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 getting recommended immunizations(www.cdc.gov). In response, the American Academy of Family Physicians has joined a diverse group of health care providers, vaccine makers, pharmacies, public health organizations, and patient and consumer groups to support the launch of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC).
“We have the ability to stop vaccine preventable diseases, but none of us can do it alone,” said Wanda Filer, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “As a coalition, we can significantly increase adult vaccination rates. Together, we will prevent needless suffering and save lives.”
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. The goal of AVAC is to foster an inclusive partnership of organizations to inform and engage federal policymakers in working toward common legislative and regulatory solutions that will strengthen and enhance access to and utilization of adult immunization services across the health care system.
The 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.