Alaska Immune News

ISSUE NUMBER 18 • Summer 2019                                      

Immune News

Alaska Immunization Program

Measles in Alaska

Due to a recent confirmed case of measles in Alaska, the Alaska Immunization Program is including the MMR vaccine on the adult vaccine formulary for providers who are enrolled to, effective immediately.  Any adult aged 19+ yrs, regardless of insurance status or eligibility, can receive a state-supplied dose of MMR vaccine IF that patient is not up to date on their MMR vaccination or adequately protected.  The current measles vaccination recommendations for Alaska (May 31, 2019) can assist in determining whether a person is protected against measles.  No third booster shot is needed and should not be given.  Patients who are up to date on their MMR vaccination are considered protected against measles.  Providers can use current stock of MMR to vaccinate adults.  

Please see the following resources for more information on measles:

New VFC Contact Email

The Alaska Immunization Program’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) staff now have a VFC dedicated email address:  Enrolled providers will begin to notice this address on various VFC documents (i.e., documents that need to be submitted to VFC staff and communications regarding site visit follow up activities).  This email address is also recommended for use when providers and the public have questions regarding VFC requirements and will be utilized by our program to communicate VFC specific information to our enrolled providers.  Our thanks to our current VFC staff (Della and Dennis) for monitoring the emails and assisting our providers with their endeavors to succeed in the VFC Program.

Vaccines for Children Requirement Change -- Administration Fee Billing

CDC is implementing a new requirement regarding vaccine administration fees effective January 1, 2020.  Providers should notify billing staff immediately to ensure compliance with the following from CDC’s VFC Operations Guide:

"Effective January 1, 2020, providers who choose to bill for the vaccine administration fee of a non- Medicaid, VFC-eligible child after the date of service may issue only a single bill to the patient within 90 days of vaccine administration. This policy does not apply to vaccine administration fees billed to Medicaid for children who meet the Medicaid eligibility criteria for the VFC program.

Unpaid administration fees may not be sent to collections, and the provider may not refuse to vaccinate an eligible child whose parents have unpaid vaccine administration fees."

School/Child Care Immunization Requirements

This is a reminder for medical staff to review the state’s immunization requirements for attendance in school/child care. It is important to note that when you administer vaccines, parents/guardians need current, valid documentation of immunizations and that the state also requires specific documentation for medical exemptions and immunity if you are providing such. Invalid documentation places children in a noncompliance status leading to exclusion from attending these facilities. Please help get, and keep, children in school and child care by following state requirements.

Influenza Update

The Alaska Immunization Program will offer the following influenza vaccine products for the 2019-20 influenza season:

Pediatric Influenza Vaccine

  • Sanofi Fluzone multi-dose vial, 5mL, quadrivalent, ≥6 months
  • GSK Fluarix pre-filled syringe, 0.5mL, quadrivalent, ≥6 months
  • AstraZeneca FluMist, nasal spray, 0.2mL, quadrivalent, 2-49 years*

            *A limited number of FluMist vaccine will be available for patients aged 2-18 years only

Adult Influenza Vaccine

  • Sanofi Fluzone multi-dose vial, 5mL, quadrivalent, ≥6 months
  • GSK Fluarix pre-filled syringe, 0.5mL, quadrivalent, ≥6 months
  • Sanofi Fluzone High-Dose pre-filled syringe, 0.5mL, trivalent, ≥65 years**

            **A limited number of Fluzone High-Dose vaccine will be available for patients aged 65 years and older who are eligible to receive state-supplied vaccine

Process a vaccine return in VacTrAK for your expired vaccine from the 2018-19 influenza season and mail them back to the Immunization Program at:

3601 C St. Suite 586 Anchorage, AK  99503

Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers (IQIP)

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program includes a quality improvement section to ensure VFC providers are incorporating immunization practice improvements. The AFIX to IQIP Transition began in July 2019. IQIP uses a systematic approach to improve performance in immunization services, including ensuring on-time childhood vaccination. The IQIP Program uses overall fewer strategies than AFIX, to provide greater focus on immunization service improvement.

The IQIP core strategies include: scheduling the next visit before the patient leaves the office, leveraging VacTrAK to improve immunization practices to better assess on-time vaccination and providing a strong recommendation for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) vaccines, which includes promotion of HPV for the adolescent cohort.

Expect to hear more about the IQIP Program and provider selection in the next few months. For questions about the IQIP Program, please call the Immunization Program 907-269-8088.

Adult Hep A for Homeless Population

In order to help prevent hepatitis A virus outbreaks among persons using drugs or experiencing homelessness, the Alaska Immunization Program is temporarily offering adult Hep A vaccine for this high risk population. See the recent ACIP recommendation. If a provider enrolled to receive state-supplied vaccine is interested in administering adult Hep A vaccine to this high risk population, please contact the Alaska Immunization Program at 269-8088.

Public Health Education

The Public Health Education team has worked meticulously over the past few years to become a joint accredited provider of interprofessional continuing education.  Joint Accreditation is a voluntary process in which an organization submits to an in-depth analysis to determine its capacity to provide quality continuing education for the healthcare team in accord with the Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education® criteria.  We are pleased to announce the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is now jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and will be offering interprofessional continuing education for the healthcare team in the near future.


Ask Izzy

Dear Izzy, 

An adult patient wants to get a third dose MMR booster because they heard about measles in Alaska. Can I use state-supplied vaccine for this dose?



Dear MR,

No, state-supplied vaccine may not be used for a 3rd dose of MMR. There is NOT a recommendation in place for a 3rd dose booster of MMR. State-supplied MMR may be used for any adults who are not up to date. If you have more questions, please email or call 269-8088.



Dear Izzy,

Do you have anything to promote flu vaccine?



Dear DL,

This year the Immunization Program is offering flu vaccine stickers to give to people who have received their flu shots! Stickers will be available in early September. Email to request your stickers.