates, particularly regarding the 4th dose of DTaP at the age of 15 to 18 months. Immunizations are considered one of the most important public health advances of the past century and have reduced infant deaths and disability from preventable diseases in the United States.

Visit the CDC’s NIIW site and the DSHS Immunization Branch's 2014 NIIW webpage for additional resources and information.

HHS, CDC National Infant Immunization Week April 26 - May 3, 2014 button image

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Coming Soon...

New & Improved ImmTrac

"Growing along with Texans"

By age 2, over 20% of U.S. children have typically seen more than one health-care provider. Lost immunization records are often a casualty of changing physicians. ImmTrac, the Texas immunization registry, was first established in 1997 for consolidation of vaccination records, enabling providers to work more efficiently. The registry has grown and transformed over the past 18 years, and an upgrade is in progress now.

Hewlett Packard (HP) is under contract with the Texas Department of State Health Services to revamp the current immunization information system. This confidential, population based database will also incorporate a feature to allow vaccine ordering and accountability for Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) providers. Data exchange with ImmTrac and electronic health records (EHR) will continue as a key component in the gathering of complete immunization records.

A pilot project with ImmTrac’s newly consolidated functions will be implemented this summer, and full implementation is on target for the spring of 2015. Registration is encouraged for any TVFC provider not currently participating in ImmTrac, as the electronic vaccine inventory software presently used will be phased out. To register with ImmTrac, please visit and complete the online registration form, or call 800-252-9252 for more information.

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Immunization Branch Employee Co-Authored a Journal Article

Texas was selected to participate in a project that sought to evaluate factors influencing vaccine response in infants born to HBsAG-positive women. The Enhanced Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (EPHBPP) gathered data from Texas and several other states from 2008 to 2012, and the findings have been published in the medical journal, Vaccine. Khalilah Loggins of the Texas Immunization Branch Perinatal Hepatitis B Program is listed as the contributing author for Texas. See below for article details.

Article title: Hepatitis B vaccine response among infants born to hepatitis b surface antigen-positive women
Reference: JVAC15090
Journal title: Vaccine
Corresponding author: Dr. Stephen Chii-Ming Ko
First author: Dr. Stephen Chii-Ming Ko
Online publication complete: 11-MAR-2014
DOI information: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.01.099

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TVFCblocksTVFC Tips

Storage & Handling Reminders

By Alicia Sanders
Vaccine Services Group

Listed below are a few storage and handling guidelines to always keep in mind:

  • Providers are required to have appropriate equipment that can store vaccine and maintain proper conditions.
  • Small combination refrigerator-freezer units are not allowed (dorm-style).
  • A certified, calibrated thermometer must be placed in the center of the storage unit.
  • Food may not be stored in the storage unit.
  • Water bottles should be placed along the inside walls of the unit.
  • The vegetable bins should not be used to store vaccine.
  • Storage of vaccine is not allowed in the door of the unit.
  • Vaccine must be kept in its original packaging.
  • Vaccine should be organized in plastic trays that allow airflow.
  • Vaccine bins should be organized by vaccine type and funding source.
  • Gel packs are only allowed for use in the freezer.

Contact Us

Immunization Branch
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, Texas 78714-9347

Phone: (512) 776-3711
Fax: (512) 776-7288

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Adult Safety Net (ASN) Program Expansion & New Website

By Luis Valenzuela
Adult & Adolescent Immunization Coordinator

The DSHS Adult Safety Net (ASN) program provides publically purchased vaccine at no cost to medical providers enrolled in the program, making vaccines more accessible to the uninsured adult population.

ASN Program Expansion

Effective March 26, 2014, The ASN program will add vaccines to the existing ASN formulary. The added vaccines will be available to all ASN providers and can be administered to any eligible adult client (adults aged 19 and older with no health insurance). These vaccines include the following:

  • Pneumococcal Polysaccharide (PPSV23);
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV);
  • Twinrix® (a combination vaccine for Hepatitis A and B); and
  • Hepatitis A.

In addition, the existing formulary will continue to be available to all ASN providers and all eligible adult clients. As a reminder, the existing formulary consists of the following:

  • Hepatitis B;
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR);
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Acellular Pertussis (Tdap); and
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td).

New ASN Website

The newly launched ASN website offers an array of of tools and resources for not only providers, but for the public as well. Adults seeking immunization services can visit the public information section of the site to find out if they qualify for ASN vaccines, look up a participating ASN provider in their area, and access tools to determine which vaccines they may need. Health-care providers interested in participating in the program can find additional information on the website's provider page, including eligibility requirements, enrollment forms, and contact information. Also on the site are resources for existing ASN providers, such as policies and procedures, important forms, and adult immunization schedules.

Please encourage uninsured adults to visit the site to learn more. Non-participating providers are also encouraged to view the site for information and resources should they wish to enroll in the program. We appreciate your continued support of the ASN program and your contribution to the health of Texans.

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2014 Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 or Older

By Luis Valenzuela
Adult & Adolescent Immunization Coordinator

Immunization Schedules.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published the 2014 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older. Providers should consult this updated version of the Adult Immunization Schedule for guidance on vaccine administration, including who should receive each vaccine, age(s) of receipt, number of doses, and timing between doses, as well as special circumstances such as contraindications and precautions.

