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    AAFP Rolls Out Free CME on Boosting Vaccine Confidence

    September 22, 2021, 8:36 a.m. News Staff — While addressing hesitancy and improving confidence are integral components of virtually every public health campaign, they are even more important in campaigns that involve vaccines used to prevent infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Recent evidence has shown that while nearly three-quarters of those eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 have received at least one dose, millions of Americans either remain hesitant about receiving a vaccine or are choosing not to get vaccinated for a variety of reasons.

    physician looking at vaccine vial

    To combat vaccine hesitancy and increase public confidence, the Academy — supported by an educational grant from Janssen Therapeutics, a division of Janssen Products, L.P. — is offering a comprehensive educational program for family physicians, care teams, non-physicians and other interested individuals, available to all participants free of charge. The program, “Improving Vaccine Confidence: An Educational Series,” available at aafp.org/vaccine-confidence, debuts in October and will combine livestream courses with a half-day conference, on-demand sessions and other resources spread out over several weeks.

    The overall goal of the program is to provide attendees with not only the latest information to support their patients and practices, but also practice management strategies pertaining to vaccine delivery, coding and billing. In addition, beginning Oct. 14 participants will have access to an online community of practice that will allow learners to interact with program faculty and discuss topics related to vaccines. Altogether, individuals who complete the program can earn more than 20 CME credits based on their level of participation.

    Faculty Profiles

    Laura Morris, M.D., M.S.P.H., an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, and a 2018 Vaccine Science Fellow with the Academy, will chair the program and serve as moderator for the livestream sessions.

    Story Highlights

    Three Academy members will join Morris in hosting the livestreams:

    • Gretchen LaSalle, M.D., a 2020 AAFP Vaccine Science Fellow, associate clinical professor at the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Spokane, and a practicing family physician at MultiCare Rockwood Clinic in Spokane;
    • Jerry Abraham, M.D., M.P.H., C.M.Q., a practicing family physician and director of the vaccine program at Kedren Community Health Center in South Los Angeles; and
    • Margot Savoy, M.D., M.P.H., C.P.E., C.M.Q., the Academy’s senior vice president for education and a 2011 AAFP Vaccine Science Fellow.

    Program Details

    The overall learning objectives of the program are to

    • describe the immunological basis of action for different vaccines, how different platforms are used to deliver vaccines, and the processes used for mass production of vaccines;
    • describe the flow of clinical trials needed for vaccine authorization/approval, and the differences between the typical approval process and an emergency use authorization;
    • evaluate the reasons for vaccine hesitancy among patients and health care professionals, and define best practice strategies to overcome hesitancy;
    • develop practice management strategies for handling COVID-19 vaccines and ensuring their prioritized delivery to at-risk and underserved populations; and
    • define a strategy for health care professionals to maximize reimbursement for vaccination services in their practices.

    The program will consist of three one-hour livestream sessions held two weeks apart, with the first debuting in October. They are:

    • COVID-19 Vaccines: How They’re Made and What They Do (Oct. 13) — In this session, participants will learn about vaccine development from the trial phase to FDA approval. They’ll also learn about the mechanisms by which the different COVID-19 vaccines stimulate the immune system, get an update on the latest safety and efficacy data, and discuss the impact of SAR-CoV-2 variants on vaccine efficacy.
    • Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy and Promoting Vaccine Confidence in Your Patients and Staff (Oct. 27) — This session reviews the common myths and misconceptions surrounding vaccines, including those for COVID-19, and provides learners with opportunities to improve vaccine confidence through education and the use of various tools and resources.
    • Improving Access to Vaccines (Nov. 10) — Individuals who attend this livestream will discuss how social determinants of health impact vaccine delivery and describe how vaccine access (or lack of access) results in disparities in care. The session will also feature an overview of COVID-19 vaccine billing and coding for reimbursement.

    Each livestream will air from 7-8 p.m. CT. Each event will be worth 1 AAFP Prescribed CME credit; participants will also have the opportunity to claim additional credits by participating in optional translation to practice activities.

    The livestream sessions will be supplemented by a half-day conference, “COVID-19 Vaccines: Building Patient Confidence,” scheduled for Nov. 30, using topics from the livestream events as a foundation for additional learnings. Registration for the conference will be open by Oct. 1, and additional details will be posted online as the conference date approaches.

    In addition, the Academy will offer a series of on-demand reinforcing sessions and refresher courses beginning in January 2022.

    Obtaining Credit and Further Details

    Both live and enduring CME credit will be available, with the total amount of credit that can be claimed based on whether learners choose to complete the optional translation to practice modules available for selected sessions. The AAFP is currently in the process of applying for both types of CME credit; more details will be posted soon.

    Make sure to bookmark the Improving Vaccine Confidence: An Educational Series webpage now, and check back frequently for additional information as it becomes available.