October 28, 1987

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

We have good reason to set aside a week to remind ourselves of the benefits of adult immunization: The lives of many adults could be saved each year by inoculation with vaccines readily available and approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Vaccination against infectious diseases saves lives and lowers health care costs as well, as the Surgeon General has repeatedly reminded our Nation.

Many adults needlessly become victims of diseases that vaccination prevents. Influenza and pneumonia kill more than 70,000 adult Americans each year, in part because approximately 80 percent of people at high risk for influenza-related complications have not been vaccinated. Estimates are that more than 200,000 cases of hepatitis B occur in the United States every year, yet 70 percent of those who should be protected remain unimmunized. Between 10 and 15 percent of women of childbearing age -- more than 11 million women -- are unprotected against rubella. As many as seven million adults born after 1956 remain susceptible to measles, and the majority of Americans over 60 are not protected from tetanus and diphtheria.

In recognition of the importance of adult immunization and the benefits of public awareness, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 168, has designated the week beginning October 25, 1987, as "National Adult Immunization Awareness Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning October 25, 1987, as National Adult Immunization Awareness Week. I call upon all government agencies and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:44 a.m., October 29, 1987]