National Adult Vaccination Program

Article Index


GSA is dedicated to bringing the diverse interdisciplinary team together to increase reverence for vaccines.

In 2010, GSA established the National Adult Vaccination Program to improve adult immunization rates. During the past decade, GSA has convened and collaborated with the multidisciplinary stakeholder community to raise awareness of the natural immunosenescence that occurs as we age; advocating for policies that are favorable to the access of vaccines; and training champions to stimulate vaccination policies and rates.

In 2023, our objective is to Catalyze The Diverse Multidisciplinary Team To Champion Vaccination.

NAVP will:

  • Convene multidisciplinary experts annually to address current vaccine issues for older adults and
    identify sustainable solutions
  • Disseminate current insights and implications from therapeutic advances and enhanced delivery
    of vaccines
  • Advocate for policies that improve adult vaccination rates

The GSA NAVP is guided by a group of vaccine and policy experts that provide strategic recommendations and direction:


R. Gordon Douglas, MD (Chair)
Professor Emeritus of Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College


Stefan Gravenstein, MD, FGSA
David S. Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine
Director, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care
Brown University Schools of Medicine and Public Health


Michelle Cantu, MPH
Senior Director, Immunization & MCAH
National Association of County and City Health Officials


Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, FGSA
Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz Chair in Gerontology
University of Maryland


Danielle Casanova, MBA
Senior Director, Population Health Initiatives
American Medical Group Foundation


William Schaffner, MD
Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Department of Health Policy
Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


NAVP is developed by The Gerontological Society of America and supported by:

glaxosmithklineJohnson & Johnson Health Care Systems   merckpfizer   Sanofi PasteurSeqirus

Looking for GSA's COVID-19 Updates page? Click here.


Fact Sheets

GSA, in collaboration with Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) and AMDA, has launched a new project focused on improving education and awareness of enhanced influenza vaccine products.

Decision Tools




Immune function wanes in all adults — whether healthy or sick — as they age into their fifth decade and beyond. Their bodies become less adept at recognizing and stopping pathogens, and the ability to develop and maintain immunity declines. Also known as immunosenescence, age-related decline in immunity significantly contributes to the susceptibility of older adults to serious conditions, including influenza, pneumonia, and shingles.



Understanding the Vaccine Development Process

The process of bringing a vaccine to market takes extensive research and safety monitoring. Dr. Gordon Douglas explains the steps from preclinical studies to vaccine licensure, and discusses his own experience developing vaccines at a major manufacturer for 30 years. He also shares lessons learned from clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the importance of participant diversity. 

GuestR. Gordon Douglas, Jr, MD, Professor Emeritus, Weill Cornell Medical College

Host: Jo-Ana Chase, PhD, APRN-BC, Associate Professor, Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri Health

This podcast episode is supported by Seqirus. Content was developed by The Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

Applying Risk Communication Models to Immunization Discussions

Communicating the risks and benefits of immunization can be challenging, as the language of science may not always be well understood by the public. Dr. Aaron Scherer shares his research on risk communication and infectious disease, what we can learn from outbreak communication with older adults, and his thoughts on future opportunities in the field.

GuestAaron Scherer, MA, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine - General Internal Medicine, University of Iowa

Host: Cheryl Ann Monturo, PhD, MBE, ACNP-BC, Senior Nurse Research Scientist Chester County Hospital/Penn Medicine; Professor of Nursing West Chester University

This podcast episode is supported by Seqirus. Content was developed by The Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

Integrating Immunization in Long-Term Care

A routine immunization program in long-term care facilities can protect residents who are most at risk of poor outcomes if they contract a vaccine-preventable disease, however systemic challenges contribute to stagnant vaccination rates among residents and low vaccination rates among staff. In this episode, Dr. Barbara Resnick discusses her work in improving immunization rates in long-term care, using behavior motivation techniques to encourage staff and residents to get vaccinated, and what she sees as opportunities for future researchers and practitioners.

Guest: Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz Chair in Gerontology, University of Maryland School of Nursing

Host: Justine Sefcik, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions; Co-convener, GSA Interest Group on Nursing

This podcast episode is supported by Seqirus. Content was developed by The Gerontological Society of America (GSA).


Risk Communication for Vaccine Preventable Illnesses: Addressing Concerns, Facilitating Behavior Change

November 2021

Communicating effectively with older adults about risk requires an understanding of biases, perceptions and how we learn from science. This Momentum Discussion will delve into what is known about infectious disease and prevention communication, how to facilitate uptake of preventive health services, and how can we improve education in prevention. The panel will utilize case studies to showcase how to improve the practice of recommending and following through on preventive services.


  • Robin L. P. Jump, MD, PhD. Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, Associate Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (Moderator)
  • Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, Professor, University of Maryland, Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz Chair in Gerontology
  • Aaron Scherer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Director of the Healthcare and Public Perceptions of Immunizations (HaPPI) Survey Collaborative

Supported by Johnson & Johnson Health Sciences, Inc.

Getting to Know the NVAC: Connecting the Immunization and Aging Communities

October 26, 2021

This webinar, Getting to Know the NVAC, will review the purpose and structure of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee – such as who is on the Committee, what and how they make their decisions, and why the Committee matters. It will also share ways to engage with NVAC on issues related to older adult vaccination.

This webinar was developed by The Gerontological Society of America with support from Pfizer.

Getting to Know the ACIP: Connecting the Immunization and Aging Communities

October 25, 2021

This webinar, Getting to Know the ACIP, will review the purpose and structure of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – such as who is on the Committee, what and how they make their decisions, and why the Committee matters. It will also share ways to engage with ACIP on issues related to older adult vaccination.

This webinar was developed by The Gerontological Society of America with support from Pfizer.

Understanding the Value of Enhanced Influenza Vaccine Products in Long-Term Care Settings

September 17, 2020

There are many benefits to preventing flu transmission in long-term care settings yet only about two-thirds of nursing home residents receive annual influenza vaccinations—one of the best known preventive strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified the need for effective infection control in these settings. Compared with standard-dose influenza vaccines, enhanced influenza vaccines are not only more effective in preventing disease in older adults, they also provide a higher return on investment. This webinar is designed to help nursing home administrators, infection control teams, and other long-term care staff to (1) understand the benefits of using enhanced influenza vaccine products in residents and (2) learn practical tips that can help leadership and staff consistently apply immunization practices.

Presented by:

  • R. Gordon Douglas, MD, Chair, National Adult Vaccination Program Workgroup; Professor Emeritus, Weill Cornell Medical College (Moderator)
  • David H. Canaday, MD, Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University; Associate Director, Geriatric, Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center; Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
  • Sherry A. Greenberg, PhD, RN, GNP-BC, FGSA, FAANP, FAAN, Associate Professor, Seton Hall University College of Nursing; President-Elect, Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association
  • Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, Professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing; Co-Director, Biology and Behavior Across the Lifespan Organized Research Center; Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz Chair in Gerontology

This program was jointly developed by GSA, the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, and AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, with support from Sanofi.

Understanding Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza, and COVID-19: Preparing for the Fall

August 30, 2020

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, causes 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in older adults each year. Those over 65, adults with chronic heart or lung disease, and adults with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Yet RSV remains underdiagnosed.

In this one-hour webinar, experts will answer questions about RSV and how to prepare for the fall, when influenza and COVID-19 will be co-circulating. Participants will understand RSV and its impact on older adults; the challenges of distinguishing between RSV, influenza, and COVID-19; and how to keep older adults healthy with so many respiratory viruses circulating, particularly in a long-term care facility. Speakers will address gaps in understanding and research opportunities, as well as what gives them optimism for the fall respiratory illness season.

Presented by:

  • Robin Jump, MD, PhD – Case Western Reserve University, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
  • Lindsay Kim, MD, MPH – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Helen “Keipp” Talbot, MD, MPH – Vanderbilt University Medical Center

This Momentum Discussion is supported by Johnson and Johnson Health Systems, Inc. Content is developed by GSA.


From The Gerontological Society of America’s National Adult Vaccination Program

ICAMP Academy is a multidisciplinary training program for healthcare professionals who are committed to increasing adult vaccination rates, improving their patients’ health and improving quality metrics in their organization. ICAMP action planning aligns with the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) Standards for Adult Immunization Practice and highlights the role of the immunization neighborhood.

Contact GSA Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Integrated Communications This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about the program and to bring the training to your practice or health system.

To help achieve its goals, the NAVP convened a workgroup of vaccine and policy experts to provide strategic recommendations and direction that focus on improving adult immunization rates and creating sustainable change. 


R. Gordon Douglas, MD (Chair)
R. Gordon Douglas is currently Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Douglas served as a consultant to the Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), from 1999-2011. He retired from Merck & Co. in 1999 after serving as President, Merck Vaccine Division, and a member of its Management Committee for 9 years.  Dr. Douglas is a graduate of Princeton University (1955) and Cornell University Medical College (1959). After internal medicine training at the New York Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital, and infectious disease training at NIAID, he served successively as Head of the Infectious Disease Unit, University of Rochester, (1970-1982) and Chairman, Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center (1982-1990) before joining Merck. He is author of over 190 original scientific publications dealing with viral pathogenesis, vaccines, and anti-virals, and was co-editor (with Gerald Mandell and John Bennett) of Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases, the standard reference in the field. He is recipient of the R.R. Hawkins Award (Association of American Publishers, 1980), the H. Feldman Award (Infectious Disease Society of America, 1992), and the Maxwell Finland Award (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, 2000). He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the American Clinical and Climatologic Association.


