October 13, 2019
2 min read

7 stories for International Infection Prevention Week

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The theme of this year’s International Infection Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 13 to 19, is “Vaccines are Everybody’s Business.”

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) was enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and is organized annually by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Anne Marie Benedicto , MPP, MPH, vice president of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, called IIPW “vital for patient safety” considering the continued challenge posed by health care-associated infections (HAIs).

“This year the awareness week is focusing on vaccines, but according to APIC, every year it seeks to draw attention to the importance of infection prevention in saving lives and health care dollars,” Benedicto told Infectious Disease News.

“Through process improvement methodologies and other data-driven approaches, health care facilities can drastically reduce the rates of HAIs like [Clostridioides difficile] so that patients are not harmed when they are seeking care,” she said. “This week is a great opportunity to remind health care workers, hospitals and health systems that there are tools and solutions out there to drastically reduce, and even eliminate, HAIs.”

In honor of this year’s theme, Infectious Disease News compiled seven articles that highlight the consequences of low vaccination rates, reinforcing why vaccines are an important part of infection prevention and control efforts. – by Marley Ghizzone

51% of early cases in NY measles outbreak attributed to unvaccinated adults

Unvaccinated adults had a “significant” impact on the early days of the New York State measles outbreak, with 51% of cases during the first month being attributable to them. Read more.

Only 52% of US adults plan to get flu vaccine, survey shows

Although influenza vaccination rates have increased, data released by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases indicated that barely half of U.S. adults plan to get vaccinated against influenza this season. Read more.

1 in 10 children missed lifesaving vaccines in 2018

More than one in 10 children worldwide did not receive lifesaving vaccines for measles, diphtheria and tetanus in 2018, according to new data from WHO and UNICEF. “While most children today are being vaccinated, far too many are left behind,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, MSc, said. Read more.

HPV vaccine offers herd protection against oral HPV in men

An increase in female HPV vaccination in the U.S. appears to have provided unvaccinated men aged 18 to 59 years herd protection against vaccine-type oral HPV infections, according to findings published in JAMA. No such herd protection was recorded among unvaccinated women. Read more.


Herd immunity drives down invasive pneumococcal disease in adults

Herd immunity generated by the introduction of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the U.S. — first in 2010 for children, then in 2012 for immunocompromised adults, in series with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine — has driven down the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease, or IPD, in adults with and without underlying medical conditions, researchers reported. Read more.

Flu vaccine reduces risk for hospitalization in kids, death in adults

Influenza vaccination reduced the risk for influenza-related hospitalization in children by nearly half and the odds of death in adults by about 36% over several recent influenza seasons. Read more.

HPV drops 86% among teens 10 years after vaccine is introduced

HPV serotypes included in the quadrivalent vaccine, or 4vHPV, decreased 86% among adolescents aged 14 to 19 years a decade after its introduction in the U.S., according to research published in The Journal of Adolescent Health. Researchers reported that a 71% decrease also occurred among those aged 20 to 24 years. Read more.

Disclosure: Benedicto works for the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare.