The Comprehensive Vaccine Education Program—From Training to Practice is a combined educational offering to help combat vaccine misinformation and address vaccine hesitancy in two ways.

  • Enhancing vaccine knowledge and confidence in having discussions with patients and parents through a web-based educational curriculum (CoVER)
  • Enhancing access for medical providers to reliable, up-to-date and accurate vaccine information through The Vaccine Handbook App (TVH App)

The Collaboration for Vaccine Education and Research (CoVER) was established in order to enhance vaccine education that will increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge and competency for communicating with patients and patients’ families about vaccination. The CoVER curriculum will consist of four online modules (Vaccine Fundamentals, Vaccine Safety, Vaccine Preventable Diseases, and Vaccine Communication).

The Vaccine Education from Training to Practice program is sponsored by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Foundation through unrestricted educational grants from Sanofi Pasteur US, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Seqirus USA, Inc., and Valneva USA, Inc.

CoVER Modules

Vaccine Fundamentals

The Vaccine Fundamentals module topics include types of vaccines (e.g., live vs. inactive), vaccine components (e.g., antigens, adjuvants), and the current vaccine schedules.

Length: 30min-1hr

Key takeaways:

  1. The adaptive immune system learns by being exposed to antigens, e.g., naturally by an infection or through immunization.
  2. Vaccines stimulate B and T cells (adaptive immunity) to produce long-lasting immunity.
  3. By using an adjuvant in a vaccine, you can use less of the antigen, or give fewer vaccine doses, to achieve the same effect.
  4. Thimerosal is typically found in multi-dose vials of a vaccine in order to prevent contamination by bacteria growth.
  5. Vaccines contain 0.37% of the amount of formaldehyde found in cauliflower.
  6. Shared clinical decision-making (new in 2020) recommendations are individually based and informed by a decision process between the health care provider and the patient or parent/guardian.

Vaccine Safety

The Vaccine Safety module gives a brief introduction to vaccine safety in the U.S. This module should increase your confidence in vaccine recommendations in order to accurately answer questions from patients and families.

Length: 30min-1hr

Key takeaways:

  1. Vaccines are thoroughly and comprehensively tested for safety.
  2. There are several common concerns about vaccines that can be addressed.

Vaccine Preventable Diseases

The Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) module focuses on the clinical manifestations of VPDs and will introduce you to the concepts of vaccine efficacy and vaccine effectiveness. This module uses clinical vignettes to enhance your understanding of select VPDs.

Length: 30 min-1hr

Key takeaways:

  1. Vaccines are available to prevent 26 different diseases, many of which have multiple serotypes or groups, and present in many guises.
  2. Vaccination has eliminated worldwide occurrence of 3 VPDs: smallpox, polio type 2, and polio type 3.
  3. In 2016 only 60% of children and 10% of U.S. adults were vaccinated against HAV.
  4. Hepatitis B infection can be asymptomatic in both the acute and chronic phases.
  5. Measles is a highly contagious virus, infecting 90% of susceptible contacts, and can live 2 hours or longer in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. 
  6. Human papillomavirus is the most common STI. Nearly 80% of sexually active people get the virus at some point in their lives. 

Vaccine Communication

The Vaccine Communication module provides communication methods and tips for communicating about vaccines in ways that lead to more effective conversations with patients and parents.  This module emphasizes methods for developing a skills and knowledge repertoire essential for dealing with preventing and addressing vaccine hesitancy.

Length: 30 min-1hr

Key takeaways:

  1. Herd immunity does not apply to VPDs spread by routes other than person-to-person contact, for example, tetanus, which is spread by spores in soil.
  2. Approximately 94% of the community must be immune to measles (by way of immunization or natural disease) in order to achieve herd immunity. 
  3. A person with influenza is likely to infect 2 to 3 other people, but a person with measles can infect 12 to 18 other people.
  4. Healthcare providers should always start with the presumptive approach when speaking with patients and families and be firm in their recommendations.
  5. Patients and families depend on their health care providers to provide a strong, open, and direct recommendation.
  6. Practicing difficult vaccine conversations will help in discussing vaccine concerns with patients and families.


The HPV module reviews key facts about diseases caused by HPV and how use of the HPV vaccine can prevent infection. It also reviews current HPV vaccine recommendations in the U.S.

Length: 20-30 minutes

Key Takeaways:

  1. In the U.S., 8 out of 10 women and 9 out of 10 men will be infected with genital HPV at some time in their lives.
  2. During 2012-2016 in the U.S., 34,800 cancers reported annually were attributable to HPV. Of these, 32,100 (92%) cancers were attributable to HPV types targeted by the 9-valent HPV vaccine.
  3. HPV is thought to cause 70% of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States (not all of these are vaccine-type HPV). 
  4. About 37% of cervical cancers occur in women between the ages of 20 and 44 years, i.e., child-bearing years.
  5. Available evidence indicates protection for at least 12 years with a complete HPV vaccine series.
  6. A 2-dose HPV vaccine schedule is recommended for people who get the 1st dose before their 15th birthday. A 3-dose HPV vaccine schedule is recommended for people who get the 1st does on or after their 15th birthday, and for people with an immunocompromised status.


The Influenza module covers the basics about influenza and influenza vaccines. It will help learners understand CDC’s influenza vaccine recommendations and answer frequently asked questions.  

Length: 20-30 minutes

Key Takeaways:

  1. Because influenza virus constantly adapts through mutations, it is difficult for us to develop vaccines and therapeutic agents that remain effective over time.
  2. Two primary influenza types cause human disease: Type A and Type B.
  3. Type A influenza viruses are the cause of most influenza-related fatalities. Type B infection is often more severe in children and young adults.
  4. In the 2017-2018 influenza season, there was an estimated 61,000 influenza-related deaths.
  5. Influenza is extremely common and comes in waves every year (except 2020-2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic).
  6. Everyone 6 months of age or older should be vaccinated because everyone can suffer from influenza.

COVID-19 Vaccines

The COVID-19 Vaccines module will review the basics of the SARS-COV-2 virus, COVID-19 vaccines, and the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization and the latest ACIP recommendations. The module also provides key resources regarding COVID-19 disease trackers, vaccine availability resources, and vaccine monitoring and reminders.

Length: 20-30 minutes

Key Takeaways:

  1. An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short time. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic.
  2. The basic reproduction number, or R0, of a disease is affected by many factors and can be a complex number to arrive at. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is thought to have an R0 of anywhere between 1.6 and 7.
  3. As of June 2021, there are three COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization in the United States.
  4. The target of COVID-19 vaccines is the spike protein, found on the outer shell of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  5. There are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines: Nucleic Acid/mRNA, Protein Subunit, and Viral Vector.
  6. COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are ongoing to obtain enough safety and effectiveness data to ultimately apply for full approval (licensure).

Bacterial Meningitis

The Bacterial Meningitis module focuses on the clinical presentation of meningitis and emphasizes the three bacterial agents for which a vaccine is available. It will also review the current recommendations for the available meningitis vaccines.

Length: 20-30 minutes

Key Takeaways:

  1. Worldwide and in the U.S., bacterial meningitis is a major cause of acute illness, chronic morbidity (including hearing loss, limb loss, and intellectual damage), and mortality.
  2. Bacterial meningitis occurs both sporadically and in outbreaks, but vaccination has dramatically reduced the incidence.
  3. In the U.S., in the pre-vaccine era, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) accounted for ~50-65% of meningitis cases.
  4. 1 in 5 meningococcal disease survivors will have long-term disability such as deafness, neuro-cognitive deficits, and/or loss of limbs.
  5. The mortality rate from any meningococcal disease, even with appropriate antibiotic treatment is 10-15 in every 100 cases.

There are two vaccines to prevent Streptococcus pneumoniae (which may lead to pneumococcal meningitis): PCV13 and PPSV23.

Travel Vaccines

The Travel Vaccines module will introduce travel vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases that are relevant for people leaving the U.S. It will review travel vaccine recommendations, as well as suggest other key considerations when discussing international travel with your patients.

Length: 30-45 minutes

Key Takeaways:

  1. The number of U.S. citizens traveling out of the United States in 2019 amounted to approximately 44.81 million. 
  2. Only 1 out of every 200 people with Japanese encephalitis virus develop symptomatic disease, however for the <1% of symptomatic disease, the fatality rate is 20-30%.
  3. Worldwide, 99% of rabies cases are dog-mediated; in the US, 70% of Americans who die from rabies were infected by bats.
  4. A person can only spread Ebola to other people after they develop signs and symptoms.
  5. Routine vaccination for travel remains important; nearly 30% of measles outbreaks in the US are associated with young travelers.
  6. Malaria and dengue fever do not yet have associated vaccines to protect against disease, but travelers should be aware of ways in which to prevent it.

CoVER Modules Registration

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The Vaccine Handbook App

In addition to the CoVER curriculum, the Vaccine Education from Training to Practice Program also includes the newest edition of The Vaccine Handbook App. This mobile App contains the full content of The Vaccine Handbook: A Practical Guide for Clinicians (also known as “The Purple Book”).

The Vaccine Handbook App: The App may be found by searching the App Store for “The Vaccine Handbook App” or clicking on the following link:

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