AAIP and CDC Partnership Encourages Increased Flu and Shingles Vaccinations for American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities

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AAIP and CDC Partnership Aims to Boost Flu and Shingles Vaccination Rates for American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities

The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP), a national nonprofit committed to improving the health of American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) communities, has joined forces with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to encourage higher rates of influenza and shingles vaccinations among AI/AN individuals.

The impact of influenza and shingles outbreaks on tribal communities is significant. Therefore, the partnership between AAIP and the CDC aims to protect not only individuals but also vulnerable populations, such as children and elders, and the traditions that enrich AI/AN cultures.

Statistics from the CDC reveal that flu and pneumonia rank among the top 10 leading causes of death among American Indians. Additionally, research indicates that shingles, a virus causing a distressing and itchy rash, can lead to dangerous complications and affects approximately 1 million Americans each year.

AAIP’s executive director, Tom Anderson (Cherokee), emphasizes the importance of vaccination in safeguarding tribal communities. In his words, When you get vaccinated, you’re not only protecting yourself – you’re protecting your family, vulnerable populations like children and elders, and the rich traditions that bolster our cultures. Anderson expresses gratitude for the partnership with the CDC, recognizing the significance of their collective efforts.

Dr. Lukejohn Day (Oglala Lakota), president of AAIP, highlights the higher risk faced by American Indians and Alaskan Natives in terms of health complications from the flu. To address this, he encourages individuals and their families to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible. Dr. Donald Warn (Oglala Lakota), an AAIP member physician, stresses the seriousness of the shingles virus for Indigenous communities. Adults over 50 are strongly encouraged to receive the shingles vaccine.

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To enhance awareness and accessibility to vaccines among tribal communities, AAIP has launched aaipvax.org, a website containing valuable information, informative videos from AAIP physicians, trending topics, and safety guidelines. Furthermore, AAIP has developed and shared public service announcements (PSAs) via various media platforms, including television, radio, and social media channels, targeting the areas where member physicians and patients reside.

In addition to promoting flu and shingles vaccinations, AAIP is also committed to providing resources for families concerned about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Studies indicate that RSV disproportionately affects Indigenous communities, with Alaskan Native infants experiencing one of the highest hospitalization rates for RSV among U.S. children. In the southwest U.S., one in ten American Indian babies will be hospitalized for RSV each year. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the first-ever vaccine and antibodies to protect infants and adults against RSV. AAIP is collaborating with the CDC to develop resources and recommendations specifically tailored to AI/AN families.

AI/AN families are advised to consult their healthcare provider, pharmacy, or local tribal clinic for vaccine availability and recommendations. To stay updated on AAIP’s campaign, visit aaipvax.org.

In conclusion, the partnership between AAIP and the CDC is aimed at promoting higher vaccination rates for influenza and shingles among American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. By taking action, individuals can protect themselves, their families, and the broader AI/AN population from the devastating effects of these viruses. AAIP’s efforts to enhance awareness and accessibility through aaipvax.org and various media channels demonstrate their commitment to improving the health and well-being of tribal communities.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

Why is there a partnership between AAIP and the CDC?

The partnership between the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) aims to encourage higher rates of influenza and shingles vaccinations among American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. This partnership is driven by the significant impact of these outbreaks on tribal populations and the need to protect vulnerable populations, such as children and elders, and preserve the cultural traditions of AI/AN communities.

What are the leading causes of death among American Indians?

According to statistics from the CDC, flu and pneumonia rank among the top 10 leading causes of death among American Indians. These statistics highlight the seriousness of influenza outbreaks within AI/AN communities and the need for increased vaccination rates.

How is shingles affecting Indigenous communities?

Shingles, a virus causing a distressing and itchy rash, affects approximately 1 million Americans each year. For Indigenous communities, the impact can be particularly significant. Research indicates that shingles can lead to dangerous complications, and AAIP member physician Dr. Donald Warn points out the seriousness of the virus for Indigenous communities. Individuals over 50 are strongly encouraged to receive the shingles vaccine.

How can individuals access resources about vaccinations and related topics?

AAIP has launched aaipvax.org, a website that offers valuable information, informative videos from AAIP physicians, trending topics, safety guidelines, and resources. This website serves as a comprehensive resource for tribal communities seeking information about vaccines, accessibility, and recommendations.

Does AAIP address other health concerns apart from influenza and shingles?

Yes, apart from promoting flu and shingles vaccinations, AAIP also addresses respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which disproportionately affects Indigenous communities. Alaskan Native infants, in particular, experience one of the highest hospitalization rates for RSV among U.S. children. AAIP is collaborating with the CDC to develop resources and recommendations specifically tailored to AI/AN families concerned about RSV.

Where can AI/AN families find vaccine availability and recommendations?

AI/AN families are advised to consult their healthcare provider, pharmacy, or local tribal clinic to inquire about vaccine availability and recommendations specific to their communities. Staying updated on AAIP's campaign through aaipvax.org will also provide valuable information and resources.

How can individuals contribute to the efforts of AAIP and the CDC?

Individuals can contribute by taking action and getting vaccinated against influenza, shingles, and other viruses. By doing so, individuals not only protect themselves but also safeguard their families and the broader American Indian and Alaskan Native population. Additionally, spreading awareness about the importance of vaccination and sharing information from AAIP's campaign through various media channels can contribute to improved health outcomes for tribal communities.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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