Public Release:  American College of Physicians calls for immunizations for all health care providers

40,000 to 50,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year in the US

American College of Physicians

PHILADELPHIA, January 14, 2013 -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) has approved a policy recommendation that all health care providers (HCPs) be immunized against influenza; diphtheria; hepatitis B; measles, mumps, and rubella; pertussis (whooping cough); and varicella (chickenpox) according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Adult Immunization Schedule. ACP's policy exempts HCPs for medical reasons or a religious objection to immunization.

"These transmissible infectious diseases represent a threat to health care providers and the patients we serve, who are often highly vulnerable to infection," said David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president, ACP. "Proper immunization safely and effectively prevents a significant number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths among patients as well as preventing workplace disruption and medical errors by absent workers due to illness."

With a severe flu season underway, ACP urges all adults to get a flu shot if they haven't already and to talk with their internist about other immunizations they might need. Only 39 percent of adults received the flu vaccine during the 2011-12 season. People who cannot get a flu shot or other immunizations for medical reasons should talk to their internist about other ways of protecting themselves.

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ACP is committed to improving public health through encouraging appropriate immunization of adults. In August 2012, ACP was awarded an initial $175,000 of a total $525,000 grant for 2012-13 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a three-year, evidence-based program to increase adult immunization rates in five states. In addition, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) approved practice improvement credit for the Medical Home Builder adult immunization module for recertifying physicians.

Immunization Resources from the American College of Physicians

  • ACP Adult Immunization Portal

  • ACP Guide to Adult Immunization

  • ACP Immunization Advisor mobile app

  • Medical Home Builder adult immunization module

About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians (www.acponline.org) is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter (www.twitter.com/acpinternists) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/acpinternists).

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