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American College of Physicians Reminds you it's Time for Your Flu Vaccine

Adults should also ask their internist about other immunizations they may need

PHILADELPHIA, October 1, 2014-With the arrival of flu season all adults should get a flu shot and take the opportunity to speak with their physician about other immunizations they may need, the American College of Physicians (ACP) advises.

"Immunizations can prevent diseases in individuals, but they are also a vital piece of our public health infrastructure," said Dr. David Fleming, president, ACP. "Increasing the rates of immunizations can eradicate or substantially decrease the incidences of serious diseases, greatly reducing the threat these diseases present for the most vulnerable members of our population. "

Immunization rates remain low. The CDC estimates that only 41.5 percent of all adults received a flu vaccine during the 2013-2014 flu season.

While every adult should get a flu vaccination every year, they also should discuss the following immunizations with their doctor: Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough); the pneumococcal vaccine to protect against pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis; the HPV vaccine; Hepatitis B vaccine; and, Herpes zoster vaccine.

In addition to urging the public to get vaccinated, ACP also recommends that all health care providers be immunized against influenza, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, pertussis (whooping cough), and other diseases according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Adult Immunization Schedule, which ACP endorses. According to the most recent data the CDC found that flu vaccination among health care personnel was only 62.9 percent in 2013-2014, leaving close to half of our country's health care providers unprotected. ACP's policy exempts HCPs for medical reasons or a religious objection to immunization.

ACP also offers resources for physicians on immunizations.

The ACP Immunization Portal provides physicians with guidance how to incorporate immunizations in their day-to-day practice through practical advice, information about vaccines and their indications and information about vaccines in special populations.

ACP's Immunization Advisor is an app that brings the latest vaccine information to your mobile device. The app is based on the ACIP schedule and brings you the latest immunization news and updates from ACP.

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.

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 141,000 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.

Note: If you are looking for local or national expert commentary to inform stories on flu or other vaccine-preventable diseases, please contact Jackie Blaser at Jblaser@acponline.org or 202-261-4572. The American College of Physicians is comprised of 141,000 internal medicine physicians, giving us access to some of the nation's foremost experts in adult immunization.