Category Archives: Immunization News

Health Department Reports Case of Measles in the City of Pittsburgh

April 30, 2019

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is reporting the first case of measles in 2019 in an adult county resident. The individual, who is not vaccinated, recently traveled internationally. This case is not linked to any ongoing measles outbreak in the U.S. The resident was treated and discharged from UPMC Shadyside emergency room on Monday, April 29, 2019, and is currently recovering at home. UPMC is notifying and evaluating patients and staff who may have come in contact with the individual.

The individual was potentially contagious starting on Thursday, April 25, 2019, and potential exposures may have occurred at the following locations and times:

  • Giant Eagle Market District (5550 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232)
    – Friday, April 26, 2019: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    – Sunday, April 28, 2019: 2:45 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • ALDI (5631 Baum Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15206)
    – Friday, April 26, 2019: 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Because that individual has potentially exposed others, the Health Department is urging anyone who is susceptible to measles or who may have been in the same locations during the indicated times who becomes ill with symptoms of measles to contact their primary care provider immediately. If a person has been exposed, symptoms would be seen between now and May 20.

Measles is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease that spreads through coughing, sneezing or other contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person. Symptoms typically appear 1-to-3 weeks after infection and include: rash; high fever; cough; and red, watery eyes.

“If you believe you have symptoms of measles, please contact your primary care provider immediately to notify them that you may have been exposed,” said Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.

“Do not go directly to the office, urgent care center or emergency room, as this may expose other persons. Pregnant women should contact their doctor about their immune status. Health care providers who suspect measles should call the Health Department at 412-687-ACHD (2243) for consultation and to arrange testing.

Most importantly, get your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so. Vaccines not only protect you and your loved ones, they protect those whose immune systems are compromised, which includes infants and the elderly.”
While most people are not at risk because they have been immunized or have had measles, those most at risk, according to Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), are:

  • Infants less than one year of age who are too young to have received the MMR vaccine;
  • Individuals who refused vaccination; and
  • Individuals from parts of the world where there is low vaccination coverage or circulating measles.

The MMR vaccine is given to toddlers when they are 12-to-15 months of age, and a second MMR vaccine is recommended at age 4 to 6 years of age and required for all Pennsylvania school children.

Adults born during or after 1957 who have not had two doses of vaccine or documented disease should be vaccinated with one dose of MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine also can help prevent infection if it is given within three days of exposure.

ACHD recommends that any person who is due for measles vaccination schedule an appointment to receive it from their medical provider. The vaccine is also available at the Health Department’s immunization clinic, located at 425 First Avenue, Fourth Floor, in downtown Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 15219 (entrance is on Cherry Way). There is no risk in getting an additional dose of the MMR vaccine for individuals who may have already received it. Clinic hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and on Wednesday: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
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The Maurice R. Hilleman Essay Contest for Students

To commemorate Dr. Hilleman’s remarkable legacy, the Vaccine Makers Project of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is holding a student essay contest. Students in grades 6 to 12 are invited to learn about Dr. Hilleman’s life and accomplishments and submit a 500-600 word essay that answers the question, “How would the world be different if Dr. Hilleman had not lived the life he did?”

Contest dates
Entries are open now through June 7, 2019.

Contest winners and prizes
Essays will be judged on adherence to the submission guidelines, grammar and language, originality and organization. Judging will take into consideration author’s age. Each of three winners will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a trip to Philadelphia for September 18-20, 2019, including:

  • Round trip transportation to Philadelphia for each winner and chaperone*
  • Hotel room for each winner and chaperone to share for two nights in Philadelphia*
  • Tour of labs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and breakfast with CHOP scientist
  • Two (2) tickets to the Franklin Institute
  • Two (2) Philadelphia City Passes to see 3 attractions
  • Dinner with Hilleman Film movie production team

Attendance at “Memories of Maurice” evening reception where winners will share their winning essays and receive their awards
* Transportation and accommodations coordinated through Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Eligibility and entry 
Students in grades 6 to 12 living in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories and currently enrolled in a school in the United States are eligible to participate. Students must be enrolled in a public, private, cyber, religious or charter school, or attend a home school program. Interested students should compose a 500-600 word essay that answers the essay question and submit their essay, according to the contest requirements, along with the required entry and permissions form, found on the Hilleman film website by the contest deadline of June 7, 2019. Visit the essay contest page to learn more or access the rules and the entry and permissions form.

Visit HillemanFilm.com to:

Bonus for teachers 
As a bonus, the teacher named in each winning entry will receive a signed copy of Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases, Dr. Hilleman’s biography, written by Paul A. Offit, MD.

Questions about the essay contest, the Hilleman film, the Vaccine Makers Project or other Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia projects, programs, or resources? Please contact vacinfo@email.chop.edu.

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 www.immunize.org/shop. 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 www.immunize.org/guide. 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!