AVAC Writes Letter to New Director of CDC Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald

AVAC wrote to Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald to congratulate her on her appointment as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). AVAC looks forward to continuing to work closely with the CDC on increasing access to and utilization of adult vaccinations.

Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329

Dear Director Fitzgerald,

As members of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC), we congratulate you on your recent appointment as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). We look forward to your leadership and to working with you to protect lives and to improve health, especially as it relates to raising awareness, improving access, and increasing utilization of vaccines among adults.

AVAC includes more than fifty organizational leaders in health and public health who are committed to addressing barriers to adult immunization. AVAC works toward common legislative and regulatory solutions to strengthen and enhance access to adult immunization. As you know from your experience working on the front lines, immunizations are one of the greatest achievements in public health. Yet, despite this tremendous impact, more than 50,000 adults die from vaccine preventable diseases and thousands more suffer serious health problems each year.

The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) maintains vaccine recommendations for adults based on age and health status, but vaccines remain consistently underutilized in the adult population. Adult vaccine coverage rates lag behind the Healthy People 2020 goals for the most commonly recommended vaccines [influenza, pneumococcal, Tdap, hepatitis B, herpes zoster, human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)]. Disparities are even greater among at-risk populations, including seniors and people with chronic illness.

AVAC and its members recognize that the CDC plays an essential role in our nation’s public health infrastructure, supporting state and territorial immunization programs; helping to strengthen Immunization Information Systems (IISs); monitoring vaccine safety; educating providers and ensuring quality patient interactions; and conducting surveillance, laboratory testing, and epidemiology in response to disease outbreaks. We look forward to the opportunity to work with your staff to advance the exemplary work already underway within the Agency and to implement new ideas that will help provide access to vaccines and increase immunization rates across the lifespan.

Lastly, we would like to commend the outstanding work of Dr. Anne Schuchat both historically and as Acting Director of the CDC. Her continued leadership as CDC’s principal deputy director will help the Agency fulfill the promise of vaccines for all Americans. We look forward to working with you toward solutions that will improve access and utilization of adult vaccines.

Alliance for Aging Research
American Pharmacists Association
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Every Child By Two
Families Fighting Flu
Immunization Action Coalition
Immunization Coalition of Washington, DC
March of Dimes
National Association of Chain Drug Stores
National Association of City and County Health Officials
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
Takeda Vaccines
Trust for America’s Health
Scientific Technologies Corporation