Overview of Vaccines and Immunizations

Immunizations are recognized as a 21st century public health achievement. Although fewer individuals die from vaccine-preventable diseases, far too few Americans receive the recommended vaccines.

America’s family physicians recognize that vaccines and immunizations are invaluable tools for keeping patients healthy across the lifespan. Family physicians are particularly aware of the need for vaccinations for individuals with an underlying chronic health condition.

The AAFP believes that regardless of economic and insurance status, children and adults should have access to all recommended immunizations. We further believe that the federal government has a substantial role to play in helping ensure that access.

To maximize the preventive capabilities of immunizations, AAFP has:

  • Actively supported the objective of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) National Vaccine Program Office to achieve 90 percent influenza vaccine coverage for health care personnel;
  • Made detailed recommendations in support of a proposed Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rule that would require Medicare and Medicaid providers to offer all patients an annual influenza vaccine unless contraindicated;
  • Served as a leader within the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition;
  • Promoted policies to increase access to vaccines and to improve immunization information systems;
  • Supported policies to reduce vaccine-hesitance, such as funding for awareness campaigns to educate the public about vaccine-preventable diseases.

The AAFP will continue to support both federal and state officials to improve vaccination access, administration, and uptake.

Recent AAFP Communications

Joint Communications with Other Organizations

Joint Statement from the Group of 6 Supporting the Vaccines Act - May 22, 2019(3 page PDF)

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