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ACP Applauds Senate Efforts to Shore Up Adult Vaccine Supply

Worlds Largest Internal Medicine Organization Supports Effort To Expand Adult Vaccines

(Washington, DC): The American College of Physicians (ACP) applauds the introduction of the "The Improved Vaccine Affordability and Availability Act" (S.754) as a necessary step to protect the lives of America's high-risk individuals, and increase overall adolescent and adult immunization rates.

"Removing the financial barriers that currently limit the number of vaccines given in this country is an important step for our nation's health and security," said Munsey S. Wheby, MD, FACP, president of the ACP. "This bill will strengthen public health efforts to curtail deadly, communicable illnesses such as influenza."

The bill includes measures to increase the distribution of a number of vaccines. It also improves and clarifies the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which provides for the payment of compensation for individuals with injuries resulting from the administration of vaccines. "Doctors of internal medicine have long been aware that improving adult immunizations for influenza will alleviate needless suffering and death among high-risk individuals," said Dr. Wheby. "ACP is glad that this legislation addresses the need to improve the state and local infrastructure for influenza immunizations."

Given the historically disproportionate levels of funding for adolescent and adult immunization programs, ACP is particularly pleased that S. 754 provides additional funding in these areas, without disrupting the funds needed to continue successful childhood immunization programs.

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults.

Page updated: 11-03-03

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