DANE COUNTY IMMUNIZATION COALITION URGES ADULTS TO BE VACCINATED

February 22, 2013

Coalition praises Governor's declaration of Adult Immunization Awareness Week in Wisconsin

The Dane County Immunization Coalition - representatives from public and private health care providers, public health, health insurance plans, service organizations, schools, vaccine companies and others - today praised Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for declaring February 17 through 23 Adult Immunization Awareness Week in the state of Wisconsin.

According to the Governor's proclamation, in just the past few weeks, "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated many adults in the U.S. are not getting the 11 different vaccines recommended that can prevent 14 different diseases including tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, pneumococcal pneumonia, influenza, meningitis, and others."

Currently, Wisconsin has documented more than 4,200 cases of influenza, doubling those of last flu season. Nationwide, 4,000 people died from vaccine preventable pneumonia in 2011, a year when fewer than 20 percent of high-risk adults were immunized against the disease.

"While childhood immunization is extremely important in preventing disease, we agree with the Governor and the CDC that adult immunizations are equally important in protecting families and communities," said Diane McHugh, Immunization Coordinator for Public Health-Madison and Dane County and coordinator of the Dane County Immunization Coalition. "Immunizing one person also protects the people around them. Adults often don't realize they still need immunizations. Outbreaks during this flu season and whooping cough last year remind us we still have work to do in helping raise vaccination rates to protect our adults and children. Hispanic and African American communities, along with the elderly also have lower vaccination rates than others. Vaccination is also important to help protect diabetics against Hepatitis B, those who smoke against contracting pneumonia, and to prevent cervical and other cancers from HPV (human papilloma virus). While levels of protection can vary, overall, immunizations remain the best protection against these diseases. All adults should check with their doctors or local health departments to make sure they have received all the recommended immunizations. Clinics and programs are also in place to help assist those with no insurance or who are underinsured. We continue to promote the need for additional investment in immunization programs that help protect all communities in Wisconsin."

For more information on vaccination programs in Dane County, visit http://www.publichealthmdc.com/disease/immunizations/
For more information from CDC on adult immunizations, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/AdultImmunizations/

In December, the Dane County Immunization Coalition launched a new immunization awareness campaign focused on "Community Immunity," promoting community health through vaccination including adults, infants and children. The campaign includes familiar community leaders who are featured on the sides of area buses or in posters. Materials are available at: http://www.publichealthmdc.com/DCIC/media/

The goal of the coalition is to ensure that all residents of Dane County are appropriately immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. For more information please visit the coalition website at www.immunizedanecounty.org.

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Distributed by Public Health-Madison & Dane County on behalf of the Dane County Immunization Coalition

Contact:
  • Diane McHugh, DCIC Coordinator, (608) 235-4072
  • Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302