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January 2014
Policy and Advocacy
Congressional Briefing Highlights Barriers to Immunization for Older Adults
IDSA took part in a congressional briefing in December to inform policymakers about the value of increasing immunization rates among seniors and to highlight strategies for doing so. Despite their tremendous potential for prevention, vaccination rates in seniors fall far short of target rates recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The briefing, which was co-sponsored with the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), and the Alliance for Aging Research, showcased the Alliance’s new Silver Book (PDF) volume on vaccinations for older adults. Silver Book is a series of publications featuring information on the chronic conditions that disproportionately affect older Americans. Jeffrey Duchin, MD, FIDSA, chair of IDSA’s Public Health Committee, presented (PDF) on behalf of IDSA.  
Dr. Duchin discussed recommended vaccines, coverage rates, disparities, and barriers.  He also highlighted the need for legislative changes to Medicare coverage of immunizations.  Preeti Malani, MD, presented on behalf of SHEA, and Keipp Talbot, MD, (also a member of IDSA’s Public Health Committee) represented NFID. The event, hosted by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), was well-attended by staffers from various congressional offices.

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