The EXCITE Newsletter: January 20th, 2022

CDC Request Check-in: Are your Priority Populations and Collaborators Up to Date?

Due to a recent request from CDC, we ask that you review and update information on your project’s collaborators and priority population(s) as needed. The CDC is particularly interested in collaboration between EXCITE projects and the local or state health department. If you are interested in seeing your project’s current listing of partners and priority population(s), please visit the EXCITE interactive map and click on your state and project.

If changes to your project’s collaborators and/or priority population(s) are needed, please update those details when you complete this month’s Activity 1 report and/or the Activity 2 quarterly report in February. Please contact program team member Laura Downey at if you have any questions.

Kudos from the CDC for EXCITE

In a letter to EXCITE partners recently, Dr. Samuel F. Posner, Acting Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, praised our efforts. I thought this excerpt was particularly uplifting to our teams:

“Tailored messaging in rural areas works. As of today, over 76% of people in the United States have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. In rural areas, 71.4% of people ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine – with the percentage of those reporting that they definitely will get vaccinated on the incline. Thank you to those who helped realize these achievements by getting vaccinated and helping others do the same.”

To read the whole letter, see it here. Great work teams!

Updated CDC Resources – Tough Questions, Masks, and Plasma Protection Studies

Below is a compilation of updated COVID-19 resources to help with your communication activities during the pandemic.

  • Following the recent updated CDC recommendations on boosters, the Public Health Communications Collaborative updated their Answers to Tough Questions and booster dose toolkit with messaging guidance and shareable graphics about the latest CDC recommendations on COVID-19 booster doses.
  • Along with getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose in indoor public settings or crowds (whether indoors or outside) is crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19. With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, experts are recommending that consumers upgrade their mask to a high filtration respirator if they want optimal protection.  The Public Health Communications Collaborative has created a new resource and sample social media posts: What Mask Should I Wear? The resource is available in English and Spanish.
  • In the early stages of the pandemic, clinicians started treating COVID-19 patients with the plasma of people who had already recovered from COVID-19 with the hopes that protective antibodies in the plasma would help prevent serious illness and death. Nearly two years later, the data is in, but the topic is still being debated. In a Q&A, adapted from the January 12 episode of Public Health On CallArturo Casadevall talks with Josh Sharfstein about the results of the COVID-19 Plasma Project and his take on divergent recommendations about using plasma as a therapy.

NACCHO Conference opportunity – Abstracts Due Jan. 28th

As we sent in an earlier separate email, those EXCITE projects working with local  health departments can submit abstracts on their work to the National Association of City and County Health Officials’ upcoming 360 conference in Atlanta in July. Several tracks of the conference could apply to EXCITE work.
See details and submit here: