MCAAP Immunization Initiative Update
April 2021, Issue 2

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
COVID-19 Vaccine Update

CDC/FDA Joint Statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
On April 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a joint statement recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine as a result of six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Click here to read the statement.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health - Health Alert
On April 14, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a Health Alert, 
"Cases of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia after Receipt of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine." Click here to read the Health Alert.

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Emergency Meeting
At an emergency meeting on April 14, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices agreed that the pause on the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine should be extended. Committee members recommended reconvening as soon as additional risk/benefit and risk refinement data become available on the cases of abnormal clotting seen with the vaccine. 

CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Call
On April 15, CDC held a COCA call to present the latest evidence on cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) with thrombocytopenia associated with the administration of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The call recording has been posted here.

National Infant Immunization Week
April 24 - May 1, 2021

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance which highlights the importance of protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) through immunization.

A CDC report released in May 2020 found a concerning drop in routine childhood vaccination as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While childhood vaccination rates during the pandemic have been improving, a vaccination gap still exists. NIIW offers an opportunity for pediatric healthcare providers to re-engage with their patients to recommend scheduling well-child appointments and routine vaccinations.

Everyone in your practice plays an important role in promoting immunization. The CDC has created a number of helpful resources that you can utilize during NIIW and throughout the year. These resources are included in the Resource Spotlight section of this newsletter.

NIIW also provides an opportunity to recognize you for the efforts you are undertaking during this difficult time to keep Massachusetts' children healthy and safe from vaccine preventable diseases! Thank you!
AAP Preparing Pediatricians
to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines to Children

A recent article in the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) newsmagazine, AAP News, details resources that the AAP has developed to assist pediatricians and pediatric practices as they prepare for COVID-19 vaccines being approved and becoming available for children and adolescents. These resources can be found in the Resource Spotlight section of this newsletter.

AAP recommends that as pediatricians wait for COVID-19 vaccine trials to be completed and FDA approval to be granted, they can do the following:
  • Enroll to administer vaccine in their state. This is separate from enrollment in the Vaccines for Children program.
  • Catch up patients on other vaccines they may have missed. COVID-19 vaccines cannot be administered within 14 days of other vaccines.
  • Promote vaccine confidence using resources from the AAP and CDC.
  • Learn about providing COVID-19 vaccines for adults, including enrolling in Medicare.

Provider Education Opportunities

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 4:00-7:30 p.m.
MCAAP 2021 Annual CME and Business Meeting
“Improving Child Health Through A Time of Crisis: A 2021 Pediatric Toolkit”
Click here for more information and to register. CME/CEU credit will be available for
completing this activity.

May and June 2021
MDPH Immunization Division Webinars
2021 Immunization Updates
Click here to access the Immunization Updates schedule. Registration will open soon. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Immunization Division presents annual updates on immunization-related topics for health care professionals every spring. The 2021 Immunization Updates will take place as a series of one-hour webinars in May and June. CME/CEU credit will be available for participating in the webinars. Additionally, Vaccine coordinators and backups can earn their VFC Certificate by taking the VFC Compliance/Vaccine Storage & Handling webinar.
Resource Spotlight

National Infant Immunization Week (CDC)

Preparing Pediatricians to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines to Children (AAP)

Immunization Catch-Up (AAP)
  • #CallYourPediatrician Campaign Toolkit
  • Includes new public service announcements in English and Spanish

COVID-19 Vaccines and Influenza (MDPH)
Click here to visit our website!