Michelle Cantu, MPH
Michelle Cantu is the Director for Infectious Disease and Immunization at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), a nonprofit representing nearly 3,000 local health departments nationwide. At NACCHO, Michelle leads the Immunization Program to engage local health departments to increase their capacity in prevention and control of vaccine preventable diseases. She oversees the management of the immunization advisory workgroup, national partnerships among multidisciplinary groups addressing VPDs, and evaluation to further enhance programmatic strategies, policies, and activities. Michelle has over 12 years of leadership experience in public health with a focus on infectious disease prevention. Prior to her role at NACCHO, Michelle was the Director of Community-Based STD Prevention Initiatives at Essential Access Health (formerly California Family Health Council) in Los Angeles, California. In that role, she worked with a diverse group of health centers on quality improvement programs related to reproductive health delivery, services, and data. She obtained her Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a focus in infectious diseases and epidemiology and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.


Danielle Casanova, MBA
Danielle Casanova is responsible for establishing the AMGA population health initiatives’ overall vision, and she provides oversight on all collaborative and acclaim award activities. She leads strategic direction and planning of current and future quality collaboratives and the acclaim award program. She has spent 17 years in total, working for healthcare associations developing, training, and implementing national healthcare programs for the American Diabetes Association and national population health and quality programs for AMGA. Ms. Casanova received her undergraduate degree in Biology with a concentration in PreMedicine and has a master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management.


Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH
A geriatrician, former John Franklin Chair of Geriatrics and Director of the Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (1996-2007), and Director of Center for Geriatrics and Palliative Care at University Hospitals in Cleveland (2014-2017), he is now Professor in the departments of Medicine and Health Services Policy and Practice at Brown's schools of medicine and public health, and Director, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Gravenstein has a long-standing interest in immunity, inflammation, cardiovascular outcomes and aging especially in the context of vaccines and the long-term care setting, and the topic of the majority of his publications. He also has a specific interest in quality improvement in health care, the culture of care, antimicrobial stewardship, and how to improve care transitions. He was Clinical Director at Healthcentric Advisors, Medicare's Quality Improvement Organization for New England from 2007 to 2019.


Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP    
Barbara Resnick received a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Connecticut, a master of science in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Resnick’s research focus has been on motivation of older adults, particularly with regard to performance of functional activities and engaging in regular exercise.  Included among her research activities have been several federally funded projects focused on older adults such as Testing the Reliability and Validity of the Exercise Plus Program Post Hip Fracture (NIA RO1 AG17082-01) and Testing the Effectiveness of the Res-Care Intervention (AHRQ R01 HS/MH 13372-010). In addition, Dr. Resnick has numerous projects focused on testing exercise interventions across a variety of clinical areas: community dwelling older adults in a continuing care retirement community and minority older adults in senior centers.  Similarly, Dr. Resnick is the primary investigator on several measurement studies related to physical activity in older adults. She has authored over 100 manuscripts, numerous book chapters on both clinical and research topics relevant to the care of older adults, and she recently authored a book on restorative care nursing.  Dr. Resnick is a fellow in the Academy of Nursing and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, received the 2003 Distinguished Faculty Research Award from the University of Maryland, and numerous awards for both her clinical work as well as her research.


William Schaffner, MD    
William Schaffner is Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine as well as Professor of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  His primary interests are infectious diseases and their prevention.  Dr. Schaffner has worked extensively on the effective use of vaccines in both pediatric and adult populations.  He is a strong proponent of collaboration between academic medical centers and public health institutions.

Dr. Schaffner is a liaison representative to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and is a member of the Immunization Technical Advisory Committee of the American College of Physicians.  He is a former member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), Past President of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and a former Councilor and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.  Currently, he is President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.  Dr. Schaffner is a consultant in public health policy and communicable disease control for numerous national and local institutions including the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Tennessee Department of Health.  Dr. Schaffner is a member of numerous professional societies and has written over 400 scientific articles and textbook chapters.  He often is called upon to communicate about public health issues in the print media and television.

After graduation from Yale in 1957, Dr. Schaffner attended the University of Freiburg, Germany, as a Fulbright Scholar.  In 1962, he graduated from Cornell University Medical College and completed an internship, residency training, and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  He was commissioned in the U.S. Public Health Service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the CDC  in Atlanta for 2 years (1966-1968), returning to Vanderbilt after that tour of duty.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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