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Supplement Article  |   February 2010
Examining importance of adult immunization
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Preventive Medicine
Supplement Article   |   February 2010
Examining importance of adult immunization
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2010, Vol. 110, 992. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2010, Vol. 110, 992. doi:

“Adults now have many options when it comes to protecting themselves from curable and incurable illnesses.”

 
Vaccinations aren't just for kids anymore. Still a vital part of children's health care, vaccinations are becoming more widely available to adults, thanks in no small part to medical researchers and groundbreaking advancements in the last decade. From seasonal flu shots to the so-called cervical cancer vaccine, adults now have many options when it comes to protecting themselves from curable and incurable illnesses. 
With the current flu season, the issue of immunization should be examined by all Americans. If nothing else, the recent wildfire-like spread of the H1N1 influenza virus—achieving pandemic status, according to the WHO and governments around the world—demonstrates the importance of immunization for adults, especially those like health-care workers who are at increased risk for contracting certain diseases. 
Like many companies hoping to keep their staffs healthy this winter, the AOA recently made seasonal flu shots available to all AOA staff members interested in receiving them. We also arranged for local health-care professionals to come to our AOA headquarters building and administer the vaccinations to staff on-site. The vaccines were provided free-of-charge to all employees, continuing the “fit for life” benefit started several years ago and demonstrating our commitment to health and wellness. Our health insurer, Aetna, has also offered free H1N1 vaccines to all AOA staff as they become available. 
The AOA takes responsibility for helping our family stay healthy. To this end, we were honored to have Assistant Surgeon General James Galloway, MD, give a special presentation at the recent AOA OMED 2009 in New Orleans on the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic and how DOs can help keep America safe during the swine flu pandemic. We have also partnered with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote their informative Web site, Flu.gov, on our member Web site, DO-Online.org. 
Through this issue of The Whole Patient, a special supplement to the JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the AOA hopes to help you and your adult patients make informed decisions about the host of adult vaccinations available. We can DO it!