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Seriously Low Vaccination Rates Cause Experts to Call for Increased Immunization Before Influenza Season Peaks
Date:9/19/2007

Paradigm Shift Needed to Ensure Americans Seek Vaccination Now Through the Fall and Winter Months

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New data, released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show alarmingly low influenza vaccination rates in both adults and children. CDC joined the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and the nation's leading health organizations at a national news conference urging increased efforts for Americans to seek immunization against influenza throughout the fall and winter.

"We need to re-think the influenza immunization season and encourage vaccination throughout the fall and winter for anyone wishing to be protected," said Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, director, CDC. "More doses are expected this year than in previous seasons and there is ample time to be immunized."

Dr. Gerberding issued this urgent public health message with leaders from AARP, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association (AMA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), CDC and NFID, in partnership with the National Influenza Vaccine Summit, at a news conference this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Gerberding also released new CDC vaccination coverage rates for adults and children, which reinforced the need for ongoing efforts to improve influenza immunization throughout the entire season. During the 2005-2006 season, only one in five children aged 6-23 months were fully vaccinated and little more than one in ten children needing two doses received both doses. Influenza vaccine coverage varied substantially among states, but no state had more than 40 percent of children fully vaccinated.(1)

In addition, this CDC report, released during NFID's News Conference, indicates that influenza vaccination coverage in all states during the 2005-2006 influenza season was substantially below the national 60 percent target for persons
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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