Adult Vaccination Rates Too Low – Putting Our Nation’s Health and Pocketbook at Risk, Says New Coalition
Washington, D.C. — Every year, more than 50,000 adults die from vaccine preventable diseases and thousands more suffer serious health problems that could have been prevented by accessing recommended immunizations. In response, a diverse group of healthcare providers, vaccine makers, pharmacies, public health organizations, and patient and consumer groups today launched the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC) to change this.
“Vaccines protect us from a variety of common diseases that can be serious and even deadly.
Despite the consistently high immunization rates for children, adult vaccination rates remain unacceptably low,” said Laura Hanen, Co-Chair of AVAC and the Chief of Government Affairs for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). “The public health success story of the childhood vaccination program is the perfect example of what can be accomplished if we work together. We are proud to launch AVAC which brings together such a diverse and committed group of members to improve adult immunization rates.”
Adults seeking access to and coverage for vaccines encounter a confusing health care system that doesn’t provide enough information about recommended vaccines and presents many financial, technological, and logistical obstacles to navigate. The goal of AVAC is to foster an inclusive partnership of organizations to inform and engage federal policymakers in working towards common legislative and regulatory solutions that will strengthen and enhance access to and utilization of adult immunization services across the health care system. AVAC’s policy priorities include:
- Build – AVAC is committed to improving reporting of adult vaccinations to state immunization registries and encouraging greater utilization of health information technology to track adult vaccination status and improve patient outcomes and care.
- Measure – AVAC supports strengthening and the establishment of additional federal benchmarks and measures to encourage health plans to track, report, and achieve increased adult immunization rates.
- Access – Encourage initiatives aimed at boosting adult immunization rates among minority, vulnerable and at-risk populations.
“AVAC will tackle the range of barriers to adult immunization—from ensuring those who want to get vaccinated can to breaking down financial barriers,” said Phyllis Arthur, Co-Chair of AVAC and the Senior Director for Vaccines, Immunotherapeutics and Diagnostics Policy at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). “We are committed to preventing hospitalizations, reducing health care costs, but most importantly, saving and improving lives.”
Positive collaborations around the adult vaccine space are already happening. AVAC builds upon this work through consistent and sustained education and advocacy in Washington, DC.
“Adult Vaccines Save Lives” Briefing Details
On Wednesday, September 30th, 12pm – 1:30pm, AVAC along with Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Representative Kay Granger (R-TX-12) and Representative Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40) will host the “Adult Vaccines Saves Lives” briefing at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC 209-08. Attendees will hear from a panel of experts about why getting vaccinated is just as important to health as diet and exercise. To learn more about the event, please contact (firstname.lastname@example.org). RSVP at: tinyurl.com/AdultVaccinesSaveLives
The Adult Vaccine Access Coalition brings together leaders in health and public health to raise awareness and engage in advocacy on the importance of adult immunization. Our mission is informed by a growing body of scientific and empirical evidence of the benefits of immunization in saving money, improving health, and protecting lives against a variety of debilitating and potentially deadly conditions that are entirely preventable. The primary objective of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC) is to educate and engage policymakers in working toward common legislative and regulatory solutions that will strengthen and enhance access to and utilization of adult immunization across the health care system.
American Academy of Family Physicians, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Pharmacists Association, American Public Health Association, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Dynavax Technologies, GSK, Hep B United, Hepatitis B Foundation, Immunization Action Coalition, Infectious Diseases Society of America, League of United Latin American Citizens, March of Dimes, MedImmune, Merck, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Alliance for Caregiving, National Association of School Nurses, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Black Nurses Association, National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians, National Council of Urban Indian Health, National Council of Urban Indian Health, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Indian Health Board, National Minority Quality Forum, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Novovax, Pfizer, PhRMA, Sanofi Pasteur, Scientific Technologies Corporation, Takeda