The CDC has awarded a $1,002,884 Cooperative Agreement to the ACP that will focus on increasing vaccination rates in adults, according to a press release.
“Appropriate immunization of adults is a core component of preventive health care, leading to improved public health, fewer deaths, less suffering and lower health care costs. This award will help ACP’s internal medicine physician members and their practice teams to protect their patients from serious, painful and life-threatening diseases such as influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, whooping cough, measles, and others,” Wayne J. Riley, MD, MACP, ACP President, said in the release.
Wayne J. Riley
The 4-year funding will expand on the ACP’s seven-state evidence based pilot program that was CDC funded between 2013 and 2015. The pilot program, which included partnerships with ACP chapters in Arizona, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico and New York, assisted 381 physicians in applying strategies to increase overall immunization rates in adults. The pilot program resulted in increases in herpes zoster immunization by 14.3%, high risk pneumococcal immunization by 23.5%, influenza immunization by 18.3% and Tdap immunization by 14.7%.
The initiate will aim to reach the federal government’s 2020 immunization goals, which includes reaching an 80% to 90% rate of seasonal influenza vaccination among adults. According to the release, the current rate is only 42%.
“Many adults are unaware of the benefits of vaccines, the need for booster doses, and the availability of newer vaccines. Every year in the United States, hundreds of thousands of adults get sick, miss work, or die because of vaccine-preventable diseases or their complications. That’s why ACP supports eliminating existing exemptions, except for medical reasons, from immunization laws. Allowing exemptions based on non-medical reasons poses a risk both to the unvaccinated person and to public health,” Riley said in the release.