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Soccer champion Mia Hamm teams with GSK to encourage adults to “Give Your Health A Shot”

Program reminds adults to include vaccination in health and wellness plans

Issued: Wednesday, September 29, 2010, Philadelphia, PA – Soccer superstar, gold medalist and mom of twins, Mia Hamm is kicking off a national effort with GlaxoSmithKline to remind adults about the importance of vaccinations in a well-rounded plan for healthy living.  The public health campaign, “Give Your Health A Shot,” emphasizes the need for adults to work with their healthcare providers to ensure that vaccinations are part of their overall health and wellness goals. 

“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,” said Mia Hamm.  “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 healthcare provider to make sure you are up-to-date on all of the vaccinations recommended for you.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), staying active, eating a balanced diet, keeping a healthy body weight, not smoking and getting enough sleep are some of the key steps to staying healthy.  The CDC also advises adults to get regular check-ups to learn about the exams, tests and shots they may need.

Vaccines are under-used in adults

Vaccines are not just for children.  Adults are more likely than children to die of diseases that vaccines can prevent.  Still, many American adults miss important vaccinations.  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 first-hand why prevention is so important.  Vaccines can help reduce the risk of catching and spreading serious diseases,” said 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.  “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.”

States see increase in whooping cough, a vaccine-preventable disease

Vaccines help protect against serious diseases including whooping cough, which is spiking in several states and is at epidemic levels in California.  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 to the same period last year.  Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas have also reported significant increases in whooping cough activity this year.

Although many people may have been vaccinated against whooping cough as children, immunity provided by the vaccine can wear off over time.  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.

Health experts recommend vaccines for adults

The CDC recommends that adults (based on age, gender and certain risk factors) be vaccinated to help prevent several diseases, including:

  • Whooping Cough
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis
  • Shingles

For tips on staying well and a checklist of vaccinations to discuss with your healthcare provider, visit www.GiveYourHealthAShot.com.  The “Give Your Health A Shot” campaign is made possible through funding and editorial support from GlaxoSmithKline.  Mia Hamm and Dr. Brad Moore were compensated by GlaxoSmithKline for their participation in this educational program.

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information please visit www.gsk.com.

Media Contacts:

Amy Searfoorce
+ 1 215 751 5694