IMMUNIZATION: Davis Declares ‘Pneutralize Pneumonia Week’
Yesterday in Santa Clara County, Gov. Gray Davis kicked off "Pneutralize Pneumonia Week," October 10-16, 1999, in a move to combat the illness through awareness and vaccination efforts. The campaign, sponsored by the Santa Clara County Adult Immunization Coalition, coincides with National Adult Immunization Awareness Week. At the ceremonies, county Board of Supervisors Chair Pete McHugh said, "Far too many people of Santa Clara County are unaware of the danger this disease poses to our seniors and of the existing opportunity to protect ourselves." Statistics show that pneumococcal infections account for nearly 40,000 deaths annually, 50% of which can be prevented by a vaccine. While seniors are one of the highest risk groups, only half have been vaccinated. Vaccination is covered under both fee-for-service and managed care Medicare plans. Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, the county's public health official, said, "We can no longer ignore this threatening disease. We must protect our senior population." Coalition Co-Chair Dr. Larry Bonham said, "We hope local seniors take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves. This vaccine has the potential to save thousands" (Santa Clara County Adult Immunization Coalition release, 10/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.