Statement attributable to AOA President Thomas L. Ely, DO
The Community Immunity During COVID-19 Act provides much needed funding to promote evidence-based, community-specific outreach and educational activities to increase immunization rates. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), which represents more than 151,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students, supports this legislation, which aligns with the AOA’s mission to promote evidence-based information on vaccination compliance and safety.
Immunization rates for life-saving vaccines have plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic according to the CDC. Vaccines save lives by preventing communicable diseases from spreading. Each successful vaccination has a compound effect on the health of a community by eliminating the likelihood of an individual developing an illness and passing it to family, friends, and other members of society.
To address growing concerns about immunization rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, this legislation would help fund grants to state and local health departments to establish and strengthen partnerships with health care providers and community-based organizations to increase awareness about vaccination programs and support the development of vaccine counseling resources relating to both the COVID-19 vaccine as well as other recommended vaccinations.
The AOA supports this legislation and its focus on bolstering local COVID-19 vaccination efforts and addressing reductions in vaccination rates for other life-saving immunizations for children and adults.