Immunization Update: What's New?

David Glenn Weismiller, MD, ScM, FAAFP

David Glenn Weismiller, MD, ScM, FAAFP

TIME AND PLACE: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Hemisfair Ballroom C1

ABOUT THE PRESENTER: David Glenn Weismiller, MD, ScM, FAAFP, is a professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas School of Medicine and part of the UNLV Medicine Faculty Practice. He directs both the AAFP Board Review Express® Live Course and the Board Review Self-Study online. He has worked with the AAFP for more than two decades.

SESSION OVERVIEW: The session will examine the 2017 practice recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Weismiller will talk about vaccine recommendations for both children and adults but plans to focus more on adults. Most of the vaccination goals for adolescents, adults, and pregnant women set by the Healthy People 2020 effort will not be reached, he said.

"How do we direct and develop strategies to address barriers to immunization administration?" Weismiller said. "Despite vaccines being considered probably the greatest public health achievement of the 20th century, and despite the fact that we know they are effective in preventing and eradicating disease, there is a substantial gap in vaccine uptake that persists across the country."

The session will provide practical strategies to help patients get immunized. Weismiller will share tips about using a guiding style to help inform patients rather than a directing style that comes across as a mandate that can lead to negative patient reaction.

WHY THIS SESSION MATTERS TO YOU: An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 American adults could be saved yearly by following ACIP recommendations, Weismiller said. Surveys show that 70 percent of individuals asked why they decided to get vaccinated say they did it because their physician recommended it.

"The more knowledgeable and comfortable physicians are about speaking— not only about the benefits, but the risks as well—I think this could have a clear impact on daily practice," he said.

THE TAKE-HOME: The physician plays the lead role in offering consistent, clear, and enthusiastic guidance for vaccination, Weismiller said.

"Every visit is an opportunity for immunization," Weismiller said. "You're coming in because you've stubbed your toe? Have you had your pneumonia vaccine or flu shot? At the end of any given half-day that I see patients, the nurses always joke that we're out of vaccine because I will find a reason to give you one while you're here. It's part of using every visit as an opportunity for prevention."