AVAC Supports the Introduction of the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act to Congress

AVAC commends Congresswomen Annie Kuster’s and Congressman Larry Bucshon’s leadership on the introduction of H.R. 1978, the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act, to the 117th Congress. This legislation is vital for preventing disease in older adults by reducing the financial barriers that are often associated with vaccines covered under Medicare Part D.


Dear Representatives Kuster and Bucshon,

As members of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC), we commend you for introducing the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act of 2021.

AVAC consists of more than sixty organizational leaders in health and public health who are committed to raising awareness of the importance of adult immunization with the ultimate goal of addressing barriers to adult immunization. A top priority for AVAC is to achieve increased adult immunization rates through improving education and awareness of recommended vaccines and addressing challenges to access.

Introduction of this legislation comes at a crucial time. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused adults to delay or avoid interactions with the health care system for preventative services. Despite the well-known benefits of immunization, adult coverage lagged behind federal targets for most commonly recommended vaccines even before the pandemic. Each year millions of adults suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases, causing them to miss work and leaving some unable to care for those who depend on them.

Often, Medicare beneficiaries do not realize that coverage for immunizations is divided between Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D. While vaccines under Medicare Part B are available to beneficiaries with no cost sharing or deductibles, beneficiaries face varied costsharing requirements under Medicare Part D plans. When Medicare beneficiaries encounter financial barriers in Medicare Part D, it discourages vaccine uptake and causes inequities in access to recommended vaccines. Due to the pandemic, too many Americans are feeling increasingly financially insecure and any cost barrier to the important preventative measure of recommended vaccines must be removed.

The Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act of 2021 will help inform more beneficiaries about Medicare coverage for vaccines while bringing parity between out-pocket costs between Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D.

Congress can send a clear message of support for prevention by advancing the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act. The future holds great promise for new immunizations, specifically for older adults, but the benefits of immunization cannot be realized if patients do not access the services. AVAC members are pleased to offer our support for this important legislation and stand ready to work with you toward equitable access and parity of coverage for all ACIP-recommended vaccines for the Medicare population.

Alliance for Aging Research
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN)
American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM)
American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA)
American Lung Association
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
American Public Health Association (APHA)
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Association of Immunization Managers (AIM)
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Families Fighting Flu
Hep B United
Hepatitis B Foundation
Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)
Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
Kimberly Coffey Foundation
National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP)
National Consumers League
National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP)
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR)
Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC)
The AIDS Institute
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
Trust for America’s Health
Vaccinate Your Family
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease