Adult vaccine access expanded

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 22, 2005

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Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would establish a Vaccines for Adults program modeled on the Vaccines for Children program that has provided, since 1994, free immunizations for uninsured and Medicaid-eligible children at physician offices.

The bill was introduced July 28 by Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D, Calif.). Sherrod Brown (D, Ohio), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D, Calif.). "There is no preventive measure more potent or more cost-effective than vaccination," Brown said.

More than 45,000 adults die each year from vaccine preventable diseases, Roybal-Allard said. "We must do a better job reaching and protecting the approximately 40% of adults at risk for infectious diseases who are underimmunized."

The proposed law also would authorize a "buy-back" program for unsold flu vaccine as an incentive for increased production; increase funding for states to strengthen their vaccine outreach, tracking and delivery; and require vaccine manufacturers to provide advance warning to public health officials before exiting the vaccine market.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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