Immunization Project Aims To Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities among Seniors
HHS yesterday announced a new immunization initiative aimed at reducing racial and ethnic disparities in influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates for seniors, the AP/Baltimore Sun reports (AP/Baltimore Sun, 8/1). The Racial and Ethnic Adult Disparities in Immunization Initiative will be implemented by the CDC, CMS, the Health Resources and Services Administration and other federal agencies. Through the initiative, the agencies will conduct two-year demonstration projects at five sites -- Rochester, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Milwaukee, Wis.; San Antonio, Texas; and rural Mississippi. Each site will receive awards ranging from $250,000 to $400,000 to arrange partnerships among public health officials, medical providers and members of the community to identify strategies to increase immunization rates among elderly African Americans and Hispanics. In 2000, 48% of elderly African Americans and 56% of elderly Hispanics received influenza vaccinations, compared to 67% of elderly whites. Even fewer elderly African Americans and Hispanics received the pneumococcal vaccination, 31% and 30% respectively, compared to 57% of elderly whites. Plans that are successful in the first year of the project will be used more extensively in the second year of the program (HHS release, 7/31). HHS launched the initiative to coincide with the start of National Immunization Awareness Month (AP/Baltimore Sun, 7/31).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.