Abstract: Everything Is Illuminated: Using Available Resources to Find Answers to Your Immunization Questions (43rd National Immunization Conference (NIC))

PS13 Everything Is Illuminated: Using Available Resources to Find Answers to Your Immunization Questions

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Grand Hall area

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is a nonprofit organization that has worked to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and their patients since 1991. Because IAC is well known in the healthcare community, over 650 individuals contact us each month with questions. Many of these questions refer to IAC-specific products or services, but a surprising number involve basic questions about providing immunizations.

IAC's website for healthcare professionals, www.immunize.org, hosts approximately 9,000 visits every day. Contact information includes an “admin” email address which directs mail to an IAC consultant for response.

Healthcare professionals around the nation who have a question about providing immunizations, including physicians, nurses, medical assistants, physician assistants, pharmacists, and more

Project Description:
After years of answering thousands of email questions from healthcare professionals, IAC staffers have a good idea of the most commonly asked immunization questions. In this presentation, we would share these questions and encourage the audience to work with us to determine the answers, stressing the basic concepts as found in ACIP's “General Recommendations on Immunization” and CDC's “Pink Book.” Simply knowing such rules as "all routinely recommended vaccines can and should be given simultaneously" will enable providers to answer many of their own questions. Most importantly, we would use sample questions to demonstrate our own method of answering questions—by knowing what documents to search (ACIP recommendations, Pink Book, “Ask the Experts”), where to find these sources, and how to search effectively online.

Results/Lessons Learned:
CDC and IAC are happy to help providers with their questions about immunization. However, empowering healthcare professionals to know how and where to find answers to their questions will help them become more confident immunization providers, as well as prevent medical errors and missed opportunities.
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