Publicizing vaccination rates helps parents, bill sponsor says

Capital News Service
LANSING — Proposed legislation requiring school districts to publicize their vaccination rates will help parents make better health choices and might improve vaccination education, the bill’s sponsor said. Introduced earlier this year, the bill package would require schools to post vaccination rates, which are already reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in school offices or on their websites. State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing, said his legislation would provide parents more information when picking a school for their child. “Those kids, and those parents, have a right to make an educated choice,” Hertel said. “If you have a child that’s going to treatment and chemotherapy and can’t get a vaccine, why would you want to send them to a school that is below herd immunity?” Hertel said.

Low vaccination rates worry health officials

Capital News Service
LANSING – As flu season looms, public health officials are trying to figure out how to combat Michigan’s low vaccination rates – among the nation’s worst. Recommended vaccinations vary widely depending on age and health condition. But statistics show that even the most commonly recommended vaccinations – such as influenza and Tdap, which protects against diseases like tuberculosis and pertussis  – are not administered enough. For example, last year, 41.8 percent of Americans over the age of 6 months received a flu shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Michigan ranked 41st, with only 38.8 percent of residents receiving a flu shot.

Immunizing more adults could save lives, dollars

Capital News Service
LANSING – Failure to fully immunize Michigan adults has a staggering impact on job makers and the state economy, according to a new report by the Michigan Primary Care Consortium. The report, “The Business Case for Full Adult Immunization in Michigan,” closely researched the impact of diseases such as pneumonia and influenza. The results show about $495 million in annual economic costs, including emergency room visits, specialty medical care, lost productivity and absenteeism. According to the consortium, for every dollar spent on adult immunization, $18.40 is saved in the workplace and on hospital stays, physician visits and more expensive and lengthy treatments for diseases that would have been easily prevented with vaccination. Joseph Fortuna, vice president of the consortium, said vaccine-preventable diseases like pneumonia and the flu continue to ravage adults across the state.