URI Grant Winner Hopes to Spread Vaccine Awareness

Mar 25, 2013

Credit Steven Depolo / flickr

A professor of pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island has just received a grant from the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer; the grant will be used to boost the rate of pneumonia vaccines in the state.

According Dr. Kerry LaPlante there has been a rise in cases of invasive pneumonia in RI, reaching 11.9 percent of the population, about 3 points higher than the national average.

LaPlante and her team plan to use the $700,00 grant to increase awareness and availability of the vaccine to those most at risk.

“We know that currently about 72 percent of the persons in RI who are eligible to receive this vaccine are getting it and our goal is to hit 90 percent, and specifically we’re going to focus on certain patient populations such as the elderly and those who smoke.”

LaPlante believes she can reach her goal of 90 percent vaccination rate within one and a half years.

She has received support from the Governor and the State Department of Health, as well as several major commercial vaccine providers.

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