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American College of Physicians Reminds Adults to Discuss Vaccinations They May Need With Their Internist
ACP recognizes National Immunization Awareness Month
Philadelphia, July 30, 2018 -- To emphasize the importance of getting immunized and to remind adults that vaccines are not just for children, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recognizes August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
“Vaccinations are safe and effective,” said ACP President Dr. Ana María López. “Recommended immunizations protect against health problems, hospitalization, or even death. They also help prevent the spread of disease, especially among those who are most vulnerable to serious complications, such as the elderly and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.”
ACP advises adults to get an annual influenza vaccine to protect against seasonal flu and to use that opportunity to make sure that they are up-to-date on the latest recommended immunizations. These include Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough); pneumococcal to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis; HPV to prevent cervical, anal, and other cancers; hepatitis B; and herpes zoster to help prevent shingles. Each of these vaccines should be administered according to guidelines for dosing and schedules.
The latest adult immunization schedule and recommendations approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) are published in Annals of Internal Medicine. ACP and other professional organizations reviewed and approved the schedule. In June 2018, ACIP reaffirmed its recommendation to include live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV; FluMist) in its guidance for the 2018-19 flu season. ACIP’s recommendation must be reviewed and approved by the CDC director. The final recommendation will be published in an upcoming Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
ACP offers the following resources to help increase immunization rates:
- Aging and Immunity: The Important Role of Vaccines, highlighting the biological impact of aging on immunity.
- Hepatitis B Vaccination, Screening, and Linkage to Care: Best Practice Advice from ACP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
- Immunization patient-education materials.
- ACP's I Raise the Rates initiative to increase adult immunization rates in primary care. The initiative includes Coach Calls, webinars, and videos that cover the latest vaccine recommendations for adults and how to utilize the entire health care team in organizing immunization services. An extension of I Raise the Rates is a partnership of ACP, the National Minority Quality Forum, and QHC Advisory Group to increase adult immunization rates among underserved populations.
- Examples of quality improvement projects in adult immunization.
- The ACP Practice Advisor Adult Immunization Module is part of a practice management tool designed to improve office efficiency and enhance patient care. The immunization module focuses on steps that staff in primary care offices can take to improve the rates of immunization.
- ACP Adult Immunization & Quality Improvement for Residents training program about the science of adult immunizations and evidence-based strategies for increasing vaccination rates.
ACP is a member of the National Adult and Influenza Summit.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.