October 27, 1988

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

America does well to hold a national week of observance to remind citizens that the need for immunization does not stop with childhood. Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to kill grown-ups in our Nation; as many as 70,000 adults die each year because they do not take advantage of vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia, hepatitis B, tetanus, and other preventable infectious diseases. Even among people at greatest risk for complications -- the elderly and the chronically ill -- fewer than one in five routinely receive annual influenza vaccination and fewer than one in 10 have been vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia.

Immunization with safe and effective vaccines can greatly reduce the tragic loss of life and reduce the massive costs associated with health care. The Surgeon General of the United States has repeatedly urged adults to use appropriate preventive health-care practices, including vaccination for diseases preventable through immunization. We can all do our share in making sure we ourselves and members of our families know about and receive immunization, and that our neighbors and communities have the same opportunity.

In recognition of the importance of adult immunization and of the benefits of public awareness, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 335, has designated the week beginning October 23, 1988, 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 23, 1988, 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-seventh day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:46 a.m., October 28, 1988]