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GSK promotes vaccinations in campaign with Mia Hamm
September 30th, 2010
PHILADELPHIA – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has teamed with soccer star Mia Hamm on a national campaign to remind adults about the importance of vaccinations as part of a strategy to promote healthy living.
Dubbed "Give Your Health A Shot," the public health campaign emphasizes the need for adults to work with their health care providers to ensure that immunizations are part of their overall health and wellness goals, GSK said Thursday.
"By working out and eating well, I thought I had checked the boxes for a healthy life. Now I know that vaccines are also important defensive tools to help protect adults from serious diseases," commented gold medalist Hamm, a mother of twins. "The recent outbreaks of whooping cough in my home state of California and around the country are a wake-up call for all of us to do our part to help protect ourselves, our families and our community. Check in with your health care provider to make sure you are up-to-date on all of the vaccinations recommended for you."
GSK noted that many American adults miss important vaccinations and that in the United States tens of thousands of adults die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.
"As a specialist in internal medicine, I’ve seen firsthand why prevention is so important. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of catching and spreading serious diseases," Dr. Brad Moore, fellow of the American College of Physicians and associate professor of medicine and of health policy at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, said in a statement. "Vaccines aren't always top of mind for my adult patients, but I encourage them to seek vaccination as part of an overall health and wellness plan."
Vaccines help protect against serious diseases such as whooping cough, which is spiking in several states and is at epidemic levels in California, GSK pointed out. Several infants have died this year in California from whooping cough, and the state has had more than seven times the number of confirmed whooping cough cases so far in 2010, compared with the same period last year. Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas have also reported significant increases in whooping cough activity this year, GSK reported.
Although many people may have been vaccinated against whooping cough as children, immunity provided by the vaccine can wear off over time, according to the pharmaceutical company. The Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) is a one-time booster shot that is recommended to most adolescents and adults for renewed protection against whooping cough if they have not been vaccinated or if their shots are not up to date.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults be vaccinated to help prevent several diseases, including whooping cough, hepatitis A and B, influenza, human papillomavirus (HPV), pneumonia, meningitis and shingles.
GSK is offering consumers tips on staying well and a checklist of vaccinations to discuss with their health care providers at www.GiveYourHealthAShot.com.