Got Your Shots? News - August

Minnesota Department of Health

Got Your Shots? News

View this as a webpage

August 31, 2023

In This Edition

Back to school and helping to get kids back on track

Encourage families to schedule a well-child visit today! Well-child Visits are important for tracking a child’s growth and developmental milestones, discussing concerns about the child’s health and mental health and getting recommended immunizations to prevent illnesses.

As the new school year begins, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is encouraging providers to identify and schedule patients that are due or overdue for recommended vaccines. School immunization rates have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, leaving more students at risk for a vaccine preventable disease. For a safer and healthier school year, make sure children are up to date on all recommended vaccines. Immunization coverage rates vary by county, school district, and school. Check if there are coverage gaps in your local school district and school at Kindergarten MMR Immunizations Map.

Use MIIC’s assessment reports and client follow-up functions to identify children who are behind. These functions are available to all . Users can track childhood immunization rates for the provider’s population, generate a list of due and overdue patients to send reminders, and manage which patients are associated with their clinics. Visit MIIC User Guidance and Training Resources for more information on how to run assessment report and client follow up. MIIC can also send text message immunization reminders as a free service for Minnesota organizations. All health care providers, local public health, schools, and child care providers can use this program to send immunization reminders to their clients. Email us if you would like to participate or want more information.

Charmaine Branchaud named Minnesota Immunization Champion

MDH is proud to announce Charmaine Branchaud, public health nurse of Red Lake School District as the 2023 Minnesota Immunization Champion. Charmaine has done amazing work in the past year to increase immunization rates for the Red Lake School District, especially for students from kindergarten through second grade. Learn more about her impactful work at School nurse from Red Lake School District named Minnesota Immunization Champion. Congratulations to Charmaine!

Flu vaccination recommendations are published

The 2023-24 influenza vaccination recommendations are available at MMWR: Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Here are the highlights of changes for the coming season:

  • The A(H1N1) strain is updated in this year’s formulation; the egg-based vaccines contain the A(H1N1) Victoria strain, and cell-based or recombinant vaccines contain the A(H1N1) Wisconsin strain.
  • Any flu vaccine appropriate for age and health status continues to be recommended for people with egg-allergy. As with any vaccine, vaccinators should be trained and equipped to handles anaphylaxis emergencies for any component of the flu vaccine.

ACIP continues to recommend seasonal influenza vaccine for all persons age 6 months and older who do not have contraindications. A preference of high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine (HD-IIV4), recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4), or adjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccine (aIIV4) is recommended for people 65 years and older. If none of these products are available, any other age-appropriate influenza vaccine should be used.

Updated MDH resources (e.g., Minnesota Fall Flu Guide, templates for vaccine protocols and screening forms, etc.) will be posted at Influenza Vaccine Information for Health Professionals. Sign-up for Influenza Information for Health Professionals to receive an email when these tools are available. Don’t forget to use the current Influenza Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) dated 08/06/2021.

MIIC text message-based reminders: Effectiveness Study overview

During calendar year 2023, MIIC is implementing a statewide text message-based immunization reminder effectiveness study, comparing vaccine uptake in kids who were randomized to text, mail, or control group. The messages are being sent to families of children ages 24 to 35 months (as of 1/1/23) overdue for DTaP, MMR, Varicella, Polio, Hep B, Pneumococcal, or Hib vaccine; and 13 years of age (as of 1/1/23), overdue for HPV, Tdap, or MenACWY. MIIC has finished sending out the mailings and texts for round two of the study. We are now moving into the third and final round of the study, which will go out in mid-November. Please email the MIIC help desk at with any questions.

Participant request: Outpatient influenza-like surveillance for the 2023-2024 season

The MDH vaccine preventable disease unit is recruiting outpatient health care providers to support statewide surveillance programs. Participating contributes to understanding influenza-like illness (ILI) in Minnesota (MN) as well as nationally.

  • Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Sentinel Surveillance (ILINet): A national syndromic surveillance system through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collecting ILI data from U.S. states and territories. ILINet monitors weekly percentage of outpatient visits due to ILI by collecting aggregate numbers of patients presenting with ILI symptoms and total number of patients presenting overall.
  • Minnesota Influenza Incidence Surveillance Program (MIISP): Partner sites compliment ILINet through weekly specimen submissions from patients with respiratory illness. MIISP identifies which pathogens may be linked to illness. Specimens are sent to MDH Public Health Lab (PHL) to test for Influenza A, B, SARS-CoV-2, RSV, and other pathogens.

These programs monitor trends for respiratory diseases in Minnesota, inform trends nationwide, and address influenza surveillance gaps. Up-to-date examples of how we use the data are on pages 2-4 of the activity report posted each week at Weekly Influenza and Respiratory Activity: Statistics.

Participants receive wellness kits for patients, free attendance to the MN Emerging Infections Conference, free testing through MDH PHL for diagnostic Influenza and COVID-19 results, and curated data reports from MDH epidemiologists.

Interested? Please contact Kelsey Seiler at

Nirsevimab – a new product against RSV in infants

This summer a long-acting monoclonal antibody product became available to protect infants against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This product is not a vaccine but does provide antibodies against the RSV virus. RSV infections are one of most common causes of respiratory illnesses in young infants and a leading cause of hospitalizations.

While vaccines stimulate the body to make antibodies against disease, monoclonal antibody products contain the actual antibody so that protection is immediate. This passive immunity disappears over time. Fortunately, Nirsevimab protection usually lasts through an RSV season – enough to keep young infants from getting so sick they end up in the hospital.

Here are some quick facts that are helpful to know:

  • This product will be covered under the Minnesota Vaccine for Children (MnVFC) program.
  • Nirsevimab is recommended for all infants younger than 8 months that are born during or before the RSV season.
  • A dose of Nirsevimab is also recommended for certain children ages 8 through 19 months entering their second RSV season. Children that might be recommended to receive a different short-acting monoclonal antibody, Palivizumab, would be included in this group. They should get a dose in their second RSV season. Additionally, American Indian/Alaska Native children should be given this second season dose.
  • It is given as one intramuscular (IM) dose.
  • It can be given with other routinely recommended infant immunizations.
  • Nirsevimab is contraindicated in persons with a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or to a product component.
  • The most common non-serious reactions found in the clinical trials included injection site reactions (seen within 7 days of administration) and a rash (seen within 14 days of administration).
  • Nirsevimab should be available this fall – watch for announcements from the MnVFC program regarding when providers can start ordering.
  • For more details visit the Use of Nirsevimab for the Prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Disease Among Infants and Young Children: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
  • Administration data for Nirsevimab will be able to be recorded in MIIC. More details will be available soon.

Find previous newsletters at Got Your Shots? News.