Immunization News

The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States
Logo for Hepatitis Awareness Month

Reminder: AAP Recommends That Infants Receive First Hepatitis B Dose Within 24 Hours of Birth

Healthy newborns should receive their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within the first 24 hours of birth to improve their protection against the enduring and potentially fatal disease, according to an updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommends both Hepatitis A and B Vaccines for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger

The 2018 ACIP Child and Adolescent Schedule, Comprehensive Version, can be found here and is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


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Georgia AAP Launches: HPV Immunization Quality Improvement (QI) Project

Enrollment Open: Now through June 15, 2018

The Georgia AAP is pleased to announce a new quality improvement (QI) learning collaborative for 2018. Participation is open to all Georgia AAP member practices free of charge. Act soon to take advantage of this great QI opportunity as spaces are limited to 10 practices!

HPV Immunization QI Project details are listed in the following link: HPV QI Invitation Letter

Your next steps to enroll in this project:

  • Select a 3 member quality improvement (QI) team for your practice, which includes a lead physician, a nurse/nurse practitioner, MA or other clinician, and an office manager.
  • Send Shanrita McClain, Project Manager, the contact information for your QI team members (name and email address) to 

Georgia Chapter Member Named CDC Childhood Immunization Champion!

CDC Childhood Immunization Champion awardGeorgia Chapter Member Named CDC Childhood Immunization Champion!

Feoderis Basilio, MD, FAAP is the recipient of the 2018 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award. Dr. Basilio is a pediatrician at Uptown Pediatrics in Columbus, GA and serves as Secretary for the Georgia Chapter AAP.  One champion is selected from each of the of the 50 U.S. states, 8 U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, and the District of Columbia.

The Champion Award is intended to recognize individuals who are working at the local level. It honors those who are doing an exemplary job or going above and beyond to promote or foster childhood immunizations in their communities.  Congratulations Dr. Basilio from the Georgia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics!



Georgia Chapter Participates in 2018 National Infant Immunization Week  (April 21 -28, 2018)

The Georgia Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics (GAAAP) is participating in National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 21-28, 2018, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger. Since 1994, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, healthcare professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements.

Campaign Resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics can be found here.

Georgia Chapter Hosted a Pediatric Infectious Disease & Immunization Conference on March 24, 2018 in Atlanta

Physicians, physician assistants, residents, medical students, nurse practitioners, nurses and other healthcare  and industry professionals spent the day learning about vaccinology, vaccine hesitancy, public health, infectious disease, coding & billing, influenza and emerging pathogens from esteemed colleagues.

Click here to see topics discussed.

(Pictured Drs. Larry Pickering, Inci Yildirim, Walter Orenstein and Harry Keyserling)

Three Georgia Chapter Members Recognized for Their Dedication to Increasing HPV Vaccination Rates

Georgia Chapter AAP members Grace Davis, MD (Sylvester Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine – Sylvester, GA), Sandra Rodriguez-Sfeir and Jose Rodriguez-Torres, MD (Both from WellStar Kennestone Pediatrics – Marietta, GA) were recognized for their dedication to increasing Georgia’s HPV vaccination rates.  Thomas County Health Department (Thomasville, GA) was also recognized.  The awards were presented by the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium’s HPV Prevention and Education Work Group during Cervical Cancer Awareness Day at the Georgia Capitol.  All award recipients were above National HPV immunization rates (National Immunization Survey – Teen) (CDC/NCIRD) and have exceeded the Healthy People 2020 HPV immunization rate objective.

Twenty-five organizations, including Georgia Chapter AAP, were present to stand united with State Representatives Pat Gardner (District 57 Atlanta) and Teri Anulweicz (District 42 Smyrna) to promote the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination as cancer prevention.


Georgia AAP Member Practices Complete the Chapter Quality Network (CQN) U.S. Immunizations Project

(Learning Session 3)

Congratulations to the following practicies: Children’s Hospital of Georgia at Augusta University, Decatur Pediatric Group – Lithonia, Decatur Pediatric Group – Smyrna, Dunwoody Pediatrics, First Georgia Pediatrics – Fayetteville, First Georgia Pediatrics – Peachtree City, Harbin Clinic Pediatrics, Intown Pediatrics, Jonesboro Pediatrics – Jonesboro, Jonesboro Pediatrics – McDonough, Kids and Teens Primary Healthcare, Pediatric Associates of Newnan and Uptown Pediatrics

Click here to read more about the success of the project.


Georgia Chapter Member Named 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion!

The Champion Award is intended to recognize individuals who are working at the local level. It honors those who are doing an exemplary job or going above and beyond to promote or foster childhood immunizations among children 0-2 years old in their communities.  Dr.Samuel Gold (WellStar Medical Group Ambulatory Pediatrics/ Quality and Safety Lead) is board certified in pediatrics and has been with WellStar Towne Lake Pediatrics since 2001. Congratulations, to Dr. Gold, from the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics!

Please click here to learn more about Dr. Samuel Gold and the award.



Pediatrics’ Perspectives: Understanding the Category B Recommendation for Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine

 (Gary S. Marshall and Litjen Tan, Pediatrics; originally published online April 4, 2017)

Published recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which carry the approval of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, provide guidance on how licensed vaccines should be used. Professional organizations such as the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also develop immunization recommendations. Since 1995, the recommendations of the ACIP, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the AAP have been harmonized, although minor differences have surfaced from time to time. In the end, some vaccines are recommended for universal use and some are not, despite approval from the US Food and Drug Administration and commercial availability.  The full article can be found at: Understanding the Category B Recommendation for Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine

 HPV Champion Toolkit (Dec 2016)

This toolkit has the best resources available to help you:

Educate other healthcare professionals

  • Discuss HPV vaccination with parents
  • Make necessary changes in your practice to improve HPV vaccination rates.

By focusing on ways you can make changes that will lead to improved HPV vaccination rates, YOU are an HPV champion. ​

A link to the Tool Kit can be found here.

AAP Releases Interactive Infographic – Child Vaccination Across America (Dec 2016)

Routine childhood immunizations are vital to individual and society health. Across the United States, immunization rates vary, and as a result, some communities have experienced preventable disease outbreaks. Higher immunization rates protect vulnerable children who are too young to be vaccinated as well as those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.  Click here for the infographic.

Two new AAP clinical reports about adolescent immunization published online

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published the following two new clinical reports:
1. The Need to Optimize Adolescent Immunization reviews the current epidemiology of meningococcus, pertussis, HPV and influenza in adolescents; and covers immunization rates and barriers to adhering to the adolescent immunization schedule.
2. Practical Approaches to Optimize Adolescent Immunization discusses ways to improve immunization rates, including strategies to enhance parental confidence in immunization.

A summary from the AAP lists the key points highlighted in these two clinical reports.
• Adolescent immunization rates are lower than those for younger children
• Every healthcare visit is an opportunity to review and update immunization status
• A strong recommendation from the healthcare provider is the most important reason why parents choose to have their children vaccinated
• Substantial provider time may be necessary for counselling patients and families who are vaccine hesitant or wish to refuse vaccines
• HPV vaccination presents a distinctive set of challenges
• Healthcare technology can be useful and effective in decreasing missed opportunities for vaccination
• Extending care into school-based settings is an alternative strategy that may help improve adolescent immunization rates

American Academy of Pediatrics Emphasizes Safety and Importance of Vaccines (Jan 2017)

In response to news reports today suggesting a possible new federal commission on immunizations, the American Academy of Pediatrics reiterates that vaccines protect children’s health and save lives. They prevent life-threatening diseases, including forms of cancer. Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are the most significant medical innovation of our time.

The full article can be found here.


 Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Report: Georgia

2015 NIS-Teen HPV Data Summary: Georgia

Georgia HPV Report Sept 2016

Compared to estimates from 2014, HPV vaccination coverage in Georgia:
 Significantly decreased from 2014 to 2015 in ≥2 and ≥3 dose coverage for females. There was a non-significant decrease in ≥1 dose coverage among females.
 Significantly increased from 2014 to 2015 in ≥2 dose coverage for males. There were non-significant increases in ≥1 and ≥3 dose coverage among males.

FIGURE 1. Estimated vaccination coverage with ≥1 dose of HPV vaccine* among female adolescents aged 13–17 years — National Immunization Survey-Teen,§ United States, 2015

FIGURE 2. Estimated vaccination coverage with ≥1 dose of HPV vaccine* among male adolescents aged 13–17 years — National Immunization Survey-Teen,§United States, 2015  

Figure 1                                                        Figure 2

Immunization Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics Immunization Information

One very important step in ensuring the health of any child is to make sure he or she receives immunizations at the correct time. Whether it’s a childhood MMR vaccine or an adolescent pertussis booster, these simple procedures can save lives. This AAP site has been created to answer any questions you may have about childhood immunization.

Documenting Parental Refusal to Have Their Children Vaccinated

Despite doctors’ and nurses’ best efforts to explain the importance of vaccines and to address parental concerns about vaccine safety, some families will refuse vaccination for their children.

Educating Physicians In their Communities (EPIC)

The Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics EPIC Immunization Program focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of vaccine preventable disease through proper scheduling and administration of vaccine across the lifespan. EPIC provides the most current ACIP recommendations for all vaccines and discusses the childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization schedules in detail. Other topics include proper administration, documentation, missed opportunities, school requirements and forms, Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program, vaccine safety, communicating risks, strategies to increase rates, storage and handling and more.

CDC Vaccine Information for Parents

On this webpage parents can learn more about the importance of having your child fully vaccinated, age-specific vaccine information, the 16 vaccine preventable diseases that your child can be protected against before 19 years of age and the vaccines that prevent them.

Georgia Immunization Program

Through collaboration with public and private providers, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders, the Program works to increase immunization rates for all Georgians and decrease the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases. For more information regarding immunizations and what the Program provides visit this website.

What is the ACIP?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a group of medical and public health experts that develops recommendations on how to use vaccines to control diseases in the United States. The ACIP consists of 15 experts who are voting members and are responsible for making vaccine recommendations. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) selects these members after an application, interview, and nomination process. Fourteen of these members have expertise in vaccinology, immunology, pediatrics, internal medicine, nursing, family medicine, virology, public health, infectious diseases, and/or preventive medicine. One member is a consumer representative who provides perspectives on the social and community aspects of vaccination.


Vaccine Supply Status

This web page contains the latest national information about vaccine supplies and provides guidance to healthcare providers who are facing vaccine shortages or delays.

*Note: Only those vaccines included on the recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule are included in this update.

Vaccine Information Statements

Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) are information sheets produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that explain to vaccine recipients, their parents, or their legal representatives both the benefits and risks of a vaccine. Federal law requires that VISs be handed out whenever (before each dose) certain vaccinations are given. Information on all of the VIS’s can be found on this site.

Georgia Vaccines for Children Program

This federally funded program supplies vaccine free of charge to participating providers.  The vaccine may then be made available to children up to 19 years of age who are: Medicaid Enrolled, Uninsured (child has no health insurance coverage), Underinsured (child has health insurance but immunizations are not a covered benefit) or American Indian or Alaska Native.

Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services (GRITS)

The Georgia Immunization Registry is designed to collect and maintain accurate, complete and current vaccination records to promote effective and cost-efficient disease prevention and control. The Georgia Immunization Registry law, passed in 1996 and expanded by House Bill 1526, requires reporting by ” any person who administers a vaccine or vaccines licensed for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration to a person.” Several options are available for submitting immunization records to the Registry. Georgia’s immunization providers also have quick and easy access to immunization records on individuals and able to generate a variety of reports on their immunization status. Find additional information on this site.

Immunization Action Coalition

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. The Coalition also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, health care organizations, and government health agencies.

For additional information, questions, or concerns please contact Noreen Dahill,
Immunization Coordinator at (404) 881-5094 or

Also, for further immunization information and to schedule an immunization education program
in your office, go to the Chapter’s Immunization EPIC webpage at