June 27, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stephanie A. Wilken
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 ext. 5221
Leawood, KS — The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation today announced the launch of Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS, a new program that will help family physicians educate teen patients and their families about the importance of vaccination at a time when millions of teens remain vulnerable to serious infectious disease. With support from Sanofi Pasteur, 15 American Academy of Family Physicians Chapters each received a $5,000 grant to bring this program to members to help increase teen vaccination rates in their states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adolescents receive four immunizations – two of which are administered as multi-dose series – to help protect against meningococcal meningitis; human papillomavirus (HPV); tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) (Tdap); and influenza (flu). Despite these recommendations, only 33 percent of adolescents who received the first dose of meningococcal meningitis vaccine (MenACWY) received the recommended second dose, only 42 percent of girls and 28 percent of boys completed the HPV vaccine series, and less than half of teens 13 through 17 years of age were vaccinated against the flu. While the majority (86 percent) of teens received the Tdap booster, there is still room for improvement.1,2,3
“It’s difficult to see children are still suffering, and in some cases dying, from vaccine-preventable diseases,” said S. Hughes Melton, MD, MBA, FAAFP, AAFP Foundation president. “It’s our job as healthcare professionals to help keep our patients healthy, and this includes providing the recommended immunizations at the right time. Programs like this are so impactful by providing the indispensable support family physicians need to help protect more teens.”
The 15 AAFP Chapters selected to bring Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS to members were chosen through the AAFP Foundation’s Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium. The program provides financial support for Chapters to host a multi-disciplinary panel discussion featuring local immunization champions. Some panels will also feature family members who have been impacted by under-vaccination.
All 125,000 AAFP members will receive access to the program’s library of resources which help family physicians, their care teams and office staffs speak with teens and their families about recommended immunizations. Educational videos are featured to help healthcare professionals better understand the 2017 Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule and discuss recommended immunizations with their patients. The resource library also includes patient educational materials such as appointment reminders, personal testimonials from families who have been impacted by under-vaccination, videos, in-office posters and digital content.
“This program couldn’t come at a more important time as most of Oklahoma’s adolescent vaccination rates fall even lower than the national averages,” said Kari Webber, deputy director, Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians. “This program helped provide the tools we need to highlight this issue among our members and prepare them to proactively initiate conversations with their teen patients. As a result, some of our members have introduced new standing orders within their own practices to keep their teen patients up-to-date on immunizations.”
To learn more about the AAFP Foundation or Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS, including the full list of Chapters who received grants, please visit www.aafpfoundation.org/vaccinations4teens(www.aafpfoundation.org).
About the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
The Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Its mission is to advance the values of Family Medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational, and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people.
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi is organized into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General Medicines and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur and Consumer Healthcare. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN(en.sanofi.com)) and in New York (NYSE: SNY(en.sanofi.com)).
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur produces a portfolio of high quality vaccines that matches its areas of expertise and meets public-health demand. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com(www.sanofipasteur.com) or www.sanofipasteur.us(www.sanofipasteur.us).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6533a4.htm?s_cid=mm6533a4_e.
- United States Census Bureau. (2013). Age and Sex Composition in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2013/demo/age-and-sex/2013-age-sex-composition.html. Accessed June 26, 2017.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, September 29). Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, 2015-16 Influenza Season. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/coverage-1516estimates.htm.