New Factsheet from Alliance for Aging Research’s The Silver Book® Details Value of Vaccinations for Seniors
WASHINGTON, DC – The Alliance for Aging Research, in partnership with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), will release a policy fact sheet from its soon-to-be released edition of the well-respected Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation series during an open call on November 7th. This fact sheet highlights the value of vaccinations in reducing the burden of infectious diseases and outlines some of the major barriers to optimal vaccination in older adults. Get the fact sheet before the call here: http://bit.ly/1iAnceH.
The Infectious Diseases and Prevention through Vaccination fact sheet provides the latest statistics on the prevalence of infectious diseases that disproportionately affect seniors such as pneumonia, influenza (“flu”), and shingles. Recent studies show the death rate from common illnesses such as pneumonia and flu is 130 times higher for adults 85+. In total, vaccine preventable diseases account for 50,000 to 90,000 adult deaths per year in the United States. The fact sheet also covers the economic consequences of not protecting our seniors through vaccines, with the direct and indirect medical cost of infectious diseases accounting for 15 percent of all healthcare expenditures.
“Like children, seniors are at high risk of complications due to common illnesses like the flu, but we have yet to establish an adult immunization program that comprehensively protects our loved ones,” said Lindsay Clarke, Vice President of Health Programs at the Alliance for Aging Research. “Many seniors aren’t properly protected from these common illnesses due to a multitude of factors, including a lack of educational outreach, hurdles to research, and financial barriers.”
On the November 7th call experts from ISDA, NFID, and SHEA will address the policy barriers that lead to the adult immunization gap. The proper infrastructure for older adult immunizations, similar to that seen for children, is greatly needed as this vulnerable population is most at risk of contracting preventable communicable illnesses. The experts will also discuss the need for consistent and comprehensive coverage under Medicare Part B and Medicaid, the importance of tracking vaccine history, and the impact of funding research to fast track the creation of new vaccines.
“As our population continues to age, it is vital for policymakers and thought leaders to come together to ensure our older generations have proper access to the tools and medical care needed to live longer, healthier lives,” continued Clarke. “The Silver Book’s mission is to spotlight the mounting burden of chronic diseases and conditions associated with aging, to highlight the value of medical research in reducing those burdens, and to provide a platform for discussions on public policy solutions that overcome the gaps in vaccination of older adults.”
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application in order to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance was founded in 1986 in Washington, DC, and has since become a valued advocacy organization and a respected influential voice with policymakers.
Lauren Smith Dyer
Vice President of Communications