Georgia State Medical Association Joins National Health & Consumer Groups in Calling for CDC to Maintain Vaccination Recommendations for Pneumococcal Disease, which Causes 900,000 Cases of Pneumonia in the U.S. Each Year
(Atlanta, Georgia) – June 24, 2019 – The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet this Wednesday, June 26, in Atlanta and consider whether to continue recommending pneumococcal vaccines for Americans age 65 and older. The vaccines help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia, which infects 900,000 Americans each year, and several other illnesses such as meningitis.
The Georgia State Medical Association, which is the second-largest African-American state medical association in the U.S., has joined dozens of state and national organizations in advocating that the CDC pneumococcal vaccination recommendations remain in place.
“All it took to create America’s biggest measles spike in 25 years was a handful of communities where a high percentage of parents decided not to have children vaccinated, yet even amid this avoidable crisis, there’s a chance that the CDC will drop an important vaccine policy,” wrote Dr. Linda Walden, board member and immediate past president of the Georgia State Medical Association and Region III Chair of the National Medical Association in an op-ed published last month. “Removing the recommendation that seniors receive pneumococcal vaccinations will likely expose Americans to another potentially deadly set of illnesses that could be prevented.”
Walden continued: “Keeping the ACIP vaccination recommendation in place is important. The recommendation increases the likelihood that health care providers will talk to patients about immunization, and it may even affect whether health plans cover immunizations. If the CDC decides to take the pneumococcal ACIP recommendation away, vaccination rates could plummet.”
For more information on the June 26 meeting, visit the CDC’s website.
About the Georgia State Medical Association
Georgia State Medical Association, Inc. (GSMA) is the collective voice of African American physicians and a leading force for parity and justice in medicine and the elimination of disparities in health. GSMA is committed to improving the quality of health among minorities and disadvantaged people through its membership, professional development, community health education, advocacy, research and partnerships with federal and private agencies. Throughout its history the Georgia State Medical Association has focused primarily on health issues related to African Americans and medically underserved populations; however, its principles, goals, initiatives and philosophy encompass all ethnic groups. Learn more at www.gsmanet.org.