Below is a list of resources for clinicians including detailed information on epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases, the CDC’s immunization schedules, recommendations for vaccine storage and advice on how to talk to parents and patients about vaccine safety.
Vaccine Information Statements
Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) are information sheets produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that explain to vaccine recipients, their parents, or their legal representatives both the benefits and risks of a vaccine. Federal law requires that VISs be handed out whenever (before each dose) certain vaccinations are given.
VISs in foreign languages can be downloaded from the Immunization Action Coalition’s (IAC) website. IAC has translated VISs into 41 languages. More information about IAC resources can be found below.
Child, Adolescent, and Catch-up Versions – Find printable versions in various formats: regular paper, pocket size, MMWR, and laminated; load on your smartphone; check the binational resource.
Adult Version – Find printable formats in various sizes, download the interactive tool, or load the schedule on your smartphone.
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-sponsored by the CDC and the FDA. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 requires health professionals and vaccine manufacturers to report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) specific adverse events that occur after the administration of routinely recommended vaccines.
Vaccine safety is tested during laboratory, pre-clinical and clinical trials before a vaccine is licensed. After licensure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vaccines are continuously monitored to ensure safety. Below are trustworthy sources, which will show you the facts about vaccine safety.
Vaccine Safety Basics
- Vaccine Safety FAQs – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Vaccine Safety and Your Child – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Vaccine Safety – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Vaccine Safety Q&A – U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Vaccine Safety – Vaccines.gov
- Clear Answers on Vaccine Safety – Immunization Action Coalition
- Are Vaccines Safe? — Every Child By Two
Vaccine Safety Research
- Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety — Institute of Medicine — January 2013
- Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism — Institute of Medicine — May 2004
- Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism — Journal of the American Medical Association — October 2003
- Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines: lack of consistent evidence for an association — American Journal of Preventative Medicine — August 2003
- Immunization Safety Review: Multiple Immunizations and Immune Dysfunction – Institute of Medicine — February 2002
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Refusal
Resources Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Refusal
- Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents
- How to Respond to Common Misconceptions about Vaccination
- Communicating with Families about Vaccination
- Trusted Sources of Vaccine Information
Documenting Vaccine Refusal
- Documenting Parental Refusal to Have Their Children Vaccinated – American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- Decision to Not Vaccinate My Child Form – Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)
Clinical Resource and Reference Books
Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases — The 12th Edition “Pink Book” is published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It includes updated information on routinely used vaccines and the diseases they prevent. You can order a hard copy or read it online at no cost.
Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics — The 29th Edition “Red Book” was published in 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It includes the latest findings and clinical guidelines on the manifestations, etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of more than 200 childhood conditions. It is available for purchase on the AAP’s website.
Immunization Action Coalition
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) works, “to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services.”
- Clinic Resources — materials for staff education, training, tool kits, advice on coding & billing, documenting vaccination and much more.
- Handouts for Patients & Staff — screening questionnaires, recommendations, storage & handling, parent handouts and more.
- Talking About Vaccines — background information and practical resources that will help medical professionals discuss immunization with concerned parents or patients.
- Tips for Locating Old Immunization Records – Piecing together old immunization information can be difficult and time-consuming. Here are some ideas that might help you reconstruct this information.
Report a Disease to PDPH
Reporting of suspected or confirmed communicable diseases is mandated under Pennsylvania state law and Philadelphia city code. Physicians have the primary responsibility for reporting. Laboratories, school nurses, day care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, state institutions, or other facilities providing health services are also required to report the listed diseases and conditions.
Suspected or confirmed cases should be reported to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. For each disease or condition, please provide the following information: condition; patient name, age, DOB, sex, address and phone; clinician name and contact information.
Click here for the full list of reportable diseases and conditions.
PDPH Division of Disease Control
Call to report a disease: (215) 685-6748
Fax a reporting form: (215) 545-8362
After hours call: (215) 686-4514 (ask for the on-call staff)