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CMA Foundation Launches Adult Vaccination Campaign

The California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation today announced the launch of its “Community Immunity” Adult Vaccine Schedule, an educational resource for California physicians and their patients on adult immunization needs. The CMA Foundation guide provides adults with detailed information on vaccine-preventable diseases, their symptoms, and long-term risks, and makes vaccine recommendations for adults based on age, dosage, and vaccine type.

“Recent outbreaks of measles and pertussis (whooping cough) in California are critical reminders of the ongoing threat of vaccine-preventable illness and the importance of immunizations,” said David Holley, MD, CMA Foundation Chair. “However the threat of these diseases is not limited to our children – adults are also susceptible to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease and are critical to achieving the community-wide immunity necessary to stop the spread of these diseases.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), overall adult vaccine coverage remains low for many routinely recommended vaccines. Although the tetanus vaccine and ten-year booster can help prevent the spread of a deadly bacterial toxin, CDC recently reported that only 62.9 percent of adults aged 19-49 had received the vaccine in the ten-year period before 2013. CDC also reported that just 24.2 percent of people over the age of 60 reported having received the herpes zoster vaccine, which helps prevent shingles in people over the age of 50 who have had the chicken pox. Similarly, reported pneumococcal vaccination coverage among high risk adults aged 19–64 was only 21.2 percent overall.

“Unvaccinated adults, as well as adults whose immunity from childhood illness may be waning, not only expose themselves to the threat of vaccine-preventable diseases, but endanger vulnerable populations including infants, the elderly, and pregnant women, who are increasingly vulnerable to serious illness,” added Dr. Holley.

The CMA Foundation will distribute its Adult Vaccine Schedule electronically to thousands of physicians, patient advocates, and annual physician summit attendees in an effort to help physicians educate their patients about the importance of vaccinating into adulthood. The CMA Foundation adapted its recommendations from those approved by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American College of Nurse Midwives.

“Vaccinations are one of the most significant public health achievements in the U.S. over the last half-century,” said Lisa Folberg, MPP, President and CEO of the CMA Foundation. “They continue to be among the safest, most cost-effective, and successful tools in preventing the spread of infectious disease in California and around the world. We encourage adults to visit their doctor or health care provider to get their shots, update their vaccine records, and discuss any potential risk factors.”

For more information about the importance of adult vaccinations or the CMA Foundation “Community Immunity” Adult Immunization Schedule, visit www.thecmafoundation.org, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or search for the hashtag #CommunityImmunity.

About California Medical Association Foundation (CMA Foundation)

For more than 50 years, the California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation has sought to improve individual and community health by providing a vital link between physicians and their communities. Originally established as the charitable arm of CMA, the Foundation eventually grew into one of California’s leading advocates for community health. By launching groundbreaking efforts, such as tobacco education in the mid-1990s, and partnering with health professionals such as pharmacists, nurses and medical assistants, the CMA Foundation has cemented itself as a leader in improving the health of California’s residents.



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