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June 2011
Policy and Advocacy
IDSA Addresses Adult Vaccination
IDSA continues to be a strong advocate on vaccination issues, particularly policies to improve adult immunization rates, such as by adding adult vaccines to immunization registries. In related news:
  • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) this month recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated against pertussis in the late second or third trimester rather than immediately after delivery to better protect newborns against pertussis. The new recommendation complements guidance that adults and teens who have close contact with infants also be vaccinated (see related article from MedPage Today).
  • IDSA recently noted its strong support for collaboration across the federal government to improve adult vaccination rates, in response to a draft report from the National Vaccine Advisory Council. IDSA’s full comments are available online (PDF). Notably, the barriers, conclusions, and recommendations identified in the report closely align with those IDSA identified in its own 2007 policy principles document—a sign of progress on this important issue.  
  • IDSA also recently responded to a draft white paper from NVAC evaluating the federal vaccine safety system. The Society supported the evaluation of the system, but also provided suggestions to strengthen the recommendations. The full comments are available online (PDF).
  • The Society commended the Joint Commission in May for proposing to expand the types of facilities required to have influenza vaccination programs for health care workers (HCWs), and further strengthen existing standards around influenza vaccination. In its comments (PDF), IDSA also supported the inclusion of licensed independent practitioners, a group of providers not always captured in influenza vaccination policies.

IDSA urged the commission to strengthen the measures even further by requiring facilities to have a mandatory influenza HCW vaccination policy as a core patient safety practice, establishing an ultimate goal of a 100 percent influenza vaccination rate for all eligible health care providers. IDSA also recommended that a facility offer HCW influenza vaccination to workers free of charge. The Society supports mandatory HCW influenza vaccination policies as part of a comprehensive influenza infection control program to protect patients (see IDSA’s policy statement (PDF)).

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