Have you checked your mailbox lately? The AAFP has mailed laminated copies of the 2014 immunization schedules and other helpful resources to all active and resident members. In addition to the full-color schedules, the packet includes a number of documents aimed at helping family physicians stay up-to-date on vaccine-related issues.
Included among those resources is
- guidance from the AAFP, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatricians on talking with parents about vaccines for infants;
- a triage protocol for evaluating patients with suspected influenza infection; and
- a flier reminding health care personnel to protect their patients by ensuring they themselves have received all recommended vaccinations.
The mailing also includes a message from AAFP President Reid Blackwelder, M.D., of Kingsport, Tenn., who says, "Immunizations are a proven way to prevent disease for children, adolescents and adults, yet vaccination rates are not as high as they should be.
"The single most important factor in a patient or parent's decision to immunize themselves or their children is the recommendation from their doctor."
Developed by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunizations, the AAFP and other medical specialty groups, the combined schedule for individuals ages 0 through 18 years and catch-up schedule and the adult schedule are available as PDFs on the AAFP website.
In addition, the Academy website offers detailed information on preventing and controlling seasonal flu with vaccines, as well as disease- and population-specific immunization recommendations.
Looking for an electronic solution to your immunization information needs? You're in luck: The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Group on Immunization Education has released the 2014 version of its Shots by STFM(www.immunizationed.org) mobile app. In addition to the comprehensive vaccine schedules and footnotes, this year's app also includes graphics, images and commentary. The latest key information is available for each vaccine, including high-risk indications, adverse reactions, contraindications, brand names, additives and more.
A version of the mobile app for iPhones(itunes.apple.com) is available from iTunes for $3.99, and those with Android devices(play.google.com) can download the app from the Google Play Store for the same cost. That modest fee will be used to keep the Shots app updated with any vaccine information changes or technological improvements.
If you'd rather access the same information from your laptop, STFM's Shots Online for PCs(www.immunizationed.org) offers the same reliable information.
Finally, here's a heads-up: Later this spring, the AAFP plans to release a mobile app that features the immunization schedules for children, adolescents and adults and is designed for use by family physicians and their practice teams.
Related AAFP News Coverage
ACIP Discusses LAIV for Young Children, PCV13 Dose Schedule for Infants
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More From AAFP
American Family Physician: Practice Guideline: ACIP Releases 2014 Adult Immunization Schedules (Members/Subscribers only)
(Feb. 15, 2014)