Dear Senator/Representative:

As Congress works to finalize the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations (LHHS) bill, we urge you to adopt the Senate funding level for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 317 Immunization program.

The 317 program provides funding to state and local health departments to carry out a variety of activities vital to the prevention of vaccine preventable conditions. These grants are utilized not only for the purchase of vaccines for children, adolescents and adults, but are also a critical resource in support of a number of other important activities, including: surveillance, education and outreach, implementation of evidence-based community interventions to increase immunization coverage among underserved and high risk populations, and responding to the growing number of vaccine preventable disease outbreaks around the country. Section 317 program investments in Immunization Information Systems (IIS) improve data exchange security standards and enhance interfacing with electronic health records (EHRs). IIS’ can help inform providers and support clinical decision-making by providing a patient’s immunization status and helping to identify recommended vaccines.

Every year, more than 50,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases, and thousands more suffer serious health problems that cause them to miss work and leave them unable to care for those who depend on them. Despite Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, vaccines have been consistently underutilized in the adult population and lag behind the Healthy People 2020 goals for recommended vaccines (influenza, pneumococcal, Adult Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis [Tdap], shingles, Human Papillomavirus [HPV], hepatitis B vaccine). These disparities are even greater when you consider at-risk populations – including seniors, communities of color, limited English proficient persons, and people with chronic illness.

The Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC) works to raise awareness, improve access, and increase utilization of vaccines among adults. AVAC consists of more than 50 organizational leaders that include health care providers, vaccine makers, pharmacies, public health organizations, patient and consumer groups working to strengthen and enhance access to and utilization of adult immunizations. AVAC members ask that you prioritize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Section 317 Immunization Program. Specifically, we ask that Congress protect the Section 317 program from damaging cuts by providing at least $610,847,000 in budget authority, equal to the program’s FY 2016 enacted appropriations and level with the funding provided in the Senate’s FY 2017 LHHS Appropriations bill.

Adequate funding is essential to maintaining our current levels of success in childhood immunization coverage, as well as making the necessary strides to improve access and coverage rates for adults. Please do not hesitate to contact the AVAC mangers at (202) 540-1070 or For more information on AVAC, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @AVACNow.

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN)
Alliance for Aging Research
American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM)
American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA)
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Dynavax Technologies
Hep B United
Hepatitis B Foundation
Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)
Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
March of Dimes
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP)
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR)
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)