The schedule can be found online via the CDC website. Printed copies of the new schedule can be obtained from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Immunization Branch at no charge. Print orders can be placed by visiting the DSHS Literature & Forms Online Order Form.

Important changes to the 2014 Adult Immunization Schedule include the change to the recommendation of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, as well as clarification about the timing of the second and third doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. For a more detailed account of these updates, please consult the online MMWR publication.

Adult vaccination providers have a crucial role in improving the health outcome of their patients by ensuring they are current on all of the vaccines recommended by the ACIP Adult Immunization Schedule. The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) recommends that all providers, including those who do and do not provide immunization services, assess vaccination needs for their patients at each visit, recommend needed vaccines, and then, ideally, offer the vaccine, or if the provider does not stock the needed vaccines, refer the patient to a provider who does vaccinate.1

In addition, adult vaccination providers are strongly encouraged to participate in the state immunization registry, known as ImmTrac, to record their patients’ vaccine doses. Many adult patients may receive vaccinations at more than one provider, or may also be vaccinated at the workplace, pharmacy, or other location; therefore, documentation of vaccinations is extremely important to ensure that a patient's complete vaccination history is available to all of his/her providers. ImmTrac is a public health service provided by DSHS and is available at no cost. To learn more about ImmTrac, or to register as an ImmTrac provider, please visit our ImmTrac homepage.

    1. National Vaccine Advisory Committee. A pathway to leadership for adult immunization: recommendations of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. Public Health Rep 2012;127 Suppl 1:1-42.

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Adults Searching for Immunization Records

By Linda Gibson, RN, BSN
Public Information, Education, & Training Group

Your personal immunization record provides a history of all the vaccines you’ve received through your lifetime. It is essential to keep track of this record just as you would any other important personal document. The Immunization Branch receives numerous calls daily from adults searching for their immunization histories. There are two places this history exists: the card you or your parents were given when the vaccines were administered, and the record in the medical chart of the doctor or clinic where the vaccines were given. Since people tend to move, visit multiple doctors, or receive vaccinations at various locations, the only complete record in existence could be the one you keep track of yourself.

A prospective third location may be ImmTrac, the Texas immunization registry. ImmTrac is a free service offered by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). It is a secure and confidential registry available to all Texans. In 2009, the Texas Legislature authorized ImmTrac to become a lifetime registry. This provision was implemented in 2011. ImmTrac safely consolidates and stores immunization information electronically in one centralized system. Many health-care providers participate in ImmTrac, and upon enrollment, every immunization you receive will be recorded. Your records are retrievable by authorized professionals only with your permission..

It is important that you consent for participation in this lifetime registry. Inclusion into ImmTrac is not automatic. Parents must opt in for their children. Adults must opt in for themselves. If you were enrolled in ImmTrac as a child, you must re-enroll at age 18. Your immunization record may be required for certain jobs, travel, and school registration or college admission. ImmTrac is the best place to store and maintain all of your immunization records.

The Texas immunization registry was developed in 1997. If you were born before the registry was established, your childhood immunizations are not likely recorded in the system. Unfortunately, there is no national organization that maintains vaccination records. The CDC does not have this information. DSHS does not store any immunization records outside of ImmTrac.

If you need official copies of your immunizations, but cannot locate your paper record and your records are not entered into ImmTrac, there are several places you can look:

  • Ask parents or other caregivers if they have records of your childhood immunizations.
  • Try looking through baby books or other saved documents from your childhood.
  • Check with your high school and/or college health services office for dates of any immunizations. Keep in mind that records are generally only kept for 1-2 years after students leave the system.
  • Check with previous employers (including the military) that may have required immunizations.
  • Check with your doctor or public health clinic. Keep in mind that vaccination records are maintained at doctor’s offices for a limited number of years. Hospital records in Texas by law are destroyed 10 years after discharge.
  • All states have immunization registries. Be sure to check every state you have lived in for records.

If you can’t find your personal records or records from the doctor, you may need to get some of the vaccines again. While this is not ideal, it is safe to repeat vaccines. The doctor can also sometimes do blood tests to see if you are immune to certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Talk with your doctor about the best options to make sure you are up-to-date on vaccines, and ask about having your immunization records included in ImmTrac.

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The Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC)
Spring Cleaning Challenge

By Alicia Sanders
Vaccine Services Group

Spring is around the corner, and it's a perfect time to get organized. As you begin your spring cleaning this year, why not take the opportunity to also review your vaccine storage units? 

To get started, ask yourself the following: Is there any vaccine that is expired? Are there any vaccines that will expire in 90 days or less? Is my short-dated vaccine in the front? Is my refrigerator clean and neat?   

We invite you to take the TVFC Spring Cleaning Challenge below as a refresher exercise on proper (and improper) storage and handling habits. Review each picture to see what errors you can find. Click on the picture for the answer key. (Hint: check out this edition's TVFC Tips first for a quick review.)

Storage Unit 1:

Storage Unit 1

Storage Unit 2:

Storage Unit 2

Storage Unit 3:

Storage Unit 3

Storage Unit 4:

Storage Unit 4

Storage Unit 5:

Storage Unit 5

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  The UpShot Online—a publication of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Immunization Branch

Last updated December 10, 2014