Specialty Societies Advancing Adult Immunization – A Cooperative Agreement with the CDC

Program Overview: A Cooperative Agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently awarded a cooperative agreement to the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), a coalition of 48 specialty societies representing more than 800,000 physicians across healthcare to improve vaccination among high-risk adults. This five-year cooperative agreement includes $33.6 million in funding in the first two years (with an estimated $55.5 million over five years) to support increased COVID-19, influenza, and routine vaccinations in high-risk adults with chronic medical conditions. As part of the request for proposal, CDC specifically requested engagement of specialty society partners that care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and chronic kidney disease, as well as older adults, and staff in occupational health settings.


The recent pandemic demonstrated the higher risk of mortality and severe morbidity for older patients and those with chronic medical conditions. Vaccine-preventable illnesses persist even though effective vaccines are available for COVID-19, influenza, pneumonia, and others. Though data on COVID-19 vaccination for adult patients with chronic illnesses are not available, CDC noted that approximately half of adult patients with chronic illnesses failed to receive influenza vaccination in 2019-2020. With increasing concerns about vaccine coverage and vaccine hesitancy, these data suggest significant opportunities for systematic improvement in vaccination for adult patients, especially for high-risk patients. Given known disparities in influenza vaccination among Black and Latino adults (1), coupled with the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on these communities, focused strategies are needed to address equity in adult vaccination. 

Since 2014, CDC’s Standards for Adult Immunization Practice (2) noted the critical role that all health professionals play in assessing, recommending, administering or referring for vaccination, and documenting vaccination. While vaccination is a core element of the review of clinical preventive services in primary care, specialists may not prioritize vaccination assessment and administration. The role of professional organizations is specifically mentioned in the CDC Standards for Adult Immunization Practice. Specialty societies that care for patients with chronic illness can provide more targeted continuing education and clinical guidance to ensure that specialty physicians play a greater role in immunization of these high-risk patients.


The purpose of this project is to ensure that all adults, especially high-risk adults with co-morbidities, receive up-to-date vaccinations for influenza, COVID-19, and all applicable vaccines. CMSS will serve as the lead organization for this project and serve as a catalyst to work with 45 member societies, seven collaborating subspecialty members, and partnering healthcare systems to incorporate the Standards for Immunization Practice into clinical care and drive adult immunization through education, dissemination and quality improvement initiatives.

During this project, CMSS will work collectively with a strong consortium of subspecialty partners, including American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE), American College of Cardiology (ACC), American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), American Geriatrics Society (AGS), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Society of Nephrology (ASN), and the American Thoracic Society (ATS), to implement targeted immunization and quality improvement strategies and activities which will support increased vaccination of high-risk patients.

To support this aim, these seven subspecialty partners will partner with healthcare systems to develop, promote, and implement quality improvement platforms to improve adult vaccination. CMSS and our subspecialty partners will develop and update vaccine policy statements to promote implementation of Standards of Adult Immunization Practice; promote continuing education, resources and strategies; train vaccine immunization champions to promote outreach and education with subspeciality providers; and convene national and regional meetings to share best practices and lessons learned with the CDC, our 45 member specialty societies, and the greater medical community.

CMSS and specialty society members are grateful to CDC for their leadership and support of adult vaccination and ensure high-risk adults have up-to-date vaccinations.

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/coverage/adultvaxview/pubs-resources/NHIS-2017.html 
(2) https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/adults/for-practice/standards/index.html  

Read the Press Release.

Data Management & Analytics RFP:

CMSS is seeking a Data Management & Analytics firm to support this project. The selected firm will support CMSS and its society partners in the data collection, reporting, analysis, and visualization of data from the 50-70 health systems1 and occupational health partners. In the October 2022 – September 2023 period, the health systems will focus on collecting immunization
data related to influenza and COVID-19. In the following years, the health systems will expand their focus to also include other recommended adult immunizations. Specialty societies were encouraged to select health systems with an established or planned relationship with a CDC’s Immunization Information System (IIS) to facilitate data collection and quality improvement efforts.
This data will be used for ongoing performance improvement and for progress reporting to CDC. The selected firm will assist CMSS with the following activities:

Activity 1. Data Collection and Reporting
Activity 2. Data Analytics
Activity 3. Data Visualization
Activity 4. Data Support

Review the CMSS Data Management & Analytics RFP

CMSS Data Management & Analytics FAQs – Updated Nov. 2, 2022

RFP Released: October 3, 2022

Proposals Due: November 7, 2022

Learning Management System RFP:

CMSS is seeking a firm to develop a robust Learning Management System (LMS) for use by CMSS, the seven specialty societies and 50-70 health systems partnering with CMSS in the implementation of the SSAAI project, and other CMSS member societies.  CMSS, the specialty societies, and the health systems will have different levels of access to the LMS for uploading and maintaining content with CMSS staff and consultants having the primary role. The LMS will house educational and quality materials in various formats to support specialty care clinicians and their professional societies to improve rates of adult immunization. Materials will include written products, webinars, surveys, exams, other interactive tools, and videos.

The LMS vendor will be responsible for the following activities:

Activity 1. Define Platform Requirements
Activity 2. Establish and Maintain Platform
Activity 3. Capture and Report User Feedback
Activity 4. Refine Platform Based on Feedback and Changes in Requirements

Review the Learning Management System RFP

CMSS Learning Management System FAQs

RFP Released: October 12, 2022

Proposals Due: November 18, 2022

Program Contacts

Sarah Imhoff, Senior Program Director, simhoff@cmss.org

Danielle Taylor, Project Administrator, dtaylor@cmss.org