Category Archives: immunization and infectious disease

Promote the Importance of Vaccines during National Immunization Awareness Month

The following post was originally published on NACCHO’s new Healthy People, Healthy Places blog. The blog offers the latest news, resources, tools, and events for local health departments on issues such as climate change, vector-borne and infectious diseases, foodborne illnesses, and immunization. Visit the blog at

IZ-month-logoRates of vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased significantly in the last century with the development of safe and effective vaccines. Diseases like whooping cough and diphtheria used to kill thousands of people each year, but many doctors today have never even seen a case. The United States is also on its way to reaching 80% standard vaccine series coverage for children 19 to 35 months, with coverage rates increasing from 44.3% in 2009 to 68.4% in 2012. To capitalize on this success and keep the momentum going, your local health department can promote the importance of vaccines during National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in August. Continue reading

Opioid-Associated Outbreaks: Preparation & Prevention Lessons from the Indiana HIV/HCV Outbreak among People Who Inject Drugs

19090293 needleBy Hilary N. McQuie, MA, Senior Program Analyst, HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis, NACCHO

This post originally ran on NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief blog. For more preparedness news and information, visit

The HIV and related hepatitis C (HCV) outbreak among people who inject drugs (PWID), particularly oxymorphone (OPANA®), in Scott County, IN, is an unprecedented situation. However, the conditions that led to the outbreak are not unique to Scott County, which highlights the potential for a similar situation to occur elsewhere. Since December 2014, 160 new HIV cases have been diagnosed among the Scott County town of Austin’s 4,200 residents, representing a “higher incidence of HIV than any country in sub-Saharan Africa,” as CDC Director Thomas Frieden has remarked.[1] HCV rates among those diagnosed with HIV are estimated to be over 90% and the projected cost of treatment for these twin outbreaks is currently $100 million.[1] Continue reading

Barren River District Health Department Partners with Western Kentucky University for HPV Prevention Efforts


Partners, including WKU students and administrators, brainstorm activities for their HPV action plan

By Alyson Jordan, MPA, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

To strategize how to increase vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV), NACCHO worked with the Barren River District Health Department (KY) to host an action planning meeting on April 30 and May 1. This meeting is one of ten action planning meetings with local health departments (LHDs) selected by NACCHO to identify strategies to improve vaccination rates against HPV, the leading cause of cervical and several other types of cancers.  Continue reading

NACCHO Launches Hepatitis C Educational Series during Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month

hep-cBy Alyssa Kitlas, Program Analyst, HIV/STI/HCV, NACCHO

May is Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness that close to 5 million Americans are infected with chronic viral hepatitis (B and C) and that it is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplant in the United States.1 Local health departments play an important role in addressing viral hepatitis, from providing vaccinations for hepatitis A and B to assuring or directly conducting surveillance, prevention, education, screening, and linkage to care for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Continue reading

NACCHO Helps Three West Virginia Health Departments Strategize How to Increase HPV Vaccination Rates

By Alyson Jordan, MPA, Communications Specialist, NACCHO


Participants brainstorm the community’s strengths for increasing HPV vaccination rates

On March 26–27, NACCHO hosted the first of 10 strategic action planning meetings in Shepherdstown, WV, with health departments from Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties. Each strategic action planning meeting is focused on identifying or developing strategies to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates. NACCHO’s HPV project has awarded 10 local health departments (LHDs) funding to identify strategies to improve vaccination rates for HPV, the leading cause of cervical and several other types of cancers. Continue reading

National Infant Immunization Week: Celebrate Vaccine Success

niiw-logo-color-englishBy Lisa McKeown, MPH, Senior Program Analyst, NACCHO

April 18–25 is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), a part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Immunization Week initiative. During this week, health organizations from all six WHO regions will promote immunization and advance equity in the use of and access to vaccines. Next week, while continuing to effectively vaccinate infants and children, increase vaccination rates, and ensure healthy futures for infants, NACCHO encourages local health departments (LHDs) to celebrate their success and continue to strive for increased disease prevention through vaccination. Continue reading