Allegheny County Immunization Coalition (ACIC) 2021 Annual Immunization Education Conference –
16th Annual Conference
On November 4, 2021, over 250 attendees participated in this years’ education conference. The conference was held in a virtual environment for the second consecutive year, covering a wide range of topics, focusing on prevention, education, and public health. The goal of the coalition is Community Immunity.
Ann L. McGaffey, MD, FAAFP, was our first speaker this year. She is the medical director of the UPMC St. Margaret Bloomfield-Garfield Family Health Center and the Director of School Health Education and shared the successes that her practice has had with Quality Improvement projects, specifically with increasing HPV immunization rates.
Our second presenter was Wendy C. King, Ph.D., an Associate Professor, Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health. She updated the audience with the presentation entitled – Time Trends and Factors Associated with Covid-19 Hesitancy: A Massive Online Survey of US Adults. The initiative is a collaborative NIH-funded study with the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon University identified a decrease in vaccine hesitancy by one-third between January 2021 and May 2021.
For the second consecutive year, Debra Bogen, MD, the Allegheny County Health Department Director, joined the ACIC conference to update Allegheny County’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic and information from the state. A few of the topics discussed were the need to focus intentions on immunizations, boosters, disease prevention, and appropriate social distancing.
Dr. Donald M. Yealy, MD, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President Medical Director, Health Services Division, UPMC and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, was our next presenter of the day.
In the presentation entitled – Covid 19: Our UPMC Journey and Lessons by the Numbers, Dr. Yealy presented an overview from March 2020 to the present. He shared the retrospective analysis of cases and data from the UPMC Health Systems in the greater Pittsburgh area, Altoona, Pinnacle Health System, and the Susquehanna Health System. He shared statistics on Contagious Hospitalizations by Region, Bedded Patients by Day, ICU Patients by Day, Hospital Deaths, and Positive Tests by Ages. He also communicated the latest information on Monoclonal Antibody Therapy and “what we have learned and what should be done differently.”
Dr. Marian G. Michaels, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Michaels is the co-principal investigator of the CDC’s Surveillance Network examining vaccines and children’s acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. She serves on the UPMC Covid 19 Vaccine Advisory Committee and the COVID 19 Task Force for several transplant societies. Dr. Michaels presented an update on Pertussis immunizations, the changes in booster recommendations versus Td, and the cocooning protection approach for new parents and those who surround newborns. She also presented the latest information regarding immunizing 5 – 11-year old’s against Covid.
Laura Lee Hall, Ph.D., is the President of the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity. Dr. Hall presented “DRIVing Influenza Immunization Equity.” The program’s vision is sustainable healthy communities in every zip code. The center’s mission is to promote sustainable healthy communities, especially those with diverse and underserved populations, by providing actionable data, research, engagement, and training of clinicians and community leaders.
Final comments from the 16th Annual Immunization Update
On behalf of the ACIC Executive Board, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to all who attended and participated in this year’s update. Without your help, the conference would not have been a success. We are forever in your debt to all the speakers who graciously donated their time and expertise. Thank You!
Finally, we need your help. The ACIC is an all-volunteer organization, and we ask that you consider joining the ACIC and helping us achieve our goal of Community Immunity.