Explore Strategies to Increase Vaccine Adoption at ATS 2024 San Diego

ATS is one of seven specialty societies to be awarded a grant from the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) and CDC to increase COVID-19, influenza, and routine vaccination rates among high-risk adult patients nationally. In support of this initiative, the ATS 2024 International Conference will feature multiple opportunities to discuss strategies to increase vaccine adoption.

James Beck, MD, ATSF
James Beck, MD, ATSF

On Monday, May 20, “Cutting edge vaccine development for the pulmonary sub-specialty community: vaccine immunology, research, development, and practice solutions*” was hosted in the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Grand Ballroom 11-13 (Lobby Level, North Tower) from 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. This session outlined the challenges associated with vaccine adoption, highlighted strategies for improving global vaccination rates to combat numerous respiratory illnesses, and emphasized vaccines’ positive impact on respiratory health. Multiple perspectives were represented, including infectious diseases, behavioral science, community engagement, health disparities, and public health policy.

Session presentations included:

  • Vaccines to Address the Growing Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance, Jay K. Kolls, MD, Tulane School of Medicine
  • The Future of mRNA Vaccines for Infectious Diseases and Cancer Immunotherapy, Janet E. Mccombs, PhD, Tulane University
  • Toward a Universal Flu Vaccine, Justin R. Ortiz, MD, MS, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • The Future of Pediatric RSV Vaccination is Now, Lael Yonker, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital

*This session and the International Conference are supported by an independent medical educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc. All CME sessions have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Criteria of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) and are free of the control of ineligible companies (formerly commercial interests).

On Tuesday, May 21, a Learning Studio Talk, “Vaccines 2024: How clinicians can increase vaccine acceptance,” will be held in the ATS Networking Super Center from 10 – 11 a.m. This panel discussion will build on a successful vaccine information session presented at ATS 2023 in Washington, DC, to share tools and strategies with providers aspiring to increase vaccine acceptance in their practices or health systems.

The panel will be moderated by James Beck, MD, ATSF, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and former ATS President. He will be joined by Kimberly Fisher, MD, MSc, associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School; George Su, MD, professor at the University of California, San Francisco; Laura C. Feemster, MD, MSc, associate professor at the University of Washington; and Vinay Gupta, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington.

“One of the things I’m enthusiastic about for this session is we’re looking at this issue [of vaccine acceptance] through a multifaceted lens – everything from strategies for individual sites or institutions to more global approaches through the media,” Dr. Beck said. “I want the audience to come away with some ideas and tips they can adopt in their own practices to increase vaccine acceptance among their patients.”

Dr. Fisher will review current knowledge of vaccine acceptance and hesitancy based on her work and that of others. Dr. Su will explain his experience in the ATS Vaccine Initiative and present the results of interventions to change vaccine hesitance to acceptance in large, multi-cultural health systems. Dr. Feemster will provide practical tips for increasing vaccine acceptance based on her research focusing on implementation science. Dr. Gupta will discuss how media can be enlisted to increase vaccine acceptance based on his experience as a medical expert for NBC News and MSNBC.

The ATS Center will also host vaccine-themed programming on Tuesday from 1:30 – 2:10 p.m., with an “Ask Me Anything” session led by Isaretta L. Riley, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Duke University, and Dona J. Upson, MD, MA, ATSF, professor of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico. Drs. Riley and Upson will be joined by three representatives from institutions participating in the ATS Vaccine Initiative, working to increase vaccine uptake among patients. Rob Stansbury, M.D.[1] , ATSF, FAASM, assistant professor at West Virginia University; Carmen Polito, MD, MSc, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University; and Karen Miller, MD, adult director at St. Luke’s, will provide an update on the program and share some lessons learned so far. The session will have a more improvisatory structure with opportunities for audience questions throughout.

The ATS Vaccine Initiative will also have a display booth in the ATS Center for those interested in learning more about this effort and program updates before conclusive results are shared at ATS 2025.

Don’t Miss ATS 2024 Highlights: On Demand

Don’t forget that ATS 2024 Highlights: On Demand are available to all conference registrants! On Demand will give you access to the Opening Ceremony, Plenary Session, Keynote Series, Clinical Year in Review, Adult Clinical Core Curriculum, and so much more. The topics will cover ILD, asthma, health equity, and CF, to name just a few. On Demand content will be accessible to all ATS 2024 full conference and On Demand registrants until March 2025.