All posts by bbrubach

ACHD Issues School Immunization Report for 2017-18

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) requires all schools (public, private/independent, parochial/religious, charter, and cyber) to submit the immunization status of their students annually to ensure that schools in Allegheny County are complying with state and county immunization regulations, .

This report, which summarizes the county’s immunization data for the 2017-18 school year, is organized into four parts: 1) overall immunization, 2) provisional enrollment, 3) immunization exemptions, and 4) immunization status by type of vaccine.

Data are primarily presented by school type or by grade. Also included are data from previous school years.


  • The percentage of students with all immunizations required for school entry was 96.3% in December 2017, which is above the Healthy People 2020 goal of 95% coverage.
  • The only grade that did not exceed 95% complete immunization coverage was 12th grade (92.9%), as this grade had new immunization requirements for students.
  • The majority of Allegheny County schools (78.0%) had at least 95% of their students fully immunized.
  • In Allegheny County, 0.7% of all students started school in the fall with provisional enrollment status; kindergarten (1.1%) and 12th grade (2.9%) had higher percentages of students enrolled provisionally due to new or additional immunization requirements.
  • Overall, 3.0% of students submitted medical or religious exemptions. Parochial/religious schools (4.6%) and private/independent schools (4.7%) had the highest percentage of exemptions.

View/Download the 2017-18 School Immunization Report here.

IAC releases updated “Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide” — available for purchase or free download

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is delighted to announce the publication of its new book, Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide (Guide).

This completely updated guide on adult immunization (originally published in 2004) provides easy-to-use, practical information covering important “how-to” activities to help providers enhance their existing adult immunization services or introduce them into any clinical setting, including:

  • setting up for vaccination services,
  • storing and handling vaccines,
  • deciding which people should receive which vaccines,
  • administering vaccines,
  • documenting vaccinations (including legal issues), and
  • understanding financial considerations and billing information.

In addition, the Guide is filled with hundreds of web addresses and references to help providers stay up to date on the latest immunization information, both now and in the future.

Two options are available to obtain a copy of the updated Guide:

  • Purchase a copy
    A limited number of printed editions of this 142-page book are available for purchase at The Guide’s lie-flat binding and 10 tabbed sections make it easy to locate the information being sought. Purchased copies are delivered in a box that includes Immunization Techniques: Best Practices with Infants, Children, and Adults, a 25-minute training DVD developed by the California Department of Public Health. Also included are several selected IAC print materials, such as the “Skills Checklist for Vaccine Administration,” an assessment tool to assist in evaluating the skill level of staff who administer vaccines.
  • Download for free and print it yourself
    The entire Guide is available to download/print free of charge at The downloaded version is suitable for double-sided printing. Options are available online to download the entire book or selected chapters.

The development of the Guide was supported by the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Expert staff from both agencies also provided early technical review of the content.

The Guide is a uniquely valuable resource to assist providers in increasing adult immunization rates. Be sure to get a copy today!

11th Annual Conference Crosses Borders, Boosts Vaccine Awareness

The 11th Annual ACIC Conference was jointly sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Center for Continuing Education in Health Sciences, and the Allegheny County Immunization Coalition.

Dr. Andrew Kroger of the CDC
Andrew Kroger, MD, MPH, is a medical officer for the National Center ofr Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.

This year’s conference featured welcoming remarks by Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department; and a keynote presentation entitled “Preventing the Spread of Diseases Across Borders” by Wilbert van Panhuis, MD, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biomedical Informatics at Pitt’s GSPH.

Also included was an Immunization Update and “Ask the Expert Q&A” with Andrew Kroger, MD, MPH, Medical Officer with the CDC; and an information-sharing session on “HPV! Why Should You Care” with Lyn Robertson, DrPH,

More than a dozen exhibitors and poster presentations shared information with conference attendees.

MSN, RN, Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Director, Health Equity, Education and Advocacy with the University of Pittsburgh’s Cancer Institute and Winfred Frazier, MD, HRSA-T-32 Postdoctoral Scholar and Univ. of Pittsburgh Family Medicine Faculty Development Fellow at UPMC St. Margaret.


AAP releases immunization social media toolkit

The AAP Childhood Immunization Program has developed an Immunization Social Media Toolkit. This toolkit helps pediatric offices build support for immunizations in their own practices and answer common questions outside of the visit while using their role as trusted professionals to inform families about vaccines. The toolkit offers guidance for choosing a social media platform and setting up and managing an account.aaplogopos Pre-written tweets and posts with resources are also available for practices to copy and paste to make social media simpler.

Related Links

Fellow coalition member Dr. Khlood Salman awarded the Fulbright Scholarship

Dr. Khlood Salman

Fellow coalition member, Dr. Khlood Salman, has been awarded the Fulbright Scholarship. Khlood is an Associate Professor at Duquesne University School of Nursing. She has been a member of ACIC since our inception.

With the support of the United States government and through binational partnerships with foreign governments, the Fulbright Scholarship Program sponsors U.S. and foreign participants for

exchanges in all areas of endeavor, including the sciences, business, academe, public service, government, and the arts and continues to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Learn more about the Fulbright Scholar program

Please join us in congratulating our friend and colleague Khlood!

Featured Member: Katerina A. Zavaras-Angelidou, MD, FAAP

Dr. Katerina Zavaras-AngelidouClinical Professor of Pediatrics
University of Pittsburgh

STO-ROX Family Health Center

The Allegheny County Immunization Coalition (ACIC) appreciates volunteers like Dr. Zavaras who believe in the importance of vaccinations.

Supporting our organization for 10 years has not gone unnoticed and we applaud the work you do every day to vaccinate your patients and educate their families. The poem below says it best!

Valuable is the work you do
Outstanding in how you always come through
Loyal, sincere, and full of good cheer
Untiring in your efforts throughout the year
Notable are the contributions you make
Trustworthy in every project you take
Eager to reach your every goal
Effective in the way you fulfill your role
Ready with a smile like a shining star
Special and wonderful — that’s what you are!
— Author unknown

Below is what Dr. Zavaras had to say when asked to describe her role or interest in promoting immunizations at work, home, or in the community.

An important goal of the STO-ROX Pediatric Department is preventive medicine. We promote immunizations to protect our patients from serious diseases. We try not to miss any opportunities to immunize our infants, young children, and adolescents. Our nurses and I educate the families in our office about the importance of immunizations and provide parents with the addresses of reliable web sites for more information if needed. Additionally, I enjoy being a member of the ACIC, who has promoted immunizations in our community for ten years now!

Thank you Dr. Zavaras!

“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”
— E. M. Forster