R 251
2018 -- S 2885
Enacted 05/16/2018

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Lombardi, Nesselbush, Lombardo, Ciccone, and Gallo
Date Introduced: May 15, 2018

     WHEREAS, Herpes zoster (shingles) is a disease caused by the same virus (zoster) that
causes chicken pox; therefore, any individual who has contracted chickenpox (approximately 98
percent of United States adults) is at risk for shingles; and
     WHEREAS, Nearly one in three people in the United States will contact shingles in their
lifetime corresponding to an estimated one million people annually; and
     WHEREAS, The risk of developing shingles increases with age, with nearly half of those
affected being over the age of 60. Half of the population living to the age of 85 will contract
shingles; and
     WHEREAS, Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash that can be severe.
Other symptoms include long-term nerve pain, fever, headache, chills, upset stomach, muscle
weakness, skin infection, scarring, decrease or loss of vision or hearing; and
     WHEREAS, As much as twenty percent of adults who have contracted shingles will
develop postherpetic neuralgia, a debilitating complication of shingles that causes severe pain. It
also may interfere with sleep and recreational activities, and can be associated with clinical
depression; and
     WHEREAS, Vaccines have reduced the burden of widespread and often fatal diseases,
enabling individuals to lead longer and healthier lives while reducing health care costs; and
     WHEREAS, The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and
the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend that healthy adults 50
years and older be vaccinated against shingles to prevent shingles-related complications; and
     WHEREAS, Despite the recommendations of CDC officials and other experts that all
healthy adults be vaccinated against shingles, as of 2015, only thirty percent of eligible adults had
received the shingles vaccine; and
     WHEREAS, The annual economic burden of shingles in American adults is estimated to
be between $782 million and $5 billion; and
     WHEREAS, The Institute of Medicine (IOM), has stated that one of the six causes of
excess costs in the United States health care system is missed prevention opportunities; now,
therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby proclaims the Month of May to be "Shingles Awareness and Improvement Month" in the
State of Rhode Island in order to increase public awareness of the importance of adults receiving
vaccines against shingles, and to promote outreach and education efforts concerning adult
vaccination; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Nicole Alexander-Scott, M.D., M.P.H.,
Director, Rhode Island Department of Health.