Adult pneumonia immunizations save lives
September 4, 2018
POCATELLO – According to national research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 67 percent of adults age 65 or older received their pneumoniavaccination in 2016. In Southeast Idaho, 57 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have never received a pneumonia vaccination, putting them at risk for serious illness and hospitalization.
To address this gap, Qualis Health and the Southeast Idaho Public Health District have partnered with Idaho State University, Portneuf Quality Alliance, Bingham Memorial Hospital, and other health care and community organizations to boost immunization rates. During September, an awareness campaign that includes radio, transit and social media will run in eight Southeast Idaho counties encouraging pneumonia vaccination. Additionally, an educational website has been developed that includes evidence-based interventions, immunization resources and campaign materials for pharmacies and primary care offices.
“Since adults aren’t thinking about vaccines, we need all health care professionals to use every patient encounter as an opportunity to assess whether any vaccines are needed,” Anne Schuchat, MD, Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Qualis Health’s Medical Director, Kelly McGrath, MD added, “pneumococcal disease is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia. We need to work together to ensure good preventive care and that starts with getting vaccinated. It’s an essential part of our dedication to improving the health of Idahoans.”