While receiving his flu shot for the upcoming flu season, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined with Chicago’s elected officials to encourage adults to get their recommended immunizations by declaring Illinois Adult Immunization Week, and commended the Chicago Department of Public Health in their campaign to educate adults about immunizations.
“It’s time for everyone to roll up their sleeves to spread the word about the importance of immunizations for adults, especially senior citizens,” Quinn said at the immunization walk-in clinic. “That is why I am here today to declare October 12 – 18 Adult Immunization Awareness Week throughout the State of Illinois.”
Quinn joined with Dr. Walter Orenstein, Director of the National Immunization Program for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Dr. John L. Wilhelm, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health to urge health care providers, adults and senior citizens in Illinois to advance the health of friends and family by ensuring immunizations against preventable diseases.
“Immunizations are a powerful public health tool that provides cost-effective and safe means of preventing illness, disability and death from many preventable infectious diseases,” said Quinn.
Quinn called upon the people of Illinois to join together in raising the adult influenza immunization rate from 62 percent to 80 percent this year.
Dr. Trent Haywood from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dr. Javette Orgain from the African American Health Care Council, and Esther Sciammarella from Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition joined Quinn at the press conference.
Influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia disproportionately affect senior citizens, ages 65 or older. Thousands of adults die from immunization-preventable diseases or from complications of the diseases each year. Most diseases caused by the influenza virus and the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria could have been prevented with proper immunizations.
The week of October 12 is recognized as National Adult Immunization Awareness Week.