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Aging Advocates Urge CMS To End Confusion On Pneumonia Vaccines

PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from EIN Presswire | Newsmatics
Press release content from EIN Presswire | Newsmatics. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
December 20, 2022 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, December 20, 2022/ / -- Advocates for older adults today issued a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging an immediate communication to their health care provider network to allow older Americans to have access to new and improved pneumonia vaccines now and not wait until the end of yet another flu and pneumonia season.

Many providers wait to prescribe a vaccine until formal CMS guidance has been released following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) guidance release ( ), but the MMWR guidance on this vaccine will not be released until next month.

“We are experiencing one of the deadliest seasons for respiratory illness in years. Without immediate intervention by CMS to alert health care providers that they can and should be administering these vaccines, we will have lost a critical opportunity to protect some of the most vulnerable in our society from serious respiratory illness,” said Bob Blancato, Executive Director, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Service Programs. “When we have better tools to save lives, it’s inconceivable to me why it would not be a priority to administer them to this vulnerable population.”

The vaccines cover additional strains of pneumococcal disease and were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2021 and received a shared clinical decision-making recommendation for previously vaccinated Americans aged 65 and over from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in October 2022.

Founded in 1977, NANASP is proud to be a leading organization advocating for community-based senior nutrition programs and staff. Our member programs represent a wide range of essential services providers who support the nutrition, health and life quality of seniors.

With over 1,100 members from across the United States, we are national advocates for senior health and wellbeing who strengthen the policies and programs that nourish seniors. We accomplish this mission through a collective national voice and through local community action.

NANASP is an active member of the aging network and works collaboratively with key coalitions, including the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, the Elder Justice Coalition, and Defeat Malnutrition Today, on issues which concern the older adults our members serve, such as nutrition, Medicare and Medicaid, elder justice, Social Security and other retirement security issues, transportation, and older workers’ issues.

NANASP continues to maintain and use a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of aging while advocating for federal funds to support senior nutrition programs.

Meredith Whitmire